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Does anyone know anything about Russet Burbank (Idaho) potatoes?

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Does anyone know anything about Russet Burbank (Idaho) potatoes?

Post  NHGardener on 5/14/2011, 9:36 pm

I picked some up at the grocery store and they are sprouting eyes. I like them because they're the big kind. But now that I'm googling them, they are a late to very late maturity and require a long growing season - I don't know if Zone 5a will be enough. Also, the information I saw said to plant them 30-45 cm apart (about 14")... hmm. That would be pretty much one eye per container pot that I have.

Has anyone had success growing these? Does this sound right?
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Re: Does anyone know anything about Russet Burbank (Idaho) potatoes?

Post  oxmyx1 on 5/14/2011, 11:12 pm

Hi, NHG - I had to become a 'potato expert' at our community farm here in Santa Fe. Did you know there's actually no such thing as an Idaho potato??? 99% of the taters grown in that great state are actually, as you have there, Burbank Russets. He did his R & D up there so that's how they all 'ended up' there... Anyway, I came across a really COOOOOL site and here's part of the potato section:

http://myfolia.com/plants/54-potato-solanum-tuberosum/varieties?page=11

according to which, it takes about 128 days to maturity (another site I found said 145 days...)

I'm actually surprised your tater eyes are responding! I read that grocery potatoes are sprayed with an 'eye retardant' chemical (don't know what).

I'd get them in the ground pronto and just see what happens - and let us know how they do, would you? Send pics!
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Re: Does anyone know anything about Russet Burbank (Idaho) potatoes?

Post  NHGardener on 5/14/2011, 11:23 pm

Ooh. If you're an expert, and I upload a photo, can you verify if it is indeed a Burbank Russet? I'm assuming it is because it looks just like one.

And then, yup, I might as well plant and see what happens. 145 days from, say, tomorrow would be around the first week in October, which would be a week or so after the first frost. (If it's 128 days, it would probably be safe.)

What do you think?
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Re: Does anyone know anything about Russet Burbank (Idaho) potatoes?

Post  oxmyx1 on 5/15/2011, 1:01 am

I don't know if I'm THAT much of an expert! For our farm, I had to be knowledgeable enough to do a 'potato lecture' for the groups of volunteers who came out to help with the planting. I found out there are at least a half dozen varieties of 'Russet' potato so I don't think I could ID one for sure. Go to

www.potatogarden.com

they have a photo of 4 russet varieties - they all look pretty much the same to me!
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Re: Does anyone know anything about Russet Burbank (Idaho) potatoes?

Post  NHGardener on 5/15/2011, 7:31 am

Oh. You mean they're not color coded or have some identifiable bar code on them? rofl

Well, it doesn't matter if they're true Burbank Russets, as long as they make potatoes. And Burbanks are probably worst-case scenario for length of time to mature, and it looks like I just may make it. The only question that remains is how many eyes to put in one container, but since it's about 12-18" in diameter, I think I'll go with Mel's number of four per "square" and see what happens. The Burbank info seems to indicate one eye per 12", but we'll see. I'll post pics along the way.

Thank you!

Edit: Wow. All those potatoes look alike. I never knew there were so many varieties of potatoes! It looks like all their russets are sold out, too. Good thing my grocery store ones are sprouting.

Another edit: I say they're sprouting, but they have tiny eye buds. Maybe because they're grocery store-bought, those tiny buds will not grow. Hmm.
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Re: Does anyone know anything about Russet Burbank (Idaho) potatoes?

Post  Tril on 5/15/2011, 10:00 am

Russet Burbank is the number one potato grown here in Maine. According to the Maine Potato Board, 38% of the potatoes planting in 2010 were Russet Burbanks.

I found this on how to grow potatoes in Maine:

"Plant Maine-friendly varieties for the best chance of success with your Maine potato growing. Choose cultivars like Belrus, Bintje, Green Mountain, Superior, Red Pontiac, Russet Burbank, Caribe, Yukon Gold, Kennebec, Red Norland, All Blue or Yellow Finn."

Read more: How to Plant Maine Potatoes | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_7628564_plant-maine-potatoes.html#ixzz1MQgspmsP

So you should be okay with this variety in NH!!
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Re: Does anyone know anything about Russet Burbank (Idaho) potatoes?

Post  NHGardener on 5/15/2011, 10:06 am

Great article, Tril - thank you!

Links from there say not to use grocery store potatoes as well. I think in a week I will dig one of mine up and see if there is any progress on the eyes. If not, I may just find some seed potatoes and plant those. I don't want to waste much time on potatoes that were treated to not grow.
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Re: Does anyone know anything about Russet Burbank (Idaho) potatoes?

Post  Tril on 5/15/2011, 10:19 am

Most big garden/nursery centers have seed potatoes right now. You can buy as many or as few as you want.
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Re: Does anyone know anything about Russet Burbank (Idaho) potatoes?

Post  NHGardener on 5/15/2011, 10:23 am

I did see seed potatoes at the local feed store.

But I grew an emotional attachment to these over the past few weeks. rofl

But yes, I should probably just use theirs.
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Re: Does anyone know anything about Russet Burbank (Idaho) potatoes?

Post  oxmyx1 on 5/15/2011, 11:00 am

You can plant them in a deep cardboard box (I'm trying this with a couple), a food grade 5 gallon bucket (harvest! dump 'em!) or trench them in about 2 inches and then heap straw on them. Or of course the traditional 6 inches down and mound with dirt. We're trying the latter 2 at the farm with Red Norland and Kennebecs. I think we got them in too late though. the 'rule of farm thumb' is that they should be planted on or shortly after St Paddy's day.

And before you plant the eyes, you need to leave them in bright light (not direct sun) for a couple days, especially if you cut the spud up. this gives them a chance to dry somewhat, to reduce chance of mold. Sorry, I shoulda posted this sooner!
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Re: Does anyone know anything about Russet Burbank (Idaho) potatoes?

Post  Old Hippie on 5/15/2011, 12:02 pm

You always hear that you should not plant grocery store potatoes because they have been treated so they won't sprout. However, they often sprout in the cupboard and even in the fridge. SO, rebel that I am, I plant them anyway. And they grow too. And I eat their young. Twisted Evil

Perhaps when I have done this in the past, the results weren't as good as if I had actually used genuine 'seed' potatoes but they sure tasted fine to me. What I did notice, though, is that when I planted red store bought potatoes, I didn't get red potatoes. I got brown ones. Lesson here I guess, is that they were a hybrid most likely and the offspring are not always the same as the parent.

Gwynn
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Re: Does anyone know anything about Russet Burbank (Idaho) potatoes?

Post  NHGardener on 5/15/2011, 12:10 pm

Thank you Gwynn! That speaks to the rebel in me. I'm gonna keep those babies and see what happens.

I should probably plant some seeders in a different container tho, just for experiment control.

Gotta keep my options open. Very Happy
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Re: Does anyone know anything about Russet Burbank (Idaho) potatoes?

Post  Tril on 5/15/2011, 3:40 pm

I was at Home Depot and Lowe's today (of COURSE, wasn't everyone???). They had the Russet Burbank seed pototoes at Lowe's.
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Burbank Russet potato

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/15/2011, 10:06 pm

If you Google Burbank russet potatoes, you can learn the variety of potato is over 100 years old, has a higher sugar content, and makes the best french fries. Luther Burbank developed the strain even before he left the East Coast and moved to Santa Rosa, CA, where he settled and spent the remainder of his life developing superior types of vegetables. In the years since Burbank, an Idaho guy named Simplot found out how to freeze potatoes, patented it, WWII came, and he made one of his fortunes....using russeted Burbank potatoes planted in western Idaho and eastern Oregon. Since then (1930s-1950s), other strains of russeted Burbank potatoes have been developed to best fit the soils in which they are grown. So, check around New Hampshire for the strain that does best in your area. If you're using Mel's Mix, that eliminates the consideration of what grows best in the soil around your neighborhood, but you do want the strain that likes your climate best. If you have time to spend, here's trial results of a test using three different strains of russets to ascertain adaptability to area: http://www.cropinfo.net/AnnualReports/1997/russet.potato.html Using a strain you picked up at a local grocery store might be from your area, Idaho, Oregon or even, say, Prince Edward Island.

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