How To Grow Potatoes From Store Bought Potatoes

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Potatoes, the humble yet versatile vegetable, are a staple in many kitchens worldwide. But did you know that you can grow potatoes from store bought potatoes? Yes, you read that right! With a bit of knowledge and care, you can transform those spuds from the grocery store into a bountiful harvest in your backyard.

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In this guide, we’ll explore the various methods of growing potatoes, the unique characteristics of seed potatoes versus store-bought ones, the pros and cons of using store-bought potatoes, and how to plant them for optimal results.

growing potatoes from store bought potatoes

Store-Bought vs. Seed Potatoes

Before diving into the specifics, it’s crucial to understand the two primary methods of growing potatoes: using seed potatoes or store-bought ones.

Seed potatoes are specially grown and selected for planting. They are disease-free and certified to ensure healthy growth. On the other hand, store-bought potatoes may not be as reliable for planting because they can carry diseases or have been treated to inhibit sprouting. However, they can still be a viable option for those looking to experiment or who have limited access to seed potatoes.

can i grow potatoes from store bought

Comparing Seed Potatoes to Store-Bought Potatoes

When it comes to growing potatoes, whether you choose seed potatoes or store-bought ones can significantly impact your success. Let’s delve deeper into the comparison between these two options across various aspects, including disease resistance, sprouting, growing characteristics, and production.

Disease Resistance

Seed potatoes are carefully selected and certified to be disease-free, offering growers a higher level of confidence in the health of their crops. They undergo rigorous testing and are often treated to prevent the spread of common potato diseases such as blight, scab, and viruses. This ensures a lower risk of encountering diseases that could jeopardize the yield and quality of the harvest.

In contrast, store-bought potatoes may carry diseases or be treated with chemicals to inhibit sprouting, making them less reliable for planting. While some may successfully produce healthy plants, there is a greater risk of introducing diseases into your garden. It’s essential to inspect store-bought potatoes carefully and choose ones that appear healthy and free from blemishes.

Sprouting

Seed potatoes are specifically grown and stored to encourage sprouting. They typically have well-developed eyes, which are crucial for initiating growth. When properly chitted (allowed to sprout before planting), seed potatoes can produce strong, uniform sprouts that give plants a head start in the growing season.

Store-bought potatoes may have been treated with chemicals to prevent sprouting or may not have reached the ideal stage of maturity for planting. As a result, their sprouting potential can vary significantly. Some potatoes may sprout readily, while others may exhibit limited or uneven sprouting. Chitting store-bought potatoes can help stimulate sprout development, but the results may be less consistent compared to seed potatoes. Opting for organic store-bought potatoes may help in the potatoes beginning to sprout as they are not supposed to be sprayed with an anti-sprouting chemicals.

Adirondack Blue Seed Potato

Large, oblong tubers feature lovely deep purplish-blue skin and flesh. Color may leach when boiled, but remains when baked or microwaved. Matures in 80-90 days.

Caribou Russet Seed Potato

The very best baking potato! Developed by the University of Maine, Caribou Russet is a mid-season potato with real flavor and good keeping ability. Medium yields of good-looking, oval russeted tubers love cold climates

Dark Red Norland Seed Potato

Widely adapted! Plant has a spreading habit and purple blooms. Smooth, oblong tubers are slightly flattened with shallow eyes. Good for boiling, baking and frying. Matures in 65 days. 

Keuka Gold Seed Potato

High yields of uniformly-sized potatoes. A boon for organic gardeners, as this variety is comparable to Yukon Gold (though not quite as early) but far easier to grow organically. The brawny vine produces very pretty white flowers and wheat-colored potatoes with pale yellow flesh. Use as you would Yukon Gold, especially for mashing. Mid-season. Resistant to scab and golden nematode.

Yukon Gold Seed Potato

Superior taste. Slightly oval tubers have a yellow skin and flesh. Good for all cooking types, especially frying. Retains yellow flesh color when cooked. Matures in 65-70 days.

Growing Characteristics

Seed potatoes are selected based on their suitability for specific growing conditions and desired traits such as yield, size, and maturity. Growers have access to a wide range of varieties tailored to their climate, soil type, and culinary preferences. Additionally, seed potatoes are bred for optimal growth and performance, resulting in plants that are more vigorous and resilient throughout the growing season.

Store-bought potatoes may not always be well-suited for planting, as they are primarily intended for consumption rather than cultivation. While some potato varieties may perform adequately in the garden, others may exhibit irregular growth patterns, lower yields, or susceptibility to pests and diseases.

Production

Growing potatoes from certified seed potatoes typically results in higher yields and better-quality tubers. These potatoes are specifically bred and selected for their productivity and disease resistance, maximizing the potential for a successful harvest. With proper care and management, growers can expect consistent production and a plentiful supply of healthy, marketable potatoes.

While it’s possible to grow potatoes from store-bought tubers, the production outcomes may be more variable. Factors such as the potato variety, growing conditions, and disease prevalence can influence the yield and quality of the harvest. Growers may experience fluctuations in production from year to year, depending on the quality of the store-bought potatoes and their suitability for planting.

can i plant store bought potatoes

Pros and Cons of Using Store-Bought Potatoes

Using store-bought potatoes for planting comes with both advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, they are easily accessible and can be a cost-effective option for those on a budget. Moreover, you may already have some lying around in your kitchen, making them a convenient choice for spontaneous gardening endeavors.

However, store-bought potatoes may carry diseases or have been treated with chemicals to prevent sprouting. This can lead to lower yields or even crop failure. Additionally, not all store-bought potatoes are suitable for planting, as some may have been subjected to conditions that affect their viability.

grow potatoes from store bought potatoes

Planting Store-Bought Potatoes: Tips for Success

If you’ve decided to give store-bought potatoes a try, here’s how to maximize your chances of success:

  1. Choose Wisely: Select potatoes that are firm and free from cuts, bruises, or sprouting inhibitors. Look for varieties that are well-suited to your climate and soil conditions.
  2. Chitting: Before planting, allow the potatoes to sprout by placing them in a cool, well-lit area for a few weeks. This process, known as chitting, encourages the development of sturdy sprouts, which will give your plants a head start.
  3. Prepare the Soil: Potatoes thrive in loose, well-draining soil with plenty of organic matter. Prepare the planting area by loosening the soil and incorporating compost or aged manure to improve fertility.
  4. Planting: Dig shallow trenches or individual holes, spacing them about 12-15 inches apart. Place the chitted potatoes with the sprouts facing upward and cover them with soil, leaving a few inches of space above the surface.
  5. Care and Maintenance: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged, especially during the critical stages of tuber formation. As the plants grow, mound soil around the base to support the developing tubers and prevent greening.

By following these steps and providing proper care, you can successfully grow potatoes from store-bought tubers and enjoy a bountiful harvest in your own backyard. So why not give it a try and embark on your potato-growing adventure today? Happy gardening!

Hey Beautiful! I’m Tara, garden enthusiasts, keeper of chickens, herbal homesteader and stay at home mom of 3 tiny humans and a sourdough starter named Ma. I love teaching others how to live a self-sufficient and sustainable life through homesteading, scratch cooking, and remembering to live barefoot, wild and free!

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