Organic Potato Seed

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A nutritional mother lode, potatoes are easy to grow as long as they have full sun, moderate temperatures, and light, rich, acidic, well-drained soil. Try varieties with colors, shapes and flavors you won't find in the supermarket.










Growing Guide
Requires at least 6 hours of sun each day.

Prefers well-drained, light, deep, loose soil, high in organic matter. Unlike most vegetables, potatoes perform best in acid soil with pH 4.8 - 5.5. (Scab is less of a problem at low pH. If pH is more than 6.0, use scab-resistant varieties.) Needs plentiful, consistent moisture.

An herbaceous perennial grown as an annual in areas that receive frost. Late spring frosts can damage foliage, but growth will usually rebound quickly from underground parts.

Growing is easy if you have the right site and soil. Pests aren't usually as bad in garden settings as in commercial fields. Fun to grow with kids, especially if you use the deep mulching method.

Flowers relatively inconspicuous.

Potatoes perform best in areas where summers are cool (65 F to 70 F), but are widely adapted.

Potatoes require well-drained soil. (They will rot under prolonged cold, wet conditions.) If your soil is poorly drained or a heavy clay, consider using raised beds. Adding organic matter (compost, cover crops, well-rotted manure or leaves) is a good way to improve soil before growing potatoes. Go easy on organic matter sources high in nitrogen (such as manure) and nitrogen fertilizer as too much nitrogen can encourage lush foliage at the expense of tuber production.

Unlike most vegetables, potatoes perform best in acid soil with pH 4.8 - 5.5. Use scab-resistant varieties with pH above 6.0. Because most other garden vegetables perform best at near-neutral pH, it’s usually not feasible to grow potatoes in their preferred pH range, unless you dedicate one section of your garden to growing just potatoes in rotation with cover crops.

Buy certified disease-free seed potatoes from garden centers or through online or mail-order catalogs for best results. If you save your own seed potatoes, discard any that show any signs of disease. Avoid planting potatoes from the supermarket because they may have been treated with sprout inhibitors. They may also be less vigorous and more prone to disease. If you must use supermarket potatoes, use round, white Maine-grown potatoes, not russets or long white potatoes grown in California or Idaho. To see if they'll sprout, take three potatoes and put them in a paper bag and place the bag in a warm location (about 70 F). They should sprout in two weeks if they haven't been treated with sprout inhibitors.

Cut seed potatoes that are larger than a chicken egg into pieces about 1 inch across or slightly larger. Each piece should have at least one “eye” (the bud where the stem will grow from) -- preferably two eyes. Egg-sized and smaller tubers can be planted whole.

Traditionally, cut seed potato pieces are allowed to cure for a few days to a few weeks before planting. This is because the cut potatoes need high humidity, plenty of oxygen and temperatures between 50 F and 65 F to heal quickly. If you have excellent, well-drained soil that meets those conditions, you can plant the seed pieces without curing. But if conditions are not right, the seed potatoes will rot in the ground.



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