Store bought potatoes for seed potatoes.

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by r.h. in okla., Jan 2, 2006.

  1. Can you buy potatoes from the grocery store and let develope for seed potatoes? Right now at my nearest foodliner they have 20 lb. sacks of red potatoes for $3.99 I was wondering if I could buy a bag and place them in a gunny sack and then bury them till about the last of March, then dig them back up and let develope their eyes and plant them for next summers harvest?
     
  2. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    r.h., you come up with some of the craziest ideas sometimes. Only problem is that sometimes they work!

    You are going to find people who say that the store potatoes have been "treated" to prevent sprouting in storage. It's cheaper and safer to control that by temperature. What many mistake for retardant is actually the normal dormancy period for a given variety. If there's still 2 months of dormancy left after they reach the stores, it's going to be 2 months before you see sprouts. So, we'll dispel any detractors right away for that reason.

    Then there are those who would claim that you risk a chance of getting diseased potatoes. Potatoes growers spend millions of dollars to assure that there are NO diseases since their livelihood depends upon it. So, we'll shoot them down as well!

    My next thought would be to wonder why you'd want to bury them, especially since you'll be planting them in 3 months. Would that mean that you don't have a cool area to store them? If a hole in the ground is your only place to store them, go for it. They must be kept dry and must never freeze. Would also help if none were touching another since that would cause rotting. Personally, I wouldn't like that idea.

    How about packing them in bone-dry sand or sawdust? Then store them in the coolest area that you have but always above freezing. Something like that would only be needed if the potatoes were right at the point of breaking dormancy very soon.

    Personally, I'd simply transfer to the burlap bag and tuck it away in a dark corner of your coolest room an forget about them until early March. If they've begun to sprout by then, spread them out so that they remain dry. If there are sprouts which are longer than 2", snap them off and let the tubers grow new ones. When planting, all you need showing is a single bit of green anyway.

    Martin
     

  3. Colorado

    Colorado Well-Known Member

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    Why would you want to buy them now other than price? Buy when you planing to plant. Are they seconds? I bought seconds from Wal-mart to eat and they were cheap and no good. I bought good seed in 04 and then saved seed from them for 05. I have seed saved from 05 to plant this year. Seed house here does not have one kind I would like to try and I will get store potatoes at planting time to try. Idaho bakers. I raised 4 kinds last year and did not save seed from the early two as came on so early. Just did not think would hold in the cellar. Dug in August but good seed is costly. This year I plan to try and save some seed of the early. I am wishing now I had tried to save some seed of those early ones. Here I will be planting before end of March although we have no water till April.
     
  4. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    when i was growing up all we ever planted was store bought potatoes for seed. Don't even remember doing anything special to get them to sprout. Mom had a place she threw out some peels on the edge lawn and we even ended up with potatoes growing there.
     
  5. Thanks Martin, colorado, and whitewolf.

    Martin if you was my next door neighbor I don't think this website would even know I existed. I would be going to you for all my answers! Your such a big help and I really appreciate it. "Come up with some of the craziest stuff" Well I guess I sometimes just have too much time to think about it!

    The reason why I was thinking about burying them was I thought maybe that would be the only way I could keep them from growing eyes now here in my house. I left a 30' row of pontiac reds in the ground from my garden for next years seeds. But not sure if that is going to be enough for next years garden. I plan to plant enough for Russell's army (my kids) to live on next year. Plus, I had several people stop by and buy potatoes from me this last garden season and it caused me to run out of taters early. I usually don't run out till around Febuary but this last year I ran out in early November. Way short of my usuall goal! So this next year I want to be sure I have enough taters for everyone.

    Well, since you people talked me into it. I think I'll go buy another bag and place it in back of my bedroom closet and dig em out about the 1st to middle of March. Thanks everyone for your help.
     
  6. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    r.h., I'm not certain what you meant to accomplish by leaving 30' of Pontiacs in the ground. If that's a row that's grown there, and never dug, then you would be using the ground as storage. As long as they don't freeze, you'll be OK there. But, if you plan to dig them up and use them for seed, you might have to wait 2 more months before they will break dormancy.

    We also never seem to have enough potatoes. Used to plant about 125' total with a row of Red Norland, two rows of Yukon Gold, and two of Kennebec. Cut down to 75' the past two years with Carola replacing Yukon Gold for the mid-season variety. I only have to buy fresh Red Norland as they are done by early July and there's no way that I can keep seed stock for 9 months. This coming season, I think that I'll be going back to 125' and add German Fingerlings to my normal red-yellow-white annual combination.

    Carola is going to be a popular yellow potato in our community gardens. We potato growers were swapping around at harvest time and I was asked to save enough for several others. As soon as some heard of that, there were a lot of "Me, too!" It's more reliable than Yukon Gold but size is all over the place. No problem as it stores well and gives plenty of seed for the next season.

    By the way, thanks for the compliments! I've only been messing around in the potato patch for about 62 years now. I was in charge of potato bug patrol already when I was 5!

    Martin
     
  7. Rouen

    Rouen Well-Known Member

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    growing season '05 we kept store bought potatoes in a cupboard to sprout, then cut some of the eyes off them, burried the eyes and that worked, we also planted some whole potatoes that had started to sprout and that also worked.
     
  8. Shazza

    Shazza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    So R.H...how many's in your army and how many "area" of potatoes do you think you'll have planted for them....just so the Buchanan's army know how many they may need???
    To tell you the truth I just lerve shoving my hand down in the "composted goat poop and straw" and digging out the taters.....better than unwrapping chrissy presents. (Yes our season is upside down). :)
     
  9. Loriann1971

    Loriann1971 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My parents started a potato patch in the 70's with the peelings from store bought potatoes that they had eaten for dinner. Then they just started the next year's patch from the peelings of the potatoes that they had grown from the storeboughts. They just sold their house and moved to a smaller place closer to my sister and I asked them if they were still going to grow potatoes and mom said she planned to start a new patch with storeboughts again this spring.
     
  10. Colorado

    Colorado Well-Known Member

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    Question, r h in Ok. Have you left potatoes in the ground for seed before this? I would think they would rot. This is new to me. Potatoes I missed in digging they sprouted this last spring and grew , come to think of it. We did not have a real cold winter. I did not dig them come to think of it.

    My sister tried the peeling method and eating the centers. Her crop was a lot less than my dad's as he planted cut up potatoes. Same land and water and so on. They grew and she had potatoes.
     
  11. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

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    That is all we have ever used...why pay more money when you may have some growing in your kitchen?
     
  12. Yes, here in Oklahoma you can leave your taters in the ground for next years seed crop. The frost line here is suppose to be 24 inches but it rarely gets cold enough get past the first couple of inches. Just be sure you have plenty of dirt over them so the summer drought won't bake them and the winter freeze won't touch them. My biggest problem is grub worms, but they still leave plenty of taters to use for seeds. In fact I always plant my taters in a new area each year for disease control and in the old tater patch I will realize I might have missed a few taters when gathering them. They will sprout and send up shoots in early to mid April. This is what got me to leaving a row of taters in the ground to use for next years seed.

    I guess this is why you think I'm crazy for wanting to bury the sack of taters from the grocery store!

    Shazza, my army consist of 5. Heafty me and my wife, and 3 daughters(ages 4, 7, and 11) who eat like growing boys. I been trying to plant about eight 30' rows of taters each year. I rob from the plants when the green beans are ready and we pig out for several days on fresh greenbeans and new potaters. Then when the vines die back we dig em all up and usually end up with about 2 toesacks full. I think each toesack usually holds around 100 pounds each. This use to last us till around Febuary but this last year after selling what I did to people who came over asking for new taters, I only ended up with a little over 100 pounds. And they went fast!!! I couldn't believe how fast we used them up.
     
  13. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I buy about 250 pounds in the Fall for about $35 for our family of 5....we eat 5# for a meal with mashed/whipped potatoes....so the next day I can make mashed potato/salmon pie
     
  14. snoozy

    snoozy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The only successful potato growing I have done has been with organic storebought volunteers planted plain ol' in the ground. ALL of my creative space-saving methods failed miserably. All of the fancy seed potatoes I bought laughed at me.

    Put potatoes in the pantry and they will sprout. I wouldn't fret over using the cheapest possible and doing all sorts of gymnastics to keep them from sprouting too early. Even if you paid double that $3.99 for your sack of potatoes (as I do for organic), it's still a deal. So buy them a month before you want to plant and let them sprout hanging out in the pantry. Be sure to tell them that you want them to NOT sprout -- then they WILL, by Murphy's Law of Contrary Potatoes, sprout like nobody's business.

    Volunteers WANT to grow: isn't that the idea?
     
  15. Jesus Saves

    Jesus Saves Well-Known Member

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    Question: I want to grow potatoes. Can I plant the whole potato after it buds or do I peel it, also, how far down to you plant, how far apart, and do they spread? Can I dig a hole and dump them in and cover it? I am beginner. Thanks!
     
  16. mamagoose

    mamagoose Well-Known Member

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    Speaking of treated potatoes, I bought a 50# bag of Yukon Gold seed potatoes at the feedmill last year and I let them set around until they started sprouting. Problem was, only one eye sprouted on 90+% of the taters! A few I was able to cut and get two out of, but they were really close together. I am suspicious that they were treated, so that only one eye per tater would sprout and therefore, you had to plant a whole potato and they didn't go as far. I'm use to cutting them in 3 or 4 pieces with an eye on each piece. If I don't have any leftovers from the year before, I normally order already cut potatoes from a catalog source. Does anyone know if some suppliers treat the potatoes to only sprout one eye or was I not "seeing" what I thought I was?
     
  17. Paranoid

    Paranoid Homebrewed Happiness

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    I go thru phases where I really love potatos and then really hate potatos. During my love phase I always get a big bag of my favorite spud, the generic white tater and enjoy many of them.

    invariably i get tired of them though and they sit in the fridge for week after week after week.

    weeks become months and then one day i look in there and they're all sprouted.

    i dont know how long it takes to sprout a spud in the frig, but i know it'll happen all the time and the second generation taste the best.
     
  18. Shazza

    Shazza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well we have taters almost every night for tea in one form or another.
    The way we grow them is cut the eyes off the tater...or just cut the tater into 4 bits. Our garden is compost from the goat house...straw and poop...we plant each eye in its own hole in the compost. Then pile a bag of compost on top. When the tops grow and flower and die I dig out the large taters and then pile on more compost...leaving all the small ones and tiny ones to keep growing. So we end up with a huge pile of taters....what I should do is what r h in okla does and dig a trench and then build it up.....so my whole vege garden needs to be taters so we'd have enough for a year....phew!!.
     
  19. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Mamagoose, your comment has to be the best laugh that I've had in a long time! Can't you just imagine an assembly line of potato treaters painting over all but one eye on each potato? That's one of the better things that I've heard but have to admit that it's an original!

    Potato tubers have many more eyes than they need. Hearken back to the top where I said to snap off any sprout over 2". It won't grow back but another eye will then take over as the dominant sprout. Since there is only moisture coming from what is stored in the tuber, all energy goes into a single sprout. That's why you want to cut the potatoes into smaller pieces as soon as possible, with each piece having at least 2 eyes. Ideally, you'd want to plant the pieces just when the first sign of life appears. With moisture available from the soil, you then can have multiple stems form from a single piece.

    And yes, ordering pre-cut seed pieces is the no-brainer solution for those who can't find the time to do it themselves. If ordering from Gurney's, for example, you get quarter-size half-rounds. Each has a single eye. You plant one and you get a single plant. Some companies make straight cuts and leave 2 eyes per piece.

    Martin
     
  20. mamagoose

    mamagoose Well-Known Member

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    Fine, don't believe me. (2") I didn't leave them go *that* long! They were just starting to sprout. And there really was one per potato except for an occasional twin (may 5-6) out of the whole bag. It was a great price - $11-12 for the 50# bag. I could not figure out why/how they would do this either, except that maybe some people don't like to cut them (rotting? or planting earlier?) and so they didn't want anyone to get more for their money. You ask around when you go to your seed supplier. You can say "some dumb (middle-aged) woman on the"...