Hummingbird House The Garden Helper
No-dash-here, you've found The Real Garden Helper! Gardening on the Web since 1997
vine bar
Wild Willy
 

ATTN: Idaho - What is a SEED POTATO?

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
« Prev thread: attention tea drinkers| Next thread: Aubergine wilting »
Back to Thread index
by Patty S on October 16, 2005 12:28 AM
It's been said that, "The only stupid questions are the ones you don't ask" so here I am, wondering: Exactly what is a "seed potato"? I know its not a "type" of potato (such as Russets, Whites, Reds, Yukons, etc.), because after having been planted & then harvested, you don't end up with more "seed potatoes" but rather, you end up with Russets, Whites, ...or whatever! So, where do seed potatoes come from? My guess is that every plant produces some smaller "spuds" that have more eyes (per inch or something like that), which it somehow intends to be used for the next season's plantings. How close am I?
Q #2: Can't you just use a regular potato (from the produce dept.) & plant those eye sections? (I've done this when my requests for "seed potatoes" have been met with sideway glances, indicating that people think I'm a crazy person... but, not all those sections have produced plants, & the yield is usually low at harvest time.) What about using the ones from the basement steps that grow sprouts after a couple months?
While I'm at it, Q #3: are "Bakers" a specific type of potato, or simply the biggest ones from the harvest that get designated for baking?

 -

* * * *
 -
 -
by peppereater on October 16, 2005 12:50 AM
Patty...I believe "seed potato" just means a potato that is intended for planting as opposed to eating. You normally cut them into several pieces, making sure there are several "eyes" on each section, and spread them out to dry for a couple days before planting. Seed potatoes are recommended over using produce types because they are supposed to be free of disease spores and stuff. Lots of people, especially old timers, do use food potatoes that have begun to sprout, and have good success.
As far as I know, a baker is typically a russett potato...they have skins that hold up well when cooked, and good texture, and the bakers are the larger size of these.
by peppereater on October 16, 2005 12:56 AM
Oh, and as for the little spuds you mention, I once ordered some "yellow Finn" potatoes, supposed to be the best flavored, better than Yukon Gold. They touted the starts as something like fingerlings, or some such term, that were supposed to be far superior for high yields, etc. That year saw the worst drought I have ever experienced, and my whole garden was a total disaster, so I can't conclude a thing about their claims, but those "seed potatoes" were about the size of my thumb.
by Jiffymouse on October 16, 2005 12:59 AM
patty, i'm going to try to answer your questions...
quote:
Originally posted by Patty S:
... Exactly what is a "seed potato"? ...
a seed potato is one that has been allowed to grow eyes, then is cut into sections with several eyes on each potato section, then the sections are allowed to dry so as to prevent rot before planting.

...#2: Can't you just use a regular potato (from the produce dept.) & plant those eye sections? (I've done this when my requests for "seed potatoes" have been met with sideway glances, indicating that people think I'm a crazy person... but, not all those sections have produced plants, & the yield is usually low at harvest time.) What about using the ones from the basement steps that grow sprouts after a couple months? ...

yes, you can (on both questions), and yes, sometimes the harvest is low. but, if you keep some of those that do grow for the next year, you might have better luck. lots of times, the potatoes in the grocery store are like other veggies and have been sprayed to prevent sprouting.

#3: are "Bakers" a specific type of potato, or simply the biggest ones from the harvest that get designated for baking?

"bakers" are usually russet (idaho or irish) potatoes that have been allowed to get larger than the ones you would want to peel for mashed potatoes. there are a few others that are used as bakers, but russetts are the most popular.

"new potatoes" refers to potatoes that are no bigger than a tennis ball, and are usually a type like red potatoes that grow round rather than long.

hope this helps!
by Jiffymouse on October 16, 2005 01:01 AM
peppereater, we were answering together!

i took the rest of this post to banter hall under hijacked post
by Tamara from Minnesota on October 20, 2005 07:58 AM
This year I planted my potatoes (I am from a potato town -even though not from Idaho. We have a "spud fest" every year!) from my own seed potatoes. The potatoes I stored last winter started sprouting and I let them go and by the time spring came they were wrinkly and soft but they all grew excellent potatoes. I don't see why I should ever buy seed potatoes again! I have bought them from Pinetree seeds in the past. I like their all red potato a lot! [thumb] and I grow the blue and yukon gold and this year also fingerling. They were pretty prolific. [Wink]

* * * *
 -

Active Garden Forum

« Prev thread: attention tea drinkers| Next thread: Aubergine wilting »
Back to Thread index

Other articles you might like: