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growing store bought potatoes  RSS feed

 
Gilbert Fritz
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Judging from results online, this is definitely possible. I want to plant 450 potatoes, and there is no way I can afford that many seed potatoes.

Anybody had experiences, good or bad, with this?

What is your opinion on the sprouting inhibitors that are used? I have heard that they are pretty terrible, but if the potatoes sprout (which they seem to do) it can't be too terribly toxic once in the soil, right? (I certainly would not eat them!)
 
Miles Flansburg
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Before I knew that they were spayed I used to plant potatoes this way. Never bought a seed potato.
They seemed to grow fine and made some really good potatoes. But I still have no idea if I poisoned myself or not.
So I will wait for others to answer that.
 
Gilbert Fritz
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And, of course, the resulting potatoes should still be better than standard store bought, in any case! But I would like some hard data on what is used, and the dangers, etc.
 
Eric Thompson
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Sure - get some nice potatoes you like -- organic are more likely to be without anti-sprout stuff.

My red potatoes came out of 70# from a dumpster 4 years ago. Since then, I can quickly plant, not worry about care or optimizing harvest size, and I still get all I want plus many left in the ground for next year plus a bunch sprouting out the next spring for more planting...
 
Landon Sunrich
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I've been on both the supply and demand side of store potatoes. Generally I can find cheap organic Potatoes around too. Potatoes almost always start going green when they're under florescence quickly. I'd scope out the organic isle and the make a complaint to the produce manager about how some of his organic potatoes are going green then see if you can get those at half price or for free.
 
Miles Flansburg
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Landon Sunrich wrote: Potatoes almost always start going green when they're under florescence quickly.


Thanks Landon, I didn't know that.
 
Gilbert Fritz
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I could try that: look at all these horrible potatoes! I might try flapping around a scientific looking paper on the dangers of solanine, if that is the right compound. Then he might wonder why I wanted them!
 
Landon Sunrich
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Miles Flansburg wrote:

Thanks Landon, I didn't know that.


Yeah, Yuks go the quickest while russets hold off the longest. Thinner skinned varieties start turning color within a couple of days some times. If you find the produce guy grilling you on why you want the potatoes if they look so shabby there are a few tacks you can try the least confrontational one is to explain that your making a cream of potato soup and would be happy to just peel the potatoes a little more vigorously rather than see them go to waste, what with them becoming unsightly and poisonous due to their exposure to light.

edit: added word to complete sentence
 
oliver moss
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Some I've tried in the past really didn't grow at all. Things may be different in the US (I'm in the UK) but I think ones that sold as 'new potatoes' are probably not treated with sprout suppressant, but I decided that any 'old or maincrop' ones bought in the spring probably have. You should be ok with organic ones anyway
I always grow some of my own saved ones now and they generally do better than the bought 'seed potatoes' in fact I've often found that certified seed potatoes have evidence of disease on them including blight !!
 
Landon Sunrich
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I've also dealt with seed potatoes with obvious scab and the like. Lame. I've never had a problem getting store bought spuds to sprout. I just put them in a paper bag and stash them someplace dark like in a cabinet under the counter.
 
John Polk
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I'm wondering that if it is just a spray-on treatment, a good scrub with running water and a vegetable brush should be enough to neutralize whatever it is that they spray on.

I do know that I have had many potatoes, towards the end of the sack, begin to sprout on their own. So, it is probably just a mild treatment just so they don't begin sprouting before you buy them. The typical shopper would probably look for potatoes that have no sprouts. We, on the other hand, would be looking for sprouting spuds. LOL
 
oliver moss
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I think maybe they don't do it as much now. If they've been cold-stored then there's probably no need. I haven't had to buy any for years now so I'm a bit out of touch.
 
Justin Deri
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I'd like to step back a bit...why 450 potatoes? Is it based on number of feet you want to plant? Are you aware that you can cut potatoes to about the size of an egg? Assuming your planting about one foot apart and at about 2 oz per potato seed/piece, that is about 56 pounds of potato. I think I can buy a 50# bag of conventional seed potato for about $23 and around $55 for oraganic from potato suppliers.

Personally, I'd avoid store potatoes. Not only might they be sprayed to prevent sprouting, also you have no level of assurance that they're free of disease. Certified seed potato is really the best way to go.
 
Gilbert Fritz
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450 based on desired yield. And yes, I am cutting them. The only problem was that I spent 10 dollars for ten seed potatoes, and only two of them were big enough to cut. (Much smaller then eggs, and with only a couple of sprouts per potato.) And that was without shipping, since I got them at a local garden center. Prices online seemed to be about that much, too.

I bought some store potatoes and cut them up; 10 dollars for enough potatoes to plant 80 pieces. So 80 versus 12. The store potatoes I bought were organic, and healthy looking; they had already started to sprout. Even if only half of them grow, I would still be coming out ahead.

And given my luck, I would buy the expensive seed, and then get a disease anyway, and have wasted lots of money. At least this way there will be no great loss. Maybe in future years where I am very experienced in growing potatoes, and are depending on them more, I might buy certified seed.
 
Justin Deri
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$10 for 10 potatoes is pretty expensive. You can also ask the garden supply place if you can just buy a 50# bag for a discount. Another benefit of buying seed potato is you can get varieties that you just can't find in the store. I love growing potatoes and I hope you enjoy your season! Best of luck!
 
Gilbert Fritz
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Hello Justin,

Thanks for your advice! I am out of time this season, but I will try that next year.

And yes, I did buy a few seed potatoes. On of the reasons was that I could get a blue potato that way! If I could even find a blue potato in the store, it would be just as expensive as the blue seed potato!
 
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