A unique and viable approach to establishing local food self-reliance and building stronger communities.

Friday, January 14, 2011

More about Potatoes

This potato has already begun to turn green from exposure to the sun. Don't eat it, plant it!
We had two questions come in about our last potato-planting blog. Here are answers.

Question #1: When is it time to plant potatoes?

Here in the S. Willamette Valley, you can plant them mid-March to mid-June. Depending on the variety you plant, they take 13 to 17 weeks to ripen. You may wish to plant them in succession so you'll have some potatoes to eat fresh and, the later harvests will last longer through the winter. It is likely you'll be able to buy seed potatoes for several months to come but they get more expensive, the longer you wait.

Storage: If you buy them in a plastic bag, transfer them into a cardboard box or paper sack so they don't rot before you get to them.

Question #2: If I buy some organic spuds now, will they grow eyes in time for planting? Do they have to have little eye sprouts? 

Just to clarify: all potatoes already have "eyes". These are the little indentations scattered around the skin of the potato. This is where the "sprouts" emerge from. You do not need to buy potatoes that are already sprouting. They will naturally begin to sprout in a few month's time.

We have written many posts on the art of growing your own potatoes. To read the others, just do a search on our site for "potatoes". The search-window is in the right-hand column of the blog.

Potato leaves, when the first emerge.

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