Guide to growing seed potatoes

 Picking the right potato!

Let’s back up, what is a seed potato?   Seed potatoes aren’t seeds at all, but actual potatoes that are bred specifically for planting. 

There are many varieties of seed potatoes, here are the characteristics of the varieties you’ll find at your local Agriventures Agway.


Early Maturity

Chieftain: High yield. Red skin, white flesh.  Widely adaptable to growing conditions. Mid season maturity (65-80 days to maturity)

Kennebec; Excellent all-purpose potato. Buff skin & white flesh. High yield.  Round to oblong shape. Store well.  Widely adaptive fast growing, midseason maturity (85-95 days to maturity)

Eva: Very similar to Kennebec.  Whit skin, high yield.  Midseason maturity (85-95 days to maturity)

Red Pontiac: Thin red skin & sweet white flesh.  All purpose variety.  Grow well in heavy clay soil.  Midseason maturity (80-90 days to maturity).

Superior: Moderately high yield.  Buff skin & white flesh.  Early season maturity (85-90 days to maturity)  

Russet Burbank: High yield. Smooth tan skin and creamy flesh.  Great for baking and fries.  Late season maturity (85-95 days to maturity)

Goldrush: Medium to large fully russet skin with dry, white flesh.  Great as a classic baked potato and stores well.  Midseason maturity (80-100 days to maturity)


Midseason Maturity

Blue Adirondack: Dark purple skin & flesh.  High yield. Oblong shape.  Early midseason maturity (95-105 days to maturity).  High in antioxidants

Banana Fingerling: Yellow flesh, small banana shape.  Good for boiling, baking and frying, excellent in potato salad.  Late season maturity (90-120 days to maturity)

French Fingerling: Pink skin with bicolor flesh;  Tall, spreading plants, Larger, oval shape. Known for its gourmet flavor and is best boiled or roasted.  Late midseason maturity (90-120 days to maturity)

Dark Red Norland: Red skin, white flesh, round to oblong shape. Excellent for roasting and boiling. Midseason maturity (90-100 days to maturity)

Yukon Gold: Round-oval shaped with this skin and light yellow flesh.  Early midseason maturity (90-110 days to maturity).  Great for any cooking style, stores well.


When to plant

Find a spot in your yard that is fairly sunny where tomatoes, potatoes and other related crops have not grown recently.  Avoid locations with heavy soils, wet or shallow. Potatoes prefer a more acidic soil.

Plant you potatoes in early spring, when the soil temperature reaches about 45 degrees.

For 2-4 weeks before planting, place the seed potatoes in a warm, dry area. This will help produce generous sprouts!

Midseason and late varieties can be planted as late as July 1st!


How to plant

Cut the potato in half (recommend doing this 2 days before planting)

Cut into pieces, each piece must have an eye

Plant 12 inches apart in rows about 3’ apart

Place in the ground with eyes facing up

Planting in raised beds is a great way to ensure good drainage and reduce the risk of disease.


When to harvest:

When the foliage dies off, the potatoes are ready to harvest!

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