Dear Readers,

Have you ever planted store-bought potatoes? I understand there's a disease risk. But is there anyplace online to buy potato starts this time of year? My usual sources are dry. I have some organic new potatoes sprouting in my closet and I want to plant them in my community garden plot (perfectly reasonable thing to do in my climate this time of year). Any thoughts?

Yours truly,

Chuck B.


Ellen said...

Hi, Chuck-

I plant grocery stote potatoes all the time, sometimes uninitentionally, like when I dump old spuds in the compost pile and seasons later I find potato plants growing in odd places.

Yes, grocery store potatoes can introduce potato pathogens into your garden, and once there will impact the productivity of future potato crops, as they cannot be eradicated. For the casual backyard vegetable garden, where you're not depending on high yields for your livelihood or survival, and where you may or may not ever plant potatoes again, I think it's pointless to spend $2-3 per pound for certified seed potatoes.

Should your sprouting spuds harbor pathogens, generally those pathogens will cause a reduction in yield, or some cosmetic imperfections that could render them less marketable, but the potatoes that you harvest will still be edible.

chuck b. said...

Hi Ellen, Thank you very much. I really appreciate your help. Would you be concerned about the possibility of potato pathogens adversely affecting future tomato plants grown in the same soil?

Thanks again.

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