Potatoes for planting in spring

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I am aware that you let potatoes sprout and cut them using the "eyes" to start your potato plants. If I let potatoes sprout now can they be kept until spring for planting? I live in a cold climate. How do I keep them for planting in spring and what if they freeze, will they still be ok for planting.

I have done this before, but always in a warm climate where you could get the potatoes, sprout and plant them within a reasonable time. I am concerned that I need to have the potatoes before the end of the year, and not sure how to hold them so they are viable for planting in spring. Please help!! Betty

-- Betty Gallagher (comanche6@earthlink.net), November 27, 1999


Store your seed potatoes just like you were storing your eating potatoes; cool, dark, and slightly damp place. You don't want to let them sprout until it gets close planting time, so about 2 weeks or so before planting, move them to a warmer spot with light.

I don't know where you can buy seed potatoes at this time of the year, but you probably can use the potaotes you have stored for eating for seed next year, if need be.I use the same ones each year and have for years; in the spring I select some from my stored ones, and treat them as above.

-- Marci (ajourend@libby.org), November 28, 1999.

OK...no comments about my housekeeping...however- I had some eating potatoes sprouting in my frig for a long time, probably 5 months or so. When I finally got around to them, the sprouts were 3-4 inches long. I stuck them on my 3 season porch, just to experiment, and about a month after that, planted them. They did just fine!!! Sue

-- Sue Landress (Sulandherb@aol.com), November 28, 1999.

Ronnigers (or whatever they call themselves now) used to offer potatoes for seed in the fall for people who needed to plant them earlier in the season than they could safely ship them. I would assume they still do this, but it might be too late in the fall to ship them without danger of freezing.

-- Jim (jiminwis@yahoo.com), November 29, 1999.

Re: Ronningers for potatoes. They are still called Ronningers but now his ordering is done out of Washinton but most of the crop is still grown in Idaho, (just up the road from me). They don't ship this late in the year though.

-- Marci (ajourend@libby.org), November 30, 1999.

The "old" Ronniger's is now known as "Irish Eyes with a Hint of Garlic". They merged last year with another company and now offer garlic, shallots, etc as well as potatoes. You can contact them at or visit their web site at . By the way, frozen p[otatoes, whether for eating or planting, are pretty much compost. But I wonder, why do you want to get your potatoes for planting now rather than in the spring? More good info - another very good source for potato sets is "Fedco". They're in Maine, as am I, and they have a really good catalog of many sets, including potato sets. It's a co-op, so prices are pretty reasonable. They have no e-mail address that I know of, having not yet joined the 20th century (21st, and next millennium, doesn't happen for a year or so!). You can get the catalog by writing to Fedco Seeds, PO Box 520, Waterville, Maine 04903, or by calling 207-873-7333. It's well worth the 33 cents or the call. New subject. If you like heirloom tomatoes, I am a member of the SEED SAVER'S EXCHANGE, as you should be, and I will send heirloom tomato seeds (I only have about 20 varities) to anyone who is interested in heirlooms. Good gardening! Brad

-- Brad Traver (homefixer@mix-net.net), January 03, 2000.

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