Tips for Storing Seed Potatoes for Next Year’s Planting

Potatoes are a staple crop and are commonly grown commercially. Today, commercial potato growers use USDA-certified seed potatoes for planting to reduce disease incidence. At the time, there was no such certified seed, so how did people store seed potatoes and what are the best conditions for storing them?

Can I save the seed potatoes for next year?

There are many schools of thought regarding the conservation of seed potatoes for next year’s planting. Many people say that only USDA-certified seed potatoes should be used. This will be the most direct route to a healthy, disease-free seed potato crop, but these seed potatoes can also be quite expensive.

Although it is a cheaper idea, it is not recommended to try to use supermarket potatoes as seed, as they are treated with chemicals to prevent them from germinating during storage, so they are unlikely to germinate after planting.

So, yes, you can save your own seed potatoes to plant the following year. Commercial growers tend to use the same fields year after year, which increases the risk of tuber disease. The home gardener

Using your own seed potatoes, it would be wise to rotate your potato crops, or any other member of the Solanaceae family (including areomatoes and eggplants) if possible. Maintaining a weed-free zone around the plants will also help delay disease, as will planting in rich, well-drained organic soil.

How to save your own potato seed

Your seed potatoes will need a rest period before planting. The rest period induces sprouting, but improper storage can precipitate premature sprouting. Temperature flows can precipitate these premature sprouts, so it is important to store your seed potatoes properly.

Harvest the potatoes you want to use next year as seed potatoes and brush them, do not wash them, do not soil them. Place them in a cool, dry place at about 50 F. (10 C.). Three to four weeks before planting, place the potatoes in a brighter place, such as a sunny window or under a growing light. Seed potatoes should be stored at a high moisture content during this period. Covering them with wet burlap bags will also help to start sprouting.

Small seed potatoes can be planted whole, but large potatoes must be cut. Each piece of seed should contain at least two or three eyes and weigh about 2 ounces. Plant in rich, well-drained soil with an all-purpose fertilizer applied to the top 6 cm of soil. Most people plant seed potatoes in the hills, and it is a good idea to apply a thick layer of organic mulch (grass clippings, straw or newspaper) around the plants. The hills should be 10 to 12 cm apart in rows of 30 to 36 cm. Water the hill well each week – about 1 to 2 cm of water at the base of the plant.

For best results using your own seed potatoes, it is essential to store them properly, allowing the tubers time to rest. Select potato varieties that have been tested and proven, such as the inherited varieties that our grandparents grew and stored regularly for their own seed.

Practice crop rotation, especially if the plot was planted with a member of the Solanaceae family within the last three years.

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