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Seed Potato Sources

March 22nd, 2011


If you are able to grow good quality potatoes in your garden and don’t have trouble with disease, you can store the best potatoes from your harvest and use them for seed potatoes the following spring. Contrary to what you read in books, you don’t have to buy certified seed potatoes. I have a few varieties that I save from year to year, this is sometimes the only way to guarantee a specific kind of potato. Sometimes the same variety can be slightly different from two different sources. Saving your own seed potatoes does however open the door for possibility of problems, but if you practice good crop rotation and have healthy organic soil you should be OK. Make sure your potatoes grew well during the season and are free of disease, do not attempt to save and replant diseased potatoes or those that didn’t do well in the garden the previous season.

If you’re more comfortable buying fresh seed potatoes each year, by all means do so. You may not have the proper conditions to save your own seed potatoes from year to year. Buying fresh seed potatoes ensures the absence of disease and is a great way to try new varieties each year. It’s also a great way to go if you don’t have the garden space to grow all the potatoes you need for both eating and for seed stock for the next spring.

Eagle Creek Seed Potatoes: Eagle Creek Seed Potatoes is a family farm located near Bowden Alberta where we have growing seed potatoes for the past 23 years. Sadly for Canadian Customers only

Moose Tubers from Fedco has a great selection, but you have to buy early as they only sell potatoes through March 11, they are closed for the season. You can still check out what they have available for next year’s seed potatoes.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds also has a great selection. They have the option of having your seed potatoes shipped extra early for planting in a hoop house (read Eliot Coleman’s The Winter Harvest Handbook.

Grow Organic (aka Peaceful Valley Farm Supply) offers a nice selection of organic potatoes along with all kinds of wonderful organic gardening items from beneficial insects to great books.

Maine Potato Lady – Located in the foothills of Central Maine, the LaCourse Family Farm, home of The Maine Potato Lady™, has been in operation for 20 years. We are primarily seed growers raising garlic, shallots, and potato onions. We have produced all our own vegetables for many years. Our children are involved in the planning, the everyday work, the decisions, and the rewards. They were raised knowing and recognizing not just the types of vegetables, but even the different varieties of what we grow. They are an integral part of this farm; their participation makes it all possible, and brings joy to all we do.

New World Tubers – Specializes in rare and interesting potatoes for the home gardener and homesteader.

Seed Savers Exchange from which I purchased my potato collection last year and was very impressed with the quality. You do have to purchase early though and I notice that they’re sold out of some of their varieties.

Southern Exposure also has a great variety of heirloom seed potatoes. You can buy them individually or in three different mixes.

Territorial Seed Company has a great selection of organic seed potatoes including the option to purchase a collection of potatoes so you can try different kinds.

West Coast Seeds (only in Canada) – specialize in certified organic, non GMO, open pollinated, and heirloom seeds and seed potatoes for organic growing.

Wood Prairie Farm has a great selection of organic seed potatoes in colors, shapes and sizes. They have a collection you can purchase including red, white and blue potatoes.

Do you buy seed potatoes for your garden or do you save them from your crop? Do you have a great source not listed above if you do buy them?

Want to know more about growing your own potatoes? Head on over to the Your Day blog at Ethel to read my in depth article on growing your own potatoes.

23 Comments to “Seed Potato Sources”
  1. kristin @ going country on March 22, 2011 at 6:48 am

    The MiL drives a few hours to northern New York to pick up our seed potatoes at the Cornell potato farm. It’s great for us because they do all the work to find the varieties that will thrive in our climate, and they always have some new, experimental varieties they give us for free to try out. Too bad the New York Times did an article on them this year–too much publicity and too many new people wanting potatoes from them this year. We may not get all the varieties from them we want this year. Oh well. As long as I have my Green Mountains (looong keepers) and Bake Kings (best french fries EVER), I’ll be okay.
    kristin @ going country´s last post ..Luxury

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  2. Melissa on March 22, 2011 at 8:21 am

    I bought seed potatoes to start off with this year but plan on saving potatoes from what I grow to be my growing stock this year. Mine are growing really well right now. I’m going to start another potato planter today. I decided to stagger my planting into two plantings 8 weeks apart so I would have a longer harvest period.
    Melissa´s last post ..Garden Update- March 2011

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  3. Amy Westbeld on March 22, 2011 at 8:30 am

    My Dad buys potatoes but from different places though.

    Amy

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  4. farmgal on March 22, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Hi, I do both, I buy some seed potato’s yearly at our local organic Seedy Saturday sales but I also keep back my own potato’s.

    Add in the fact that we always seem to miss a few at harvest time and they are always the first up and the ones that we pull out first for fresh baby potato’s.

    I was gone for a week one spring and came home and hubby had planted potato’s but wanted more then I had, so he had gone to Canadian Tire for more but somehow forgot and had thrown away what kinds he got, told me ” I got four different ones” So anyway, along comes harvest time and we are digging away, and I scrub and cut into the one potato and its pink inside and my thought is huh, that can’t be good.. next one, pink swirls inside..Finally get on the net.. what the heck can cause pink potato’s.. LOL Yup, he bought and plants pinks, but I didn’t know that, and its a very uncommon potato in our area, never seen it before or again.. but thankfully I kept some back as seed for the next year and they do very well for us.. love the flavor of them.
    farmgal´s last post ..March Challange Week 3

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    • Susy on March 22, 2011 at 3:35 pm

      We too have some that pop up next spring as well when we miss them at harvest.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. risa b on March 22, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Most of what we have we got at Moose awhile back, a red, a Yukon, and a some German Butterball; we’re on about the fifth year of doing our own, moving from spot to spot to try and stay out of trouble. Potatoes are getting a little riskier with the increased moisture, though, seems to us. We keep a BIG sunchoke patch for backup.
    risa b´s last post ..Corporate giants- nuclear experts-apologists- dialogue- and the commons

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  6. trashmaster46 on March 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    The twice I’ve grown potatoes so far, I’d bought potatoes for eating from Farmer’s Market, and saved a couple of the ones I liked best to use as seed. I’ll probably do that this year as well. We’ve only got a small yard with a ton of stuff we want to grow in it, so we don’t need a lot of seed potatoes. Depending on how this year goes, I may try putting some in the “root cellar” this year to see if they keep.
    trashmaster46´s last post ..Recycling a bottle- Flashmob style

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  7. Amy on March 22, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    I’ve never planted potatoes, but I’m thinking I might try this year, either in garbage cans or in wire fencing columns. My ground is too rocky to grow a good tuber, but going vertical should help.

    Reply to Amy's comment

  8. ami on March 22, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Our local grocery store stocks seed potatoes and organic seeds etc. That’s where I got my seed potatoes last year and I’m planning on going there again. I like shopping locally if I can.
    ami´s last post ..Yarn Love-Superwash Merino-Fairy Tale

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  9. Lynda on March 22, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I buy most of my seed potatoes from Ronniger’s. They have at least a 100 if not more varieties to choose from. I purchase over 20 lbs of seed potatoes a year from them…I’ve been growing potatoes for over 30 years. I can get almost ANY potatoe I’ve ever heard of from them. I also save my own seed potatoes from my harvest. I grow about 15-20 different vairieties….storage russets, red, purple, white, blue, fingerlings. I also grow potatoes year round…I live in the Northern end of the Sacramento Valley.
    Lynda´s last post ..Wordless Wednesday

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  10. Angela on March 22, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    I LOVE potatoes and wish I had the space to grow them. Our space is small and we mainly grow veggies in containers. Some day I’ll have space for a potato patch and will refer back to this post for growing tips. Love the pictures!

    p.s. If you have any potato dish recipes you’d like to post, I sure would love to see them!

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  11. Amy @ Homestead Revival on March 22, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    I buy from Seed Savers and I learned last year that you need to place your order early! They will ship and charge you later, so write it on your calendar each year for January and you’re set! However, this year I hope to save some for planting again next year. I did’t order enough last year and we ate the all because they were SOOOOO GOOD! (Yukon Gold and French Fingerlings – this year we’re repeating these and adding Purple Viking).
    Amy @ Homestead Revival´s last post ..Give Away- Pioneer Drying Rack!

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    • Susy on March 22, 2011 at 1:38 pm

      The Purple Viking are great, we’re still eating on some of them. We enjoyed the French Fingerlings as well!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  12. Diana on March 22, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    I order my seed ‘taters from Ronniger’s…in Jan. before they even had the new catalogs out ’cause I like certain kinds that always get sld out early!! We do buy some local Yukon Golds to put in with the St. Patricks day peas but don’t like to put the main crops in real early as it just doesn’t cool down here in the south early enough to keep them well. We will plant end of June for main crop to finish late Sept. We grow under straw as fall rains make dirty/rotten potatoes here so this way you just lift up for your potato surprizes! I love harvesting potatoes! DEE

    Reply to Diana's comment

    • Susy on March 22, 2011 at 3:36 pm

      Harvesting potatoes is like a treasure hunt with lots of OOOOs, and AAAAAHs – especially when you find a huge one!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  13. WendyM on March 22, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Hi Susy,

    I have been getting a potato sampler from Tom Wagner (the breeder of Green Zebra tomato), the variety is amazing mostly not yet released or available elsewhere. I grew 14 varieties last year and this year I have tubers of each variety that I saved plus a new sampler with 16 more to try. You can look at his newly created potato and tomato seed store: http://newworldcrops.com/wp/shop/potatoes/

    Also last year I got introduced to growing potato from true potato seed which is so much fun!

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  14. Roberta on March 23, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Those are some very pretty potatoes, my friend. An inspiring post, I need to get out there and plant my own!

    Reply to Roberta's comment

  15. nic@nipitinthebud on March 23, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    this will be my first year growing potatoes from last years seed potatoes. I stored them in egg boxes in the cellar and over the winter some went really chit crazy producing really long alien like tendrils. Sadly those varieties are not useable as the energy in the poor little shrivelled up potato is entirely spent. The ones that fared best and still look as pristine as the day I dug them up are sadly the most flavourless ones (Peruvian Purples). I’ll still be growing them though as their such an amazing colour and really liven up a potato salad.
    http://nipitinthebud.wordpress.com/2010/10/07/makingpurple-potato-salad/
    nic@nipitinthebud´s last post ..wordless wednesday

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  16. Candie on March 23, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    YAY thanks for the post!! Im so excited to learn more about this!!

    Reply to Candie's comment

  17. Marsha on March 24, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    This will be my first year growing potatoes. I purchased some golden potatoes a couple months ago from a nearby farmer and saved a few to try and replant. Instead of planting in ground, I’ve been entertaining the idea of potato grow bags. Rather than buying them, I am going to sew some using black landscaping fabric.
    Marsha´s last post ..Our Newest Addition to the Family

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  18. Bill Brikiatis on August 25, 2011 at 8:33 am

    I’ve been thinking about planting seed potatoes in the late fall for extra early potatoes in the spring. I haven’t heard of anyone in zone 5 doing this and wanted to know what you think? I find that I need to water a lot and potato vines don’t do very well when it gets to the middle of summer. The potatoes are too small to harvest by that time, but it’s just too hot for potatoes to grow well, especially if they are in raised beds. What do you think, will it work? Are there some varieties that do well in warm, dry conditions?
    Bill Brikiatis´s last post ..How to Store Potatoes

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  19. Deb Michel on October 16, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Last summer I tried growing potatoes in grow bags I made from big Costco bags sewn together, but over watered and they all rotted. I’ll try straw if I can, next!

    Reply to Deb Michel's comment

    • Susy on October 16, 2011 at 11:04 am

      Yes, potatoes can be picky about too much water!

      Reply to Susy's comment

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