how to tell the difference in potato types

Asked February 23, 2018, 8:49 AM EST

Hi. I know there's a difference between determinate and indeterminate varieties of potatoes. Is there a way to tell in looking at the eye or sprout? I have several old potatoes of unknown/forgotten variety beginning to sprout that I would like to plant. I do know that one should only plant certified seed potatoes, and I will try that again this year (although last year I had such a poor harvest). But I would like to plant what I have now. And I'll need to know whether to "hill up" or not. In my naivety I am assuming that hilling up wouldn't hinder the growth of determinate potatoes; it would just make them harder to harvest. But hilling would increase the yield of indeterminate potatoes, so it's best to hill when one doesn't know the variety. Thank you as always for your advice.

Baltimore Maryland

1 Response

You cannot tell if a potato variety is indeterminate or determinate by looking at an eye or sprout. Most potatoes that we grow are determinate. Some varieties such as Russet are indeterminate but not widely planted.
We do not recommend planting potatoes from a grocery store due to a symptomless carrier of disease such as late blight.
When planting seed potatoes, plant 3-4 inches deep in good soil. Pull the soil around the base of the plants once they start growing. Hill up once and use a good mulch such as straw. Here is more information information on potatoes