seed potatoes

Asked March 28, 2020, 10:12 AM EDT

Every year I buy seed potatoes in early April, but they start to sprout well in-advance of the first available date for planting in Minnesota. What should I do since by the time they can be planted, the sprouts are long and the potato is shriveled (very few grow well or not at all). Can I cut the sprouts and place them in the refrigerator in a sealed plastic bag for a few weeks? Looking forward to your reply. Thank you!

Washington County Minnesota

1 Response

Thanks for your question.

My short response is to discard your existing potatoes with their sprouts and buy new ones in early to mid-May. Here is my thinking. The sprouts you are now seeing are drawing upon the food reserves in the potato itself. Just cutting off the emerging spouts will not address the problem. If you were to plant these potatoes within the near future, I’m sure that you will see some vegetative growth but come August, there will be few potatoes to harvest. There has not been sufficient stored energy. Better to cut your bets now than then.

My suggestion, again, is to toss out all your sprouting potatoes. Buy new ones in about a month or so, and once the full moon occurs in June, plant the potato eyes.

Good Luck!!