Growing Potatoes

Here are some simple steps to a winning potato harvest!

Potatoes are grown from tubers known as seed potatoes and can be purchased at Buckerfield's in early spring.

For an earlier and a higher yield crop, sprout potatoes 3-4 weeks before planting them, by placing them in a cool unheated room, out of direct sunlight.

Planting:

Potatoes should not be planted in the same spot every year.

  • Prepare the garden bed by loosening the soil and adding a layer of compost.
  • Plant in well-drained soil in full sun. Fertilize with a low nitrogen all- purpose vegetable food.
  • Plant potatoes in individual holes or in rows 12 cm(6”) deep, with sprouts facing upwards. Space 30 cm (12”) apart and leave 60 cm (24”) between rows.
  • Cover with at least 2.5 cm soil.
  • When leaves start emerging, hill the soil up against the plants and repeat about three weeks later.
  • Be sure to provide adequate water during the growing season.

Harvesting:

  • Harvest new potatoes about 10 weeks after planting when small for best flavor. Cook and enjoy!
  • Harvest winter keepers after the vines have died and before the first frost.
  • Once mature, potatoes should be left in the ground for a couple of weeks allowing the skins to properly set, increasing their storage ability.
  • Store in burlap, paper or cardboard boxes in a dark, cool, dry, well-ventilated area. Keep from freezing. Avoid storing in plastic materials as these promote moisture and potatoes could rot.
  • Early potatoes do not keep as well as later main crops.

Seed Potato Favorites

100 % Certified Canadian Seed Potatoes

Bintje

Color: Yellow skin / yellow flesh /medium sized potatoes

Season: Main crop

Excellent cooking and fry qualities

Desiree

Color: Red skin / yellow flesh / medium sized potatoes

Season: Mid-season

Wonderful for baking and lovely mashed

Kennebec

Color: white skin / white flesh / large sized potatoes

Season: Mid-season, excellent storage, high yielding

Harvest: 120-130 days

Great for fries, chips, boiling and baking.

Norchip

Color: white flesh

Season: early maturing, mid-season

Excellent chipping, good cooking qualities

 

Norland

Color: red skin / white flesh / large sized potatoes

Season: early maturing / mid-season

Harvest: 70-80 days, excellent storage

Excellent for boiling / frying, fair for baking

Red Pontiac

Color: red skin / white flesh / large sized potatoes

Season: mid-season

Harvest: 120-130 days, high yielding, excellent storage.

Great for baking, boiling, mashing and french fries.

 

Russet Burbank (Netted Gem)

Color: Russet skin / white flesh / large sized potatoes

Season: late main crop, good storage, high yielding

Harvest: 120-130 days

Excellent for boiling, baking, french fries or chipping.

 

Warba

Color: white skin / white flesh with pink eyes / large sized potatoes

Season: earliest of all varieties, high yielding

Harvest: 80-90 days

Great for boiling or baking

Yukon Gold

Color: light skin / yellow flesh / medium sized potatoes

Season: mid-season

Harvest: 90-120 days, excellent storage

Great for boiling, baking and french fries.

Specialty Gourmet Potatoes

Buckerfield’s offer unique varieties of seed potatoes that are 100% Canadian certified seed. Some varieties are:

  • Russian Blue: blue-purple skin and flesh with a nutty taste.
  • French Fingerling: cranberry red skin, yellow flesh marbled with red, delicious nutty flavor.
  • Seiglinde: golden yellow skin and flesh, creamy taste.
  • Banana: yellow skin and flesh, buttery taste.

Growing potatoes in containers

Container gardening isn't only for gardeners with limited space, but for gardeners who want to maximize their yields in a smaller space.

Select and prepare a container

The larger the container the more potatoes you will be able to produce.

  • Use a 50 gallon barrel, a large trash can, a half whiskey barrel, or purchase a potato planter. Just about any 2 to 3-foot tall container will work.
  • Good drainage is critical for the cultivation of healthy potatoes so you'll want to cut or drill a series of large drainage holes in the bottom and bottom sides of your container.
  • Alternatively, you can cut out the bottom altogether and place it on a well-drained surface like your garden bed, or place the barrel on blocks, above the ground.

Choose your favorite seed potato and plant

  • Fill in the bottom of your container with about 6 inches of loose planting mix and compost. Place seed potatoes on the top layer of soil, about 6 inches apart.
  • You can use the potato whole or cut into smaller pieces leaving a few eyes or sprouts on each piece. Loosely cover the potatoes with 6 inches of your soil and compost mix.
  • Water thoroughly, being careful not to overwater.
  • Place container in a spot with full sun.
  • When the sprouts have grown to about 6 to 8 inches, add another layer of soil and compost mix covering about one-half to three-quarters of the visible stems and foliage.
  • Repeat this process of allowing the sprouts to grow and then covering the sprouts with soil and moistening the soil as the plants grow up toward the top of the barrel.

Harvesting Potatoes

The plants will flower indicating that you have growing potatoes. When the plant turns yellow and dies back, your potatoes are ready to harvest.

  • You can simply harvest your potatoes by tipping over the barrel and sifting through the soil.
  • Cook and enjoy!

Have more questions? Visit your local Buckerfield's and we'll be happy to help!

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