Don’t Plant Store-Bought Potatoes!

Chalk this up under the “I told you so” category?

So, I had a few red potatoes in the pantry this spring that I had bought from the grocery store. At potato-planting time, they were too mushy to eat but had developed very healthy looking sprouts, and rather than throwing them away, I decided to plant them.

Sure, the people who sell certified seed potatoes tell you that planting store-bought potatoes is a bad idea. But, I figured that was mere scare-tactics.

Maybe it’s scare-tactics and maybe it isn’t. But one thing is for sure. My store-bought potatoes were infected with brown leaf spot (Photo B), a fungal disease very similar to early blight (photo A):

Early blight and brown leaf spot

The upside? I saved $1.50 by not buying certified potatoes. Woohoo! Watch me zoom! The downside? I lost a huge chunk of my yearly potato harvest and lost 3 hours in the garden destroying plants and quarantining 12 large wheelbarrow loads of gardening medium.

Neither a good bargain nor a good decision. I’m not claiming that certified potatoes are safer. But, I can say that I won’t be using store-bought potatoes for planting¬† again.

1 thought on “Don’t Plant Store-Bought Potatoes!

  1. We did plant a sprouts from store bought taters this year, but so far they don’t seem to even be coming up. Bought some from a local grower and we are trying them. Will let you know if we see anything (positive or negative) about either group.

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