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My Potatoes Have Started to Sprout, Can I Plant Them in My Garden and Grow My Own?

Q:

I have a bag of potatoes, grown in Idaho, and the "eyes" are starting to sprout. I live in Massachusetts and would like to grow my own potatoes in my garden. If I cut the potatoes up and plant them, will new potatoes grow?

A:

We get this very question on occasion in the spring, and the short answer is "not really". The reason is this...Potato farmers apply a very small amount of "Sprout Nip" to potatoes, prior to and sometimes while in storage. This substance serves to prevent potato sprouting, a common occurrence, however visually unappealing to some people. For this reason (although potatoes may begin to sprout anyway), this growth is not dependable enough to count on for garden planting. Rather, look online to order planting-ready seed potatoes. As for the sprouting potatoes you have on hand – just knock off and discard the sprouts and prepare the potatoes as you like, and thank you for choosing Idaho® potatoes!

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