Can potatoes from the grocery store grow?

ezzirah011(7a)July 2, 2010

I was wondering and got in a friendly argument with someone that I was hoping everyone on the board could help with. Can you take potatoes from the grocery store, let them get "eyes" and have them grow potatoes?


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Yes, I do it all the time! They generally do get sprayed with a retardant that keeps them from sprouting sooner, but it won't stop them.
Had one come up in a compost pile from a peeling this year, it produced a fist sized tater!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 7:29PM
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Thank you! I decided to grow some potatoes for the fall garden and decided too late to buy seed potatoes.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 7:43AM
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I store store bought baking potatoes in ziploc bags and they are constantly sprouting roots.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 6:18PM
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yes!! i grew some this year! i asked myself the same question and i decided to put a few stor bought russet potatoes into the ground and they grew just fine!!! (they grew small potatoes sadly because i wasnt there to take care of them for a while) bottom line...yes they can and will grow!

i had a cabbage grow like that. i threw it into the compost and it grew. fascinating!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 3:59PM
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I saw an show in TV recently about growing potatoes that made an interesting point. Whenever I had a few potatoes that got to shriveled to be used, I would cut them into chunks with at least one eye to each, and then plant them.

I forget which show it was on, but the guy said that it was better not to cut them up. He said that when you cut them up, it encourages faster rotting of the potato while the plant is getting starting. He said that if you left the potato whole it did not rot nearly as quickly, which gave the plant more nutrients to get started faster until it has a full root system.

I normally buy medium sized red potatoes. I normally put 2 chunks in each container to grow, so the final number would not be much different, unless you were starting with large baking potatoes.

I grow them in cardboard boxes. The box will normally last long enough for a good crop of small new potatoes to develop. I pick up a few cardboard boxes at the grocery whenever I see them putting up stock, and they have some large empty boxes. The ones that paper towels come it are large and work perfect for potatoes or mulching over grass to kill it.

I fill the box with about 1 foot of composted leaves and then plant the potato, then cover it with another inch or so of leaf mold. As the vine begins to grow, I continue adding more leaf mold to cover the vines so that only the top 3 inches or so of leaves are exposed. Once the box is full and the plant has started growing well, I water it with soluble fertilizer about once per week. By the time the box is falling apart, you simply pull the sides off to get the new potatoes, and then put the rotting cardboard and leaf mold back on the compost pile. I grow them a few feet from my compost pile, so they take almost no effort.

1 Like    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 12:07PM
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When is the best time to plant potatoes? AND, could you not just put potting soil in the cardboard box?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2010 at 12:22AM
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Thanks gtippitt, that box method is a good idea.
Just wondering when you say "vines" are you talking about sweet potatoes ?

    Bookmark   October 16, 2010 at 7:03PM
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I love the cardboard box idea! I am going to have to do that!

yes, potting soil would work...

    Bookmark   November 6, 2010 at 7:48AM
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Store bought potatoes are more likely to have potato diseases then ones grown for planting. (Would it be the potato blight?) I prefer not to take the chance of contaminating my garden. Also, I enjoy growing blue/purple potato which are not in my local grocery stores.
If it works for you the potatoes will grow. They may not be as good to grow because they were bred to grow the way the grocery stores want them. Despite this, it is your choice.

Also, I think I will try the cardboard box idea this year. It sounds amazing.

I hope that you enjoy your homegrown potatoes.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2015 at 4:56PM
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You might be on the alert for people selling potatoes at farmer's markets or roadside stands; just ask them if they grew the potatoes themselves, or if the potatoes were grown commercially.

I did read a sad potato story in a rose book;
author Liz Drouett, a garden writer & organic rose grower, heard that pioneers would stick rose cuttings in a potato & carry them across the continent to their new homes. & it worked!

She tried it & every cutting shriveled & turned black.

An older gardener clued her in:
you have to use potatoes that don't have the growth retardant.
    Bookmark   February 16, 2015 at 5:37PM
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Store bought potatoes have growth retardant in them? Then we eat them? They're trying to kill us.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2015 at 5:48PM
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purslanegarden(Zone 8)

Yes when you buy bread from a fresh bakery and see how quickly it deteriorates and begins having mold, you get a better understanding for all the preservatives we eat all the time.

That's why some people want more organic foods or foods that they grow on their own.

In the meantime, though, I've always just put in about 1/2 or all of the potatoes I get from the grocery stores. Even though each eye could be a new plant by itself, but I like the plant to have whatever nutrition it can get from the potato while it begins its new life.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2015 at 4:25PM
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