How to Buy Seed Potatoes


Growing your own potatoes gives you the ability to try any variety you wish, many of which you will never find in a grocery store. You can plant whole seed potatoes, if they are small. If you are using larger potatoes, cut them in sections with two or three eyes on each cut part. Once cut, the exposed surface must callus before planting, a process that may take up to a week, advises Ed Hume Seeds. You should buy seed potatoes based on the type of potato you want to grow, along with other factors, like space and culinary needs.

Step 1

Choose where you will purchase the seed potatoes. Buy from a reputable seed catalog, online source or local garden center.

Step 2

Calculate the space available for potatoes in your garden area. Grow potatoes 12 to 17 inches apart in rows 2 to 2 1/2 feet apart. Calculate how many potatoes you typically use every week. Determine the number of seed potatoes to grow based on how many you need and how much space you have. Seed potatoes are divided into two to four pieces; take this into account when calculating how many potatoes to plant. Each potato plant yields 2 to 10 potatoes.

Step 3

Read seed catalogs and websites for seed catalogs to research different varieties. Decide what varieties you like and would fit your culinary needs; choose potato types based on the type of dishes you prepare. Some varieties have a creamier texture, while others have a firmer texture. Use creamier potatoes, like the Russet variety, in salads or for pan frying. Use firmer potatoes, like the Yukon Gold, for mashing and baking.

Step 4

Purchase seed potatoes in late January. For best results, purchase only potatoes certified to be free from disease. Select healthy looking, uniformly colored potatoes the size of an egg if you are choosing them individually from a local garden center. Healthy seed potatoes do not have black or soft spots.


  • "Mother Earth News": When and How to Plant Potatoes
  • North Dakota State University: Guidelines for Seed Potato Selection, Handling and Planting
  • Ed Hume Seeds: Potatoes are Easy to Grow Vegetables
  • Michigan State University Extension: Potato Production for the Home Gardener
Keywords: buy seed potatoes, selecting seed potatoes, growing potatoes

About this Author

Sommer Sharon has a bachelor's degree in IT/Web management from the University of Phoenix and owns a Web consulting business. With more than 12 years of experience in the publishing industry, her work has included "Better Homes and Gardens," "Ladies' Home Journal," "MORE," "Country Home," "Midwest Living," and "American Baby." Sharon now contributes her editorial background by writing for several Internet publications.