BDN speaks with Garland for article about growing potatoes

The Bangor Daily News spoke with Kate Garland, a horticultural professional with University of Maine Cooperative Extension, for an article about how to grow your own potatoes. The best way to grow a potato is from the cuttings of a sprouting seed potato. These can be purchased from a local nursery, or grown at home by placing potatoes leftover from last season in a warm spot with lots of light to activate the sprouting process, the article states. “You want to work with disease-free seed stock. Don’t use potatoes from the grocery store, we do not recommend that at all. Those can harbor diseases and cause potential problems in your garden,” said Garland, who advised cutting a sprouting potato into segments about an inch or two in size, then planting them shortly after cutting. Potatoes can be planted as early as four to six weeks before the last frost date, but should be stored in a cool, dark, dry spot if you need to wait, according to Garland. “You want to hill up and cover the shoot (with soil) as it develops,” said Garland. “As it grows up, cover the stem so it develops roots and becomes more anchored.”