Every year I grow potatoes and even though every store in Indiana that sells seed also sells seed potatoes, I meet few people locally who plant potatoes. Possibly this is because my results are typical. If I plant one potato set I get from one to three potatoes. This isn’t good potato country, potatoes like low humidity and cooler temperatures and good drainage. In my garden, just about the time the second flush of potatoes is forming and the crop is about to multiply by a factor of three, the plants die back.
I have two solutions to this problem. First, I can buy top quality Russet Burbank potatoes averaging a pound each from Webster Potato Company in Rigby, Idaho. This year the price was $15 for 50 pounds and I had an extra checked bag available from Greyhound. That’s the easiest way to grow potatoes — buy them from the supplier and you get better potatoes for about half the price of the individually wrapped steak fry and baking spuds in the stores. Next time you are in Rigby don’t forget to stop in at Webster Potato Company.
As for growing potatoes here in my Indiana swamp garden, I have accepted that three potatoes per plant is about the best I will do, and I’m working with that. Last year I planted five pounds of Yukon sets in a four foot wide bed with a spacing of only six inches and dug 30 pounds of good potatoes as soon as the plants wilted in the July heat. That’s worth the effort and the potatoes were delicious.