Yes—and it’s easy!“Chitting,” also known as green-sprouting or sun-sprouting, is the process whereby seed potatoes are exposed to sunlight and form a hard green sprout. This process gives the potato a head start when it comes time to put them in the soil. The formation of sprouts that happen during the chitting process will help encourage a strong start to your EarthApples crop. This means you could be eating delicious fresh potatoes about two to three weeks earlier than normal.
We recommend you approach variety selection based on what you intend to do with the potatoes. For example, if French fries is your goal, then you should try to select a variety with a high starch content such as Lady Amarilla. This will ensure you get a beautiful crispy fry with a fluffy golden centre. If you are looking for a splash of colour on your plate when entertaining guests with home cooked meals then varieties such as Jazzy, Rosemarie, or Purple Magic are excellent choices.
Yes! EarthApples seed potatoes are surprisingly easy to grow in a garden or on a balcony. The main thing is that, like any vegetable, the potato gets what it needs to produce a nice crop. You get out of them what you put in, its as simple as that. This means starting with good soil or growing medium, planting inspected and certified EarthApples seed potatoes, adding the proper fertilizer as needed, giving the plant enough sunlight, and keeping the plants watered. By following these simple guidelines you will greatly increase the success of your crop. For more information on growing instructions and organic growing tips, please visit How to Grow
The green colour comes from the pigment chlorophyl, a result of the potatoes exposure to light. For seed potatoes this is a normal reaction, especially when you are sun-sprouting your potatoes. However, for the potato crop that you have harvested for eating you need to be careful and avoid greening. The greening is an increase of toxins in the potato therefore you must never eat a green potato because it can lead to illness. Remember to keep an eye on your crop and check it from time to time to see if any tubers are poking through the dirt. Cover any exposed potatoes with dirt to avoid greening.
Remember, it is only the potatoes that you will be eating that should not have greening. A green planted seed potato will not have a negative effect on the new crop.
‘Seed’ potato refers to potatoes that are certified and grown with the purpose of being re-planted. Firstly, store bought potatoes are often treated with a sprout-inhibitor that prevents the potatoes from producing sprouts when lying on the store shelf. If you were to plant one of these potatoes, chances are you would get a lousy crop or no crop at all. Secondly, seed potatoes are certified by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to be disease and virus free (issues that can only affect the performance of the plant and tubers and has no consequences for human health). EarthApples seed potatoes are Certified and disease free. This means that the potatoes you plant are certified to strict standards of quality so you can be assured that you are not introducing pathogens into the soil that will ruin your soil for future crops. This also means that the plant coming from the seed potato will be strong and vigorous and ensure a nice healthy crop of potatoes.
No, it is not recommended to cut the seed potatoes. Most of the varieties at EarthApples originate in Europe where they advocate “whole tuber” planting. Cutting a potato creates an opening for pathogens and diseases to enter the potato that can lead to the tuber rotting and/or poor crop emergence. It is for this very reason that none of our high generation seed potato growers cut their seed potatoes for replanting. If you insist on cutting, only cut the large ones and allow the cut sides to dry overnight before planting them, and never plant cut seed in wet soil. However, it is better to avoid cutting altogether.
No, EarthApples are not genetically modified organisms (GMO). The potatoes we offer are bred using cross pollination techniques that lead to the creation of new varieties. It is done by imitating what bees do in nature. When a bee flies from flower to flower it carries small spores of pollen on its body and feet which ends up fertilizing other plants and ultimately leads to new varieties. In the case of commercial potato breeding the breeder chooses who the “parent” potatoes are. This is to help produce varieties that encompass new and unique characteristics.
Our goal is to provide fun, interesting, and delicious alternatives to the often bland conventional potato varieties that are regularly available. Many people don’t even realize that there are other varieties available, past the common Yukon Gold, Russet Burbank, Norland, Kennebec, or Shepody varieties. It is our job to provide you with better tasting, and more nutritious potato varieties. Why should things always be the same!? Go ahead, be creative and try something new! Check out our great selection of EarthApples in our Shop
Absolutely! EarthApples are ideally suited for organic growing purposes. Many of the varieties we offer are bred to be resistant to common pests and diseases that would have required treatment with chemicals in the past. EarthApples are usually ripe and ready for harvest earlier in the season which means that the plant avoids problems form outside pathogens that could creep into the crop later in the season. However growing organic does require a bit of extra attention. For tips on growing potatoes organically, please visit our Growing Organic section on the How to Grow page.
Most likely this is a form of common scab which leaves brown scabby looking wounds on the surface of the potatoes skin. Scab is a soil borne disease caused by a bacteria-like organism in the dirt that affects the potato tubers and stems. This is more a looks problem than anything else because the potato is still safe to eat. To help reduce or prevent scab, avoid highly organic soil types and fertilizers such as manure that have high organic content. Scab also forms when the soil is too dry especially when the potato starts to develop new tubers in the soil. Note: We produce all the seed potatoes on non irrigated land in the Edmonton area. Due to the very hot and dry summer of 2015 some EarthApples seed potatoes could show minor scab. These potatoes are still fine for planting.