My relatives say that you need to change potato seeds every couple of years. They didn't specify why.

Why is that? Is it because we normally leave small potatoes for seeds and generate negative selection?

Would potato crop be better if we planted the biggest potatoes every year?


The question is about planting parent potatoes, and than their children and then grandchildren, and than gran grand children is presumably a bad think to do.

  • @pnuts This year I used my own seed potatoes from last year's seed potatoes. No disease in virgin soil (hopefully). So far so good but this is totally a test. Not planted in any previously planted solanaceae soil. And could one get better 'clones'?
    – stormy
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 22:24
  • @pnuts The problem for us humanoids is we are unable to detect diseases unless it ruins the crop...and we don't know how to use a great microscope. Even then, as I do not have an electronmicroscope it is taking a big chance. Next year I'll be planting potatoes in potting soil and pots. For sure. Definitely my tomatoes and peppers as always in pots....
    – stormy
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 22:27

1 Answer 1


Doesn't matter about changing the 'variety' of potato. What matters is that you don't plant potatoes nor their cousins in the Solanaceae family in the same soil for at least two years!

I would go to 'Colorado Potato Farm' in Colorado to get new seed potatoes every year and make sure that same soil is not planted with any potato, tomato, pepper or egg plant for at least 2 YEARS.

This company is incredible! Please look them up and tell them one of their beloved customers in Oregon has recommended them to you. The son of the owner is a SOIL expert and they have stuff for the soil that will aid in lowering the pH because potatoes need an acid soil in the range of blueberries! Get a catalog. I highly recommend this company.

Big potatoes have absolutely nothing to do with anything Have you tried the fingerlings? And they also give you guidance on how to make a potato cellar!! To store them.

Potatoes are incredible crops! One of the fastest most prolific and most nutritionally packed crops one could grow. You can grow these potatoes in pots with wire cages to grow vertically as well. BTW, when growing anything in pots you have to use potting soil. Usually already in the correct pH range!

Your relatives at least gave you a heads up about growing crops that are partially...correct. If you have a garden you have to know about crop rotation! You cannot grow tomatoes and potatoes in the same soil for TWO years. Same with the Brassicas: Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale in the same soil for two years! Legumes the same. This is a major deal. We here have all learned the hard way to help you not have to do the same!!

Being able to learn how to grow your own food is such a critical skill. I am very glad you are asking questions and doing the work. So rewarding!!

Sanjihan! You have to go check out J.Mussers 'age of seed potatoes'...very interesting stuff! Hey if this is what you were looking for make sure you give Mr. J those points. This is something I've not worried about. Mainly because I get fresh seed potatoes every year, certified of course and always rotate crops.

  • Only now do I see this is Sanijhan!! So this Colorado Potato farm won't be much help will it? Since you are growing tomatoes, peppers? I need to make sure you understand your tomatoes, peppers and potatoes can not be grown in the same soil. You are one of my favs! If you are growing in POTTING soil you can throw that out into your yard or where ever and get new stuff (sterilize your pots) and grow whatever you want whenever you want. Your tomatoes look incredible...how has your harvest been? Sanjihan! Hope we are helping you become the gardener you obviously were meant to be!!
    – stormy
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 20:34
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    @stormy I think the OP was referring to the physiological age of the seed potatoes, and how you need new stock of that variety. Not changing varieties.
    – J. Musser
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 21:59
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    @stormy thanks, fixed... Rotating is a necessity when growing your own seed potatoes, because viral diseases are always slowly building up in the stock, and rotating slows that. In a few years, though, it's still good to start fresh with certified pathogen free commercial seed potatoes, or your crops will diminish yearly. Also it's important to know the stages of your seed potatoes.
    – J. Musser
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 22:07
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    I think that's what the OP was asking about
    – J. Musser
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 22:08
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    Thank you both. I've learned lots from the discussion above. I see that the question was ambiguous. Originally I was wondering why do you need to change the seeds (not the variety) if you plant potatoes, get them out of the soil, and plant previously harvested potatoes next year, get them out of the soil, and plant them the following years and so on. generating potato children, grandchildren, grand grand children
    – sanjihan
    Commented Jul 4, 2017 at 7:58

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