Potatoes are one of the most rewarding crops to grow. With their diverse range of varieties and often generous yields, potatoes are ideal for adding home-grown goodness to the plate! Baker Creek offers both typical seed potatoes as well as micro tubers. Let’s discuss their differences and similarities so you can decide which ones to grow.  

Seed Potatoes, Not Potato Seeds?  

Potatoes will not produce true seeds and therefore are typically propagated clonally from pieces of sprouted potato tuber saved from the previous year. Tubers set aside for planting are called seed potatoes, and when purchased from a reputable source, they will have been graded for extra high quality for planting.  
Some of our favorite seed potato varieties this year include the beautiful Purple Viking, the gourmet Yellow Finn, and more. 

 Purple Viking seed potato

Purple Viking potato

Can I Just Plant Potatoes from the Grocery Store?  

You can plant store-bought edible potato tubers, but there are many reasons not to do it. These tubers are not graded for planting and in many cases have been treated to inhibit sprouting eyes! Another reason to avoid grocery store potatoes for planting? These commercial varieties are selected for factory farm growing conditions and not typically suited to the garden or small farm. It is best to grow seed potatoes from a seed company or source seed potatoes from a local farm that doesn’t spray.  

What is a Micro Tuber?  

Micro tubers are miniature seed potatoes, averaging about the size of a marble! They are grown much like standard-sized seed potato tubers, but they are extra small and rigorously examined for high quality. Micro tubers are propagated in a state-of-the-art tissue culture lab, which creates a more disease-free seed potato.


Red Viola potato micro tubers
 Red Viola micro tuber


Will Micro Tubers Make Normal Sized Potatoes? What about Yield?  

Don’t let the small size of these precious, pea-sized tubers fool you — they can produce a massive yield of tasty, average-sized taters. Please note that they will take a bit longer to mature than a standard tuber-grown potato, but the yields are comparable.  
Some of our favorite potatoes available as micro tubers are the reliable Umatilla Russet and the rugged Red Viola. 

Umatilla Russet seed potatoes

Umatilla Russet potato

Are Micro Tuber Potatoes Grown Differently than Seed Potatoes?  

Since the plants will eventually end up approximately the same size, micro tubers are planted at the same spacing. They have the same light, water, and soil requirements. The only difference is the depth at which they must be planted; micro tubers are much smaller and therefore will be planted shallower than a seed potato. Micro tubers should be planted 2 inches deep, while seed potatoes should be planted 5-6 inches deep.