I’ve been enjoying the idea of growing potatoes from adding cuttings of potato eyes to my soil. Small potatoes grew from cuttings last year, and it looks like I’m on my way again this year. However, I’ve been told that there is a toxin in non-treated potatoes. After searching on this site, it seems potatoes shouldn’t be grown in an urban setting since it will likely attract an airborne disease.
Do you know of anyone who grew tasty potatoes in their urban backyard?
Do you think it’s a good idea to grow potatoes, generally, in a typical Toronto backyard? Or is it truly not advised, due to toxins / airborne diseases?
Thanks for reaching out with your question. Yes! You can grow potatoes in your back yard. Healthy, home grown potatoes are delicious and growing your own fruits and vegetables benefits both you and the environment. We are delighted you are considering growing them at home. However, we would recommend that you do no try to grow the potatoes from cuttings because the Ontario Ministry of Food and Agriculture (OMAFRA) has some concerns about potatoes in urban home gardens.
They strongly recommend NOT using saved potatoes or purchased eating potatoes. Instead, OMAFRA recommends only planting certified disease free potato seed from a reputable garden centre.
Their website explains: “Late blight caused by the fungus Phytophthora infestans is a devastating potato disease. Spores in the late blight fungus are spread by the wind and can travel long distances. Urban gardeners cannot access commercial crop protection materials that provide good control of this disease. Potatoes grown in urban areas are sources of late blight inoculum that can infect potato fields located as far as 200 km away.”
We recommend ceasing to grow your cuttings due to the potential dangers and instead purchasing the disease-free potato seed from your local garden centre. Wishing you all of the best this growing season.
For more information refer to the following links from OMAFRA: Online Gardeners Handbook: Potatoes ,
May 31, 2022