BOZEMAN - Home gardeners searching for unique potatoes to plant in the garden are in luck because Montana seed potato farmers produce a dazzling array of varieties and most Montana State University Extension county offices will take orders for seed potatoes.
Many varieties can be found at local nurseries, garden centers or grocery stores. The most important thing is to look for a blue tag on the box that says "Montana Certified Seed Potatoes." If you have trouble finding unique specialty varieties, this spring you can contact your local county Extension office.
Montana certified seed potato growers will be supplying everything from russets and fingerlings to golds, reds and purples through MSU Extension county offices. Starting March 11, most MSU Extension offices will be taking orders for seed potatoes. All orders need to be placed by April 1 and potatoes will be ready for pick up by April 15.
Planting Montana certified seed potatoes is an important way to protect Montana seed potato farms from the importation of damaging pests and pathogens. Montana seed potatoes are grown at the highest standards with very stringent tolerances for disease and quality.
In addition, Montana growers have an amazing range of varieties that have outstanding and novel culinary qualities. Available varieties include: Russet varieties; fingerlings, including French Fingerling and Purple Fiesta (purple skin and flesh); reds, including Dark Red Norland, Pontiac, Caribe and Chieftan; yellows, including Yukon Gold and Yukon Gem; and the Purple Viking, which has purple skin with pink blotches and pure white flesh.
If a county is not participating in the program, contact a neighboring county for availability, and again, be sure to check with your local nursery or garden center for Montana certified seed potatoes.
Contact information for specific counties can be found at http://www.msuextension.org/localoffices.cfm. For more information, contact the MSU Potato Lab at (406) 994-3150 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact: Nina Zidack, (406) 994-3150, email@example.com