Kennebec Potatoes: Plant Profile and Growing Tips

Kennebec potatoes are hybrids developed by the USDA in the 1940s. They are named for the Kennebec River in Maine. They are most commonly used for french fries and potato chips commercially, but are suitable for any common culinary endeavors one would normally indulge in with a spud.

Its flesh is a standard white. The plant itself is a thick stemmed and erect as oppossed to sprawling. It produces few flowers and what it does produce are generally sterile, reproduction is via tubers.

Kennebec Russet is resistant to tuber net necrosis, and somewhat resistant to fusarium dry rot, late blight, black leg,and seed-piece decay. It is highly susceptible to Verticillium wilt.

The Potato itself is relatively large and oblong like all Idaho – Russet varieties. It is thin skinned with a firm but creamy white flesh. The skin texture is russeted and rough with shallow eyes.

Potatoes aren’t started by seed, they’re started from Seed potatoes or “slips”. Slips are shoots that are grown from a mature tuber. Seed potatoes from a catalog either online or print are generally the best way to go, as supermarket potatoes are treated with a chemical growth inhibitor to prevent sprouting.

The soil should be evenly moist, but not wet or soggy. If the soil is waterlogged when you dig, your seed potatoes will probably rotbefore they grow. Potatoes are a hardy crop and can tolerate climatic aberrations, light frost etc..,but you should provide some frost-protectionfor the young plants. A temporary ground cover (ventilated), or mulch.

Maturity at 80-95 days.

Color – Skin: Brown Flesh: White

Size: Grade B – See Potato Sizes for explanation

Spacing – 12″-14″

USDA Hardiness Zones 3 – 9

Full Sun – at least 6 hours of sunlight daily.

Height 2 to 3 feet

Spread 1.5 to 2.5 feet

Soil ph 4.5 – 6.0 Acceptable. 4.8 – 5.5 is optimal.

Above Average Yields. – Mid Season

Potatoes do well in proximity of Beans, Cucumber, Corn, Kohlrabi, Parsnip, Pumpkin, Rutabaga, Squash family, Sunflower, Turnip, Fennel. Horseradish, planted at the edges of the potato patch will provide protection against some insect scourges, as will Marigolds

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