Determinate and Indeterminate Green sprouting Potatoes

Want More Yield from Potatoes?

I’ve covered Green Sprouting as a way to increase potato yields. But if you’re still not satisfied with your yield, knowledge of how different varieties grow and produce could make a difference.

Variety Classification

Varieties are classified as early, mid-season and late growers. But sources don’t always agree on variety classification. Days from planting to harvest might be more useful in choosing which variety to grow.

Days from Planting To Harvest

In general early varieties can be harvested within 60 to 90 days after planting. Those are the ones that delight us with the first new potatoes of the season. And their foliage is usually the first to die back. (Yukon Gold, Chieftain, and Norland are 3 of my early producing varieties. In my garden they produce in about 70 days.)

Late season varieties are those that continue growing for 90 to 120 days.

These are the ones I bring in during late fall for winter eating. I don’t have good conditions for storing potatoes, but I can usually keep late season varieties like Butte, Canela Russet, Red Pontiac and Kennebec looking fresh and perfect for two, sometimes three months.

You’ll find a lot of cross-overs in lists of midseason potatoes. Kennebec and Red Pontiac are listed as midseason by some sources and late season by others. Chieftain is sometimes listed as early; sometimes  midseason.

If I wanted to pick a midseason variety, I’d go with a variety that produced in 75 to 90 days from planting.

Different Growth Characteristics – Determinate and Indeterminate

Early varieties grow differently than late varieties.

Early varieties are considered determinates. For potatoes that means they grow in a layer, just above where the seed was planted. They’re finished after they produce that layer of spuds.

Late varieties are considered indeterminate and produce more. Potatoes are grown in multiple layers over a longer growing period.

Fingerlings might be the exception as I’ve read they’re determinate no matter how many days it takes them to mature. Wish I had known that many years ago when I grew fingerlings. Never felt their harvest was worth the garden space.

Keeping it Simple

You can find all kinds of conflicting information on how to grow determinate and indeterminate potatoes. But the basic information you need to be successful, I’ve given you here.

I like to keep things simple and easy.

All my potatoes ( determinate and indeterminate) are planted 6 to 8 inches down. I cover with a thick layer of straw.

When they start growing I add more straw.

As potato vines start to spread apart and lay down, I look for exposed potatoes and cover them with more straw. (Otherwise they’ll turn green from the light)

Final Thoughts

The variety of potato you choose can make a big difference in your yield. So can Green Sprouting.

But as always, your success with any vegetable will depend mainly on your soil.


Suggested Reading:

Potatoes – Green Sprouting – Advice from A Leading US Grower

Growing Potatoes – It’s Hard to Mess Up


All content including photos are copyrighted by All Rights Reserved.


  • Good Morning Theresa! Thank you for the potato info. I planted potatoes this year and I am keeping my fingers crossed that they do well. It has been 95 degrees plus and the garden isn’t looking too good.
    I hope that you are feeling better, able to move around now?

  • Theresa
    Great information, as always there is much more to gardening than we realize. I find many times I have beginners luck then run into problems later. I am guessing there is volumes to know about potatoes if we want to know.

    Your information is very reliable and timely.
    Thanks again

  • I think I can safely speak for many when I say we are anxious for an update on how you are doing. I no longer have a veggie garden, but still look forward to your emails.

  • Steve, you’re right — always volumes to know. The good thing is, we don’t need to know volumes to be successful Yeh!!!! Love keeping it simple.

    Carol and Angela, thanks for asking about me.
    Not able to get up yet. Still in the kitchen floor and estimate being here for another 7 weeks or so.
    Movement — although slight – improves daily.
    All my best,

  • James, we all have free will and can do any experiment we like.

    But if you’re asking my opinion, then keeping potatoes in the fridge and putting them in “spare” dirt (that could have many definitions) in your porch garden varies greatly from my idea of gardening for healthy food.

    Even growing in accordance with nature’s principles, potatoes are planted in late winter or early spring and then start growing to produce. After potatoes finish producing, it’s possible to keep them in the soil through the winter if protected from freezing.

Leave a Comment