A rare glimpse of a growing potato.



Bin Of Potatoes
We’ve all seen this. We stare into our bin of potatoes and there they are  … staring back at us.   Those creepy long eyes.


Potato With Eyes
Potatoes that have sprouted eyes are fine to eat as long as they’re still relatively firm. They aren’t poisonous or anything and won’t make you sick. Unless you find their appearance so terrifying you get nauseous and vomit.

I know a little bit about this because my mother, the caring, nurturing being that she is, used to break the eyes off of potatoes and chase me around the house screaming that were some rare and poisonous insect.

For a further look into how this affected me, please enjoy this post on my superior fear of centipedes.
Seed Potatoes

In fact, it’s those eyes that eventually grow another potato plant.  I did a post a couple of years ago about how to grow potatoes, and it involves cutting potatoes into chunks (that each have at least 2 eyes) and planting them.   I usually do this with seed potatoes (which are just potatoes that are guaranteed to be without disease or pesticides) but this year I have so many potatoes left over from the ones I grew (disease free) last year that I’m going to plant these.

When I took a peek into my bin of eye growing potatoes I came across something pretty remarkable.

A seed potato that had not only grown eyes … but potatoes too.



Seed Potato Growing Potatoes



Potatoes Growing On Potato


Potatoes Growing Potatoes 2


May 1st is the day potatoes git buried in the dirt round these parts (I like to occasionally speak like an old farmer because it makes me feel more rural) but I still haven’t even cleaned up my yard yet.  It’s still too cold. And now rainy.  And cold.

So for now I just sit and stare at my potatoes, eyes in hand, scanning the street for unsuspecting children.




  1. Elsa says:

    Hello! I actually have the exact same thing happening with my potatoes. They have grown little potatoes. I’m wondering if I am to cut the original potatoes into chunks still or plant as is… my knowledge is very limited when it comes to gardening in general :(

    • Karen says:

      Hi Elsa! If you want to start to grow the potato just stick it in a container of soil. ( a fairly large container ) It should have about 4 inches of soil under it and a few inches of soil over it. Potatoes grow upwards, not downwards. As the potato vines start to grow up you can then add more soil. If you search growing potatoes on my site you can see all about it. :)~ karen!

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  3. Bobbi says:

    That is quite amazing. Nearly as amazing as learning how cashews grow. Google it. Nature is weird.

  4. sera says:

    I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to grow potatoes because those eyes just creep me out!! It’s totally strange how much they creep me out. That and I don’t know where to get any straw to cover my plants.

  5. Kathy Hartzell says:

    I think I have a potato photo that will give you a great deal of enjoyment. I forgot I had potatoes in a bin in the Kitchener my weekend house. When I was demolishing the kitchen, I pulled the bin out and thought I had a cross between a crab and an interstellar creature, when, by gosh, to was…a….potato. If I had some way to give you the photo I would allow you to do whatever you wish with it. I don’t have a blog or photo site so I can’t post it there, tho I can post on my FB page, but you tell me. I read you daily. I know you will adore this photo. But don’t show it to fish pedicure…..or she will never again eat a potato!!!

  6. Barbie says:

    LOL You should wrap those tiny potatoes up in a tiny piece of foil and have someone over for dinner and serve them as a baked potato! HA! …and with a totally serious face!

    PS: I think you look like a cuter Cameron Diaz as well!!!

  7. Debbie says:

    Is it cruel to eat baby potatoes? I wonder what they would taste like lightly sautéed with shallots and a bit of butter. Hmm….

  8. Debbie says:

    Your Mother had me at, running around after you with potato eyes. For me it was the vacuum and its attachments. It gave me a half hour of alone time. I can’t blame my own Mother for this, it just came natural for me. I look at it this way, it saved the lives of my children and possibility their Fathers too. LOL

  9. Dianne says:

    Karen, is that your new counter top hiding behind the spud? Every morning I read your latest post, I think you’ll post your kitchen reno. Forgive me if I see the countertop before I see the spud. Frankly, you’re killing us …. Or maybe just me :)

  10. Jake says:

    Creepy pic. of spud and spawn. I’ll never look at a potato the same way again.

  11. Natalie says:

    I went to prepare my little garden bed for planting yesterday and found 4 potato plants growing! (Now only 3 because I dug one up thinking it was a weed . . . ) I guess I forgot them last year and we had a really mild winter.

  12. jeannie B says:

    Yesterday I was making soup and all I could find were two small, old potatoes in the vegetable drawer in the fridge. The rest, I had boiled, mashed, bagged and frozen. I always worry about potatoes getting old, soft and starting to rot. They really stink then. Maybe, it ‘s because I leave them in the bag. Anyhow, I’ve never seen a stored potato start sprouting eyes and tiny potatoes like yours. Neat picture!
    And speaking of centipedes, I haven’t seen one all winter. I wonder where they’ve hiding.

  13. KATHY SMITH says:

    I was trying to figure out who you reminded me of and now I’ve got it!
    Cameron Diaz! only cuter! don’t tell her cause it would hurt her feelings!
    keep the posts coming!

    • Karen says:

      That’s funny because my niece has said that for YEARS. I don’t see it, but I can see how others would I guess, lol. Cameron’s cuter … but I’m smarter. ;) ~ karen

  14. jainegayer says:

    Ok, so I can’t even think about potatoes right now after viewing the Great Centipede episode.
    OMG!!!! I would have run out of the house and never looked back. One nasty centipede and I am a screaming mess and if it is in my bedroom and it escapes my frantic efforts to kill it, I can’t even sleep in there. Because it’s in there. Somewhere.
    Did the chemicals kill them? Have they come back? I only get one or two a year but I ALWAYS have my lights on.
    I’m going to drink my coffee now and calm down, then I will read about the potatoes.

  15. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    My cup runnith over with such amazing info from you, oh wise one! I’m still trying to recover from yesterday’s post. I may need a little more time. Today, however, motivates me to get my raised bed garden planted this weekend. I usually wait until Mother’s Day weekend. Love the little potatoes! Another first, thank you Karen.

  16. Karen,
    You are a fountain of knowledge. I learn so much here (just between yesterday and today–I feel overwhelmed with information!) My lil girl begged us for a garden this year. We’ve never had one (oh the horrors!) but it is doing quite well. Now we might have to add potatoes! If you want to see her first little garden I posted about it today!

    I can’t wait til she gets home from school to show her the baby potato picture…she’ll love it.

    • Karen says:

      Love your pictures. It was a great post. Of course, I’m partial to gardening posts, but I’m also partial to posts where children (with pink tutus apparently) get their hands dirty too. ~ karen!

  17. Miriam says:

    It looks like some sort of creepy alien. I think I will never eat another whole potato in my life now that I know how unappealing baby potatos look. Farewell, delicious carbs.

  18. Feral Turtle says:

    Haha…those poor unsuspecting kids.

  19. Susan Whelan says:

    Last year I grew a few potato plants in a fish tub but I had two tubs side by side, one for dahlias, and ended up mixing them by mistake. Didn’t make any difference to the potatoes but the dahlias didn’t like their roots being scratched around while I looked for potatoes. This year I’m going to try a box I saw on Facebook if I get around to buying the wood. And leave the fish tubs for flowers. This idea seems almost too good to be true and I’m sure I can mess it up somehow.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Susan – I hate to tell you this but it is too good to be true. You’ll grow potatoes for sure, but a seed potato can only grow so much in the time it has to produce potatoes, and these boxes give you the impression that the more soil you pile in the more potatoes you’ll get, but there just isn’t time or energy for the potato to put o put out more than it would if it were just in the ground. The good news is, you WILL get potatoes out of it. My guess would be closer to 50 pounds, which is still a great haul. (but who knows … gardening can surprise you and me) ~ karen

        • Andreae says:

          The absolute saddest potato harvest of my life was from one of those box set-ups. I can laugh about it now, but at the time… well, I spent a small fortune on soil, and I harvested eight marble-sized spuds and one giant specimen the size of a smallish game bird. I fed my whole family with that potato, and it was delicious. But then it was gone, and I swore I’d never grow potatoes in a tower again. The end.

  20. Dianne says:

    The spud is nice but the counter top is stunning.

  21. Kim C. says:

    Fascinating yet creepy photos! Now all I see are centipedes but that is offset by my sudden craving for spuds.:-) Happy planting.

  22. Su says:

    I’ve been using blue bins cut in half for potatoes… super klassy~!

  23. Tigersmom says:

    Potato eyes are creepy. Little potato pearls growing from them are kinda cool.

    And I hope I’m as fun a mom to my son as Betty is and was to you.

  24. Susan Preston says:

    Unless you buy seed potatoes I thought commercial growers treated their potatoes so they wouldn’t produce more potatoes in the ground. They might sprout but not thrive. Am I wrong? It’s been known to happen once or twice before but you never know. Freshly dug potatoes are the best for dinner….yum! I have barely raked my yard but I have noticed everything is sprouting. We are about three weeks behind but soon it will get blistering hot and you’ll be able to chase those kids wearing nothing but your birthday suit! Xox

    • Karen says:

      Hey Sue – I’m not sure. I never grow commercial potatoes. This one here is a potato I grew myself from my seed potatoes from William Dam last year. Some people have had success with commercial potatoes, I know that, but I have no idea how they grow compared to an official seed potato. :/ ~ karen!

  25. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    So that’s how it happens..well you just don’t know with things that grow below ground..Very cool..Thanks for sharing!..and leave the neighborhood kids alone..you get in enough trouble right here..you don’t need to go outside looking for any..HAHAHA!!

  26. ~gloria says:

    Really? May 1st? I’m in western NY, so we’re not that far removed, planting zone-wise. I didn’t realize potato planting could be this early. I used your method (sort of) last year (I’m the potatoes grown in the feed sack and laundry basket lady) and I planted them way, way later than May 1 (which by the by, is my birthday and my hubby’s! and no, we’re not twins separated at birth, eeew), and they did very well. But if you say May 1, then I believe it. But alas, it’s been pouring down rain for the past two days here, too, and shows no sign of letting up any time soon. And I haven’t bought my seed spuds yet either. We ate all of last year’s, and pretty quickly too. And my feed sack from last season is not going to make it through another year, so, I’m looking for something else. Any ideas? And, I need to find some kiddies to chase around. :)

    • Karen says:

      ~gloria – You should be fine with May 1st, but if you planted later than that last year, then obviously that’s fine too! Gardening is pretty much made up of rules that no one follows. Your bags/baskets did really well last year. Try to get some more of those, or try the peach baskets. Really anything that allows you to hill will work. Even a garbage can. Which has the added value of screaming “Hey, I’m klassy!” to the neighbours. ~ karen!

  27. Mary says:

    That is amazing! – I’ve never seen a potato growing little potatoes on it, just in the bin. I picked up my seed potatoes today from the garden centre but haven’t been over to the community garden yet to prep my plot. Last year I got 50 pounds of spuds from one four-foot square. Using a different square for this year’s crop – Russet Burbank and Caribe. Tried to get nematodes but they said it’s too early here to do that. Grubs and potato eyes look the same to me – ewww!

  28. Valerie says:

    Ring the bells. Cigars are in order……….one of your potatoes has given birth!

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