The Q&A Archives: Green Potatoes

Question: I guess I didn't hill my potatoes properly and I had some green ones develop near the surface. I know I am not supposed to eat these but can they be used for seed potatoes? By the way would using grass clippings as a mulch contribute to them turning green?(no I did not age the clippings like I was probably supposed to).

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Answer: Potatoes exposed to light will develop a greenish cast, the result of solanine, a bitter tasting chemical that can be harmful if ingested in large quantities. They probably aren't good candidates for seed potatoes, either, as your best crops will come from healthy, sound potato pieces. You can cut away the green skins and flesh and eat the potatoes, or put them in the compost bin. Grass clippings will not affect the color of potatoes or contribute to the development of solanine. Even spuds purchased in the grocery store and then left on a kitchen counter can be exposed to enough light for them to develop solanine.

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