The Kennebec Potato

- Our current mainstay and variety of choice

Kennebec is a medium to late maturing white potato. It was bred by the USDA and selected by Presque Isle Station, Maine in 1941. Kennebec is not under plant variety protection. This fast-growing variety has high yields. It maintains good quality in storage and is grown for both fresh market use and chipping. When buy the certified seed potatoes they come from Maine, Canada, and New York.

Botanical characteristics

  • The Kennebec plant is non-pigmented, large and erect, with thick stems that are prominently angled.
  • Sprouts are grayish green with a slightly purple bottom.
  • The leaves are broad, long and dark green with slightly pubescent midribs.
  • Primarily the leaflets are ovate, large and grow in pairs of four. Secondary leaflets occur in a medium number. Tertiary leaflets occur very seldom, if at all. Terminally, the leaflets stay ovate and have acute tips and a lobed base.
  • Very few of the large white flowers emerge from the scantly pubescent green buds.
  • Tubers are medium thick with an elliptical to oblong shape. The skin is smooth and creamy with shallow eyes.

Agricultural characteristics

Kennebec Potatoes

  • Harvest: Late maturing white potato variety
  • Depth: 3- 5" & 30- 36" between rows
  • Spread: 18-24"
  • Height: 20-25"
  • Spacing: 8-15"
  • Our Typical Yield: 6.7 times planting average
  • Days to maturity: 90-100+ days
  • Exposure: Full Sun · Hardiness: Zone 3-9 (6.1)
  • Germination: 3-5 weeks and more in cold weather conditions. 1 week in warm.


Indians in Peru were the first people to cultivate the potato.

  • Potatoes have been eaten since 400 BC in Peru and Bolivia.
  • Colors may vary between white, red, yellow, brown, purple and black.
  • Potatoes grow virtually anywhere from sea level to 14,000 ft on mountains.
  • The potato, a name derived from the American Indian word "Batata", was introduced to Europeans by Spanish conquerors during the late 16th Century.
  • Yams are less sweet than sweet potatoes and originated in Asia, Sweet potatoes have ten calories per ounce less than yams.
  • Potatoes contain no saturated or trans fat or cholesterol and virtually no sodium.
  • To make potato salad more quickly, cook the potatoes already diced and peeled. To boil potatoes in less time, remove a small strip of skin from one side. After they are done the balance of the skin will come off much easier.
  • To keep peeled potatoes white, put them in a bowl of cold water, add a few drops of vinegar, and refrigerate.
  • Americans eat approximately 54 pounds per year, per person.
  • Green potato skins and sprouts contain a toxin called solamine and may be dangerous to your health.
  • If you leave the skins on potatoes when cooking they will retain more of their nutrient value. Then remove the thin skin before serving.