How to sprout the best spud in Saskatchewan this summer

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CBC gardening expert Lyndon Penner says it's common for people to be superstitious about how to best plant potatoes.

For him, the secret is to keep it simple.

Here are a few tips Penner shared with CBC Radio's Morning Edition on how to grow a real spud this season:

Plant early

Penner advised to plant as early as possible, like the third or final week of April.

"I like to flirt with danger," he said.

"Some men like to collect guns and some men like to drive race cars. I like to plant things early 'cause it gives me that rush of adrenaline that, you know, 'this might not work out for me.'"

The earliest Penner said he's ever planted potatoes in Saskatchewan was April 9. This year, he planted April 23, and some sprouts are beginning to show.

For those worried about what happens if May ends up being wet and cold, he said make sure to buy extra seeds in case of a crop failure.

Keep 'em in the ground

Luckily for rookie gardeners, Penner said potatoes are an adaptable crop that can grow just about anywhere, so long as there is sunlight and a decent patch of soil. 

"The best way to grow potatoes is the same way that your ancestors did," Penner said.

"None of these fancy potato containers or potato buckets … none of that. You just put them right into the ground like God intended and let the potato do what it wants."

Best varieties

For potatoes that are "great in the garden, easy in the kitchen" Penner recommended planting Russet Burbank.

He also advised to stick with classic varieties like Purple Viking, Red Pontiac, Yukon Gold, Kennebec​ and Caribe.