Planting Planting last year's potatoes question

Coulter

Veteran Member
What do you do with the long sprouts on the potatoes prior to planting?

Also do you cut these potatoes just like new seed potatoes? I have always planted them whole but wondered if cutting them like we do new seed potatoes would work as well. These potatoes do not look as good as new seed potatoes They look like they are struggling to grow with out dirt.
 

kyrsyan

Veteran Member
I leave them whole. I always have. Even with seed potatoes. But then, I don't have a lot of space for potatoes and even leaving them whole, I end up giving away a bunch of the bag when I'm done.
 

Publius

TB Fanatic
If it's big enough to cut go for it as you will have more plants to produse more potatoes. The long sprouting eyes you can trim them down with scissors and it will not hurt the production at all.
 

Coulter

Veteran Member
If it's big enough to cut go for it as you will have more plants to produse more potatoes. The long sprouting eyes you can trim them down with scissors and it will not hurt the production at all.
A lot of them are big enough. But I have lots of space so I always over plant as a just in case thing. But since I good never see and increase over the old ones planted whole over the new ones with just pieces. So I wondered if planting just the seed pieces on the old ones would produce well or not at all. But I have enough old ones to plant a 200 foot row with pieces.
 

summerthyme

Administrator
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The optimum size for a seed potato is 2 ounces... smaller just don't do as well (not enough food reserves to feed the growing plant until it gets above ground and can start photosynthesis), and bigger can sometimes produce multiple stems (every eye grows a "plant" or stem, with it's own root system) which are too crowded... you'll get lots of smallish tubers.

2 ounces is about the size of a large hens egg.

I cut ours generally in half... obviously, you want to make sure there are eyes on BOTH pieces. But I definitely would cut anything 4 ounces or larger in half (really big tubers can sometimes give you 3 or even 4 viable pieces)... it will extend your seed supply and eventually increase your harvest.

summerthyme
 

Coulter

Veteran Member
The optimum size for a seed potato is 2 ounces... smaller just don't do as well (not enough food reserves to feed the growing plant until it gets above ground and can start photosynthesis), and bigger can sometimes produce multiple stems (every eye grows a "plant" or stem, with it's own root system) which are too crowded... you'll get lots of smallish tubers.

2 ounces is about the size of a large hens egg.

I cut ours generally in half... obviously, you want to make sure there are eyes on BOTH pieces. But I definitely would cut anything 4 ounces or larger in half (really big tubers can sometimes give you 3 or even 4 viable pieces)... it will extend your seed supply and eventually increase your harvest.

summerthyme
Good to know - some of mine have been cut smaller - this is probably why some do better than others. Since I am close to cutting the new ones I will shoot for your size recommendation. - Thanks
 

mecoastie

Veteran Member
Our potatoes did not do well this past year. Planted late, crappy weather and we didn't get a great yield. It had also been a couple years since I had purchased certified seed potatoes. So we ate them all. We wont see seed potatoes delivered here for another month at least. I called everywhere. I hit a couple of farm stands in the last few days and bought what I could to have as seed so if worse comes to worse I can use them for seed.
 

Martinhouse

Veteran Member
For the last several years I have made sure to buy at least ten pounds of poatoes at the grocery store to keep over the winter, in case seed potatoes aren't available at the feed store the following spring. One is not supposed to eat seed potatoes purchased for planting, but one can always eat those stored grocery store potatoes if seed potatoes were available after all.
 
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