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Gary350
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Potatoes

Should I keep seed potatoes in the refrigerator another 2 months until it is time to plant?

How long does it take potato eyes to sprout after being removed from the refrigerator?

Potatoes I bought have no sprouts how long does it take potato eyes to sprout?

I don't recall ever seeing potatoes and onions for sale Feb 15th, I bought 200 onion sets and 5 lbs of seed potatoes yesterday. Some of our worse weather is often in March I have seen 10" of snow and 10 degree weather end of March. I think I need another 10 lbs of seed potatoes then wait until May to plant.
Last edited by Gary350 on Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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jal_ut
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Re: Potatoes

Gary 350. I always cut the potatoes so there is one or two eyes per piece. Each eye will send out a plant. A potato may have six or more eyes on it. You don't want to plant six or more plants in one spot. That is why we cut them. These days I don't need many taters. Back when my children were at home we used a lot of potatoes. Good healthy food. We would dig them in the fall and put them in a pit for winter storage. You have a little different setup there in TN than I do here at 5000 ft elevation in Northern Utah, but here planting potatoes about mid May is about right. The plants are frost sensitive and won't grow until the frost is past.
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Gary350
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Re: Potatoes

What I really need to know is, if potatoes eyes have no sprouts how long does it take eyes to get sprouts?

James, I had very good luck growing potatoes when I lived in Illinois 40+ years ago but was never good at growing potatoes in TN. My Grandfather use to cut potatoes so each piece had 2 to 3 eyes. My father use to cut them with 2 eyes. I experimented with 1, 2 and 3 eyes, 1 eye seems to produce larger size potatoes, 2 eyes make a larger number of smaller potatoes, 3 seems to make more potatoes than 2 eyes but smaller potatoes. I have noticed every time I plant potatoes in a stack of car tires in TN I get a very good crop of potatoes but never knew why until recently. Too much mud in TN and 100 degree summer does not seem to be a problem but soil is too dry in July & August to make big potatoes.

I read online potato growing info from a potato grower in TX they plant eyes in April. There April weather is about like our May weather that must be why my May potatoes do better than April potatoes last year. TX Potato Grower also said, buy organic potatoes in the grocery store 1 or 2 months before planting they are not sprayed to prevent sprouting. Different source of online information says, Soak grocery store potatoes in water many times for a month to remove the chemicals that prevent them from sprouting then they can be used a seed potatoes. I have 3 grocery store potatoes that I soaked in water many times since Christmas 2 weeks ago eyes were sprouting but too early to plant those. TX potato grower said, do not plant an eye that has not sprouted because it may never sprout wait until sprouts are 1" long. Another source online says, do not eat grocery store potato skins cut them off 1/4" thick the chemicals that prevent sprouting are soaked into the potato about 1/4" deep. TX potato grower also said, do not plant all your potatoes at the same time, plant a few potatoes every week that way you can harvest fresh potatoes every week, the largest harvest should be when frost kills the plants. TX grower said, keep potatoes in the dark at 60 degrees they will sprout eyes, when sprouts are 1" long plant a crop every week, plant a BIG mother load crop in August for a big harvest in November, new potatoes will keep in storage 6 months all winter, what is left over in spring will be seed potatoes in spring.

None of this information tells me when to expect the 5 lbs of potatoes that I bought will sprout? 1 month? 2 months? 3 months? Just wait and see? I would like to plant 12 plants every week until August, then plant the mother load about August. Harvest mother load in Nov when frost kills the tops this harvest will keep in storage for 6 months. Anything left in storage in April will be seed potatoes for next year.
Last edited by Gary350 on Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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jal_ut
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Re: Potatoes

I have not grown potatoes in TN. All I can say is try something. Have fun!
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Gary350
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Walmart Organic Potatoes

Here are photos of Walmart Organic Potatoes, Russet & Red, they are 33¢ per lb more expensive than seed potatoes. All the organic potatoes have small sprouts on the eye, 1 bag had large sprouts. I started to buy the large sprout bag but my planting season is 2 1/2 months away. I will buy a 3 lb bag of these organic potatoes to plant when the time comes for 2 reasons. #1, I want to see how well they grow compared to seed potatoes. #2, I don't want all my seed potatoes to come from the same place. Walmart, Kroger, Sprouts all have several types of organic potatoes, Russet, Red, Yellow, Idaho. Everything I read says, Russets & Red potatoes are hot weather potatoes. I planted a few russets last year they did good. I have always had very good luck with Red potatoes in TN but we don't like Red they do not make good, baking potatoes, potato salad, fries, or mashed potatoes. Reds do make good German Potato salad.
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jal_ut
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Re: Potatoes

"None of this information tells me when to expect the 5 lbs of potatoes that I bought will sprout? 1 month? 2 months? 3 months? Just wait and see?"

Did you buy them from a grocery store? Do you suppose they have been treated to not sprout? Put them in a warm spot for a week or two. If they are going to sprout that should get them to going. If they have not been treated you can just go plant them. They will sprout when conditions are right.

Here I don't plant potatoes until about mid May, You want the frost to be done by the time they come up as the frost will kill the leaves. Our last frost here is usually about mid May, but you never know in this crazy country. I saw it freeze everything one year on the 5th of July after being 90 for the parade on the 4th.

You can likely plant a month or two earlier there than I can here. You just gotta try something.
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Rory
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Re: Potatoes

Grocery store potatoes usually take forever to develop eyes--like 2 months--for me, so I just buy seed potatoes from southern states. We have an IGA that sells them as seeds as well for usually around 69 cents per pound that already have eyes forming. I plant mine usually St. Patricks Day or soon after to give them the most growing time I can before that ungodly southern virginia heat gets at them.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Potatoes

depends on the potatoes. I have had grocery store potatoes that never would sprout, probably treated. But since I store my potatoes in a dark room temperature space (in pantry), I often find potatoes that have already started to sprout by the time I am getting ready to use them. You can cut and plant those. Sprout does not have to be very long, just having gotten started.
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Gary350
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Re: Potatoes

Texas Potato Grower says, keep potatoes in a cold place to prevent sprouting. Move potatoes to a warm place to sprout. Potatoes have a built in clock they will sprout when time is right.

When selecting seed potatoes choose potatoes that are about 2" to 3" long. Potatoes typically all have about the same number of eyes no matter what size the potatoes are. A large baking potato is wasted as a seed potato. Avoid potatoes that have a lot of eyes all clustered together at one end of the potato.

Keep seed potatoes in a warm dark place until sprouts are 1" to 2" long. Make cuttings from the potatoes that are making sprouts set all other potatoes aside. If a potato produces only 1 sprout cut off 1 cutting with 1 sprout to be planted let the rest of the potato set to see if the other eyes sprout in a few more weeks. If 1/2 a potato has 4 sprouts cut off 4 cuttings to be planted wait and see if the other 1/2 of the potato grows sprouts. Let cuttings dry and scab over several days in a warm dry place before planting.

Plant potatoes once a week as seed potatoes produce suitable size sprouts. Planting potatoes once a week means you get a potato harvest once a week. The home gardener will have fresh potatoes in the kitchen every week all summer until frost kills the plants. Continue to harvest potatoes once a week even after frost killed the plants potatoes will still continue to grow in the soil until the soil freezes.

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This is very interesting information I never knew potatoes were an all summer crop. I bought about 20 lbs of seed potatoes that are not sprouting I have them inside the house in the dark. Sprouts will determine when I plant potatoes. I am planning to cut my potatoes with 1 eye per cutting. If I can get 5 eyes per potato from 74 potatoes that will give me 370 plants. With 2 to 3 lbs of potatoes per plant that should give me about 925 lb of potatoes according to Texas Grower math.

One year I planted potatoes 3 times about 2 to 3 weeks apart each time, the potatoes I planted in June did better than the potatoes I planted a month earlier in cooler weather. Texas Potato Growers only grow Russet they are hot weather potatoes. This year I am not going to plant potatoes early in cool weather like I was always told and I will plant once a week as eyes are available to plant. I also bought 3 lbs of Organic Russet potatoes from the grocery store to see how they compare to Russet seed potatoes.

I am not planting in rows anymore, I am planting a 3 ft wide potato bed 30 ft long, plants 8" to 10" apart. A 3'x30' bed gives me room for 108 plants. May to August there are 18 weeks if I plant 6 plants per week I will have potatoes to harvest all summer until December. Not likely this will turn out as perfect as Texas Potato growers, I bet all my potatoes are sprouted and planted by June 15th.

I am going to try and save 30 lbs of potatoes all winter for seed potatoes spring 2019.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Potatoes

My first planted potatoes are sprouting already! :)
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Re: Potatoes

I bought 5 lbs seed potatoes a couple of months early too. If I wait til the last minute there aren't any left, so I'm keeping mine in the frig vegetable drawer. I think I saw on a u tube video that to get them to sprout put them out in a warm place but also a well lit place, even a sunny location a week or 2 before planting. But as was said, it depends on the potato too. Whenever I've bought seed potatoes, they have already begun to sprout anyway.

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jal_ut
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Re: Potatoes

Planting potatoes? Usually we get seed potatoes and cut them to one or two eyes per piece.

Gary says: " Avoid potatoes that have a lot of eyes all clustered together at one end of the potato." Well that is interesting as that is what always happens. Potatoes have a cluster of eyes on one end and the rest of the tater not much.


I always advise: Never plant grocery store potatoes to avoid the diseases they may have. Get certified seed potatoes from a seed supplier. (certified disease free) Plant those potatoes when danger of frost is past. Put them about one per foot in rows spaced 30 inches. When the potatoes are up and about ten inches tall, hill up the vines. This is to cover the developing tubers well so they won't get sunshine on them. If they see the sun they turn green and get a strong taste. As the taters grow you can go poke in a finger here and there and if you feel a good tuber pop it out for some fresh eating, leaving the rest to keep growing. Young tender potatoes are good and the peelings will come right off as you wash them. Have fun!
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Potatoes

I did cut them up.... that was just shorthand.

I have used grocery store potatoes for years with no problems. Maybe I'm just lucky, I don't know.
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Gary350
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Re: Potatoes

James has an interesting idea, harvests a few potatoes to eat while the rest continue to grow. I think I have enough potatoes to plant 150 plants. I have all the potatoes in a dark place 70 degrees, in the past 2 weeks they have grown sprouts 1/2" long. The 3 lb bag of organic grocery store potatoes have 1/2" sprouts too. Treated grocery store potatoes are not sprouting. I can not plant potatoes for another 6 weeks too much mud. I need to move all the potatoes to a colder place to slow down the growing sprouts.

Years ago I planted grocery store potatoes and they grew good. Now days potatoes are sprayed with sprout retardant. Online says, soak treated grocery store potatoes in water 24 hrs let them dry several days then soak them again several more times to remove retardant chemicals then eyes will grow sprouts, I have not tried that yet.

I have no cellar to keep 250 lbs of harvested garden potatoes. I have a spare refrigerator I can use to keep potatoes in.

If you examine 100 potatoes it appears 90% have a cluster of eyes on 1 end. I think Texas Potato Growers were saying to plant single eyes not the end with several eyes.

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Re: Potatoes

keeping a potato in the cold temperature of your refrigerator will turn its starch into sugar more quickly, so that you’ll be left with a sweet, gritty potato. Instead of putting potatoes in the fridge, store them in a paper bag in a cool — not cold — place. Assuming you don’t have a root cellar — the ideal place for potatoes — store them in a dark place, like inside your pantry. Paper bags work better than plastic because they’re more breathable and the potato won’t rot as fast
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/ ... 80137.html

I do occasionally run in to [treated] grocery store potatoes that won't sprout. Haven't tried the soaking routine, but don't really need to, because most of them sprout just fine.
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Re: Potatoes

I use grocery store red potatoes and sometimes Yukon Golds for variety. I cut the potatoes into chunks and put them in the dirt. They sprout and grow plants. When they die I dig potatoes. Even eyes with TINY bits of potato flesh will sprout. I pull potato plants out of my compost pile all the time. They're usually growing from what's basically just a skin with an eye or two. The flesh attached is less than 1/4", and they sprout. So, if you cut a potato into decent sized chunks, it'll sprout.

As for red potatoes not making good mashed potatoes, that's a point of preference. I make mashed potatoes almost exclusively out of reds.

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Re: Potatoes

My Russet potatoes have been in cardboard boxes, in the dark, inside the house, where it is 74 during the day and 70 at night for 3 weeks First picture is 3 lbs of organic grocery store potatoes have the best sprouts with roots. The 15 lbs of seed potatoes have several sprouts but nothing like the organic grocery store potatoes. I made the mistake of leaving the grocery store potatoes in the vented plastic bag some of the potatoes rotted. The organic grocery store potatoes have 4 times more sprouts than the seed potatoes per lb..

3 lbs of organic grocery store potatoes = 41 eyes with sprouts & roots.

15 lbs of seed potatoes = 60 eyes plus 9 lbs of left over potatoes. Now I see why smaller potatoes are best there is less waste. Smaller potatoes would have given me 65% more potatoes with eyes. Most of the seed potatoes have 1 sprout, or 2 sprouts, or 3 sprouts per potato.

If the 9 lbs of left over seed potatoes grow more sprouts I may have more sprouts to plant in the garden or fried potatoes for dinner.

My potato bed is 3'x30', 3 rows of potatoes gives each plant 12" of growing space, 90 plants total. Texas Potato Growers said, expect 2 to 3 lbs of potatoes from each plant. 90 x 2.5 = 225 lbs of potatoes.

It looks like I may have 10' of unused space at the end of the 2 tomato rows I can put another 30 potato plants if the left over potatoes grow more eyes.

I planted 3 kinds of garlic is 3'x10' wooden frames to keep the plants out of the mud but it looks like 6 degree weather killed most of the garlic. 3' of red garlic survived. This could be another place to plant something else maybe beans, maybe potatoes. 8 rows of beans 20' long, 4" between rows in a 3' wide 20" bed usually gives us 2 bushel baskets of beans plus seeds to plant next year. Not sure I need more beans or potatoes. We typically buy 5 lbs of potatoes at the store every other week = 130 lbs. I have an extra refrigerator we are going to try to keep 200 lbs of potatoes in there for a whole year.
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Re: Potatoes

I see those taters have 5 or 6 sprouts. Each sprout develops into a plant. You don't want 6 plants growing right next to each other. Too much competition. This why we cut the potato so there is only one or two eyes per piece then plant the pieces. I like to plant them about a foot apart in rows and the rows spaced 30 inches. Then when the plants are up about ten inches tall run the tiller with a hilling attachment installed and hill them up. They need to be hilled up to keep the sun off the developing tubers. If the new tubers see sunshine they turn green and get a strong flavor. Have fun!
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Gary350
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Re: Potatoes

James, I cut 98% of the cutting so they have only 1 eye to make larger potatoes. There are 6 cuttings with 2 eyes side by side I will leave them be to see how they compare to single eyes. There is 1 cutting with 3 eyes side by side I guess I could break 1 or 2 eyes off but I will leave this be also to see how it compares to 1 eye. Yes competition makes smaller potatoes 1 eye cuttings make larger potatoes than 2 eye cuttings. TPG = Texas Potato Growers say they plant cuttings 10" apart in rows 10" apart to make beds 6 ft wide 1/4 mile long. I planted my cuttings 12" apart in rows 12" apart in a 3 ft wide bed to keep cuttings out of mud. We had 1/2" of rain last night, this morning it is hard to tell it rained. I bought a load of mushroom compose it is very fertile sandy soil seems to be perfect of potatoes I hope it does not have too much nitrogen for potatoes. This compose is only 3" deep in these beds that is plenty to keep cutting out of the mud we still have 8 more weeks of rain to come. Hard soil prevents potatoes from getting big I hope this soft soil helps to get larger potatoes. I planted the eyes deep enough to keep sunlight off I want the potato plant roots to go down into the garden soil and the soft compose to keep sunlight off & let potatoes expand and get larger. When plants get larger I will keep covering them up with something soft I have a big pile of compose that should work good.

In a few weeks I should have more eyes to cut I would like to make another potato bed with 2 eye cutting to compare to 1 eye cuttings. I would also like to do a bed with 10" spacing to compare to 12" spacing. If we end up with 400 lbs of potatoes some will need to go to the homeless shelter.
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jal_ut
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Re: Potatoes

Nice tater patch. Please update us when you harvest.
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Gary350
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Re: Potatoes

It has been 2 weeks of cold rain and nothing seems to be happening. I barely covered the potato cutting with soil so they don't have far to grow to get sunlight & so far no plants. I uncovered some cutting this morning and they have nice green leaves under the soil. How can there be green leaves under the soil in the dark? Weather was sunny and nice in the 70s when potatoes were plated but every since then cold & it has rained 1/2" to 3.750" of rain every day for 2 weeks. It was 32 degrees again this morning and rain all night again. Rain, rain, rain, and more rain on the way, well that is TN weather every year. If it was warmer I could grow rice with all this rain. Wow this black compose soil if full of 100s of fishing worms where did all there worms come from so quick?
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jal_ut
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Re: Potatoes

Gary350, sounds like you better pick up some worms and go fishing?
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Boboe
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Re: Potatoes

Worms will find the good dirt. I didn't put any worms in my compost pile but they sure as hell are in there thick.

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