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Earlier this spring I had posted about using potatoes from last year as my starters for this year. I had not had an opppertunity to do anything with them and today I went into the room where they have been store and now they have shoot that are anywhere from 2-3 feet long. Any suggestions on how to go about utilizing these shoots for this years garden?

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Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:02 pm
Location: Potomac Highlands region, West Virginia, USA (Zone 6a?)

Re: potatoes

My suggestion would be to plant the potatoes as usual, with the long shoots still attached. Treat the long shoots as stems, but bury the potatoes as deep as you normally would.

I had a minor mishap several years ago, which lead me to try it. :roll: In my case I just planted the potatoes whole into the soil, but kept the eyes pointed straight up towards the soil's surface. The long eyes just laid limply on top of the soil surface at first, and I didn't prop them up much; mainly because of how long the eyes were. It seemed like an eternity, but eventually the stems became more rigid and green, until they were normal looking potato stems. :D

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Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Re: potatoes

Be sure to make small cuttings and let them dry 2 days before planting them. If you plant a whole potato it will never grow new potatoes it will only grow plants. When you plant eyes put the eyes down on soil surface then cover them over with 1" of soil. Do not dig a hole or ditch to plant cuttings. When plants get larger cover them with 2" of soil. When plants are 2' tall cover them with 6" of soil. Harvest is about 4 months when plants turn yellow and die.
Last edited by Gary350 on Sun May 20, 2018 2:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: potatoes

Ummm.... déja vu ...

Subject: Last years potatoes......
applestar wrote:Yes, you can plant the ones that started growing in the pantry. Any of them that are marble to gumball size will have at least one eye and energy to grow. To make them easier to handle by planting time, it’s a good idea to separate them and trim them.

Ideally, keep the shoots trimmed to about 4-6 inches long. One way to do this if you have the room is to get boxes for cases of bottles from a liquor store and put the potatoes individually in each divided section. If you are going to close them up and stack them, cut/poke holes in the sides so they can breathe and not get moldy.

...I learned this nifty trick AFTER I tried planting potatoes that grew way too long in the pantry one year :roll: :lol:

Subject: Applestar's 2016 Garden
applestar wrote:...
Now, we've talked about how you should really get certified seed potatoes to plant rather than using the grocery store potatoes.... So, I don't recommend doing what I'm doing, but when *someone* has shoved a bag of potatoes to the back of the pantry until THIS is going on by the time I discover them, what is a gardener to do? The extra long ones are actually tiniest tubers from last year's harvest that I meant to save more carefully for this year's seed.
...more in that thread if you want to see how I planted them and and how that turned out.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Re: potatoes

Hmmmm...... my experience tells me those shoots are of no use. Just bust them off. Eat those potatoes quickly, or if you want to plant them, cut them to two eyes per piece and plant the pieces about a foot apart in rows spaced 30 inches. When the potato plant is up about a foot tall you will want to hill them up. That is to keep the developing tubers from seeing the sun. If they see sunshine they turn green and get a bad flavor. Have fun!

If you want to plant potatoes, best to go to the seed store and buy certified seed potatoes. (Certified Disease Free) and plant them where there has not been any potatoes growing for 3 years. The idea is to not propagate the diseases that so often follow potatoes around.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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