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jnunez918
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1st time planting potatoes

I just ordered seed potatoes. I bought some potatoes a couple months ago from an organic store. They are now starting to sprout. How will the ones delivered in fall have enough time to sprout? Or do certified seed potatoes have to actually sprout before planting? Also what is the best method to encourage sprouting, I read dark pantry, warm windowsill, I'm confused.
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GardenRN
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If you are buying actual seed potatoes, they will most likely already have sprouts on them.

If not, dark pantry...not a big deal. It doesn't take long.

Welcome to the forum. :wink:
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OROZCONLECHE
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I planted some Potato sprouts about a month ago, and totally forgot about them, I noticed some weird sprout coming out of the dirt, amazed bout how nice the plant was, I diged it out founding out is the potatos with lots of roots, I know its probably the worst time for potatoes but the plant is so nice im going to let it grow.
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jnunez918
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Marlingardener wrote:I'm a Texas gardener, too, and I buy seed potatoes in early February, cut them into planting sizes (at least two eyes per piece), let them cure outside on a raised table until they are dry on the cut surface, then plant them in the ground.
You don't need to let them sprout (chitting) before planting. Just make sure to plant the pieces about 6" deep, cover with 2" of soil, when the greenery appears add another 2" of soil, repeat. When the greenery is at garden soil level, you can either mulch heavily or add more soil or compost to make a hill for the potato plants. I use compost because we have a lot of it, but hay, grass clippings, dirt works just fine, too.
For texas growing you suggest putting out in late feb or march?
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jal_ut
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They do not need to be pre-sprouted. Just cut the potatoes with the number of eyes you want on a piece and plant. Some say to let them dry for a while before planting. I never do, just cut and plant. I like to cut with two eyes on a piece. On one end of the tuber there is always a cluster of eyes close together and to cut that part with only two eyes would make for some pretty small pieces, so some of the pieces have more than two eyes. You can cut them with one eye per piece if you want to. You can also plant the whole tuber, but I don't recommend that. You get lots of small taters doing that.

I have a pic of just such a planting at harvest:

[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/potato_small.jpg[/img]

In contrast, here is what you can expect with two eyes per piece.

[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/potato_good.jpg[/img]
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GardenRN
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What are your thoughts, Jal, on that potato video that was posted a while back about the no dig potatoes? That guy planted whole potatoes under the hay and manure and didn't seem to get small tubers.. Do you think the different planting method makes it so you don't have to cut the potatoes?

For the record I agree with cutting the potatoes, I just noticed in that video that he did not. And was quietly wondering which way I was going to do it.
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jal_ut
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The problem with planting the full tuber is that each eye can send up a vine. Each one is its own plant. So by planting the full tuber, you are severely overcrowding the plants. Of course, it stands to reason that you will get smaller tubers because of the overcrowding. I suspect the guy with the "No Dig" potatoes could have had larger spuds too if he had cut them. My suggestion is to try something, and after ten years or so you will arrive at the method that works very well for you.
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kbuthy
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Re: 1st time planting potatoes

I just planted whole sprouted red and white potatoes. I keep reading they must be cut first. Is this true? If so, what will happen if I did not cut them? :shock:

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Re: 1st time planting potatoes

I've also planted whole sprouted turnips...will we get turnips or just the greens? :?:

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applestar
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Re: 1st time planting potatoes

kbuthy wrote:I just planted whole sprouted red and white potatoes. I keep reading they must be cut first. Is this true? If so, what will happen if I did not cut them? :shock:
Look at jal_ut's post with what photo of what he harvested from planting an entire potato (5posts up). Unfortunately the link to his 2nd photo of what would be considered a good harvest from planting a cut up piece with one or two eyes is corrupted,mbut maybe he'll come back and show us with a corrected link.
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Re: 1st time planting potatoes

kbuthy wrote:I've also planted whole sprouted turnips...will we get turnips or just the greens? :?:
Turnips will NOT grow more turnips from planting an entire turnip, you may be able to harvest some greens but I think it will quickly bolt -- center stalk will get elongated then flower.

Turnips are very easy to grow from seeds -- some varieties only take 45-50 days. But it needs to be grown in cool weather.
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Re: 1st time planting potatoes

Hmm, my earlier photo seems to have quit working. Ok try this:
Image
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kbuthy
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Re: 1st time planting potatoes

Darn! Guess I'll be unplanting the turnips. ;)

Also guess I'll have a bunch of baby reds. Lol!

Thanks for the info!

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Re: 1st time planting potatoes

Whole onions that have sprouted csn be planted though, right?

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Re: 1st time planting potatoes

Last year, I put aside a certain amount of space I wanted to fill with potatoes. I cut up my potatoes and found I still had more space to use up. I was in a hurry and just filled the rest of the space up with whole potatoes. I didn't seem to notice much of a difference. Could of been the kind of potato, I think the extra was Bintje. I love that potato. I usually plant four and it is my favorite.

I believe, from my experience, that a onion left over from the year before that starts to sprout will bolt and give you lots of seeds for the next year but not much of a bulb.

You could leave the turnips and collect seeds for next year form them.

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Re: 1st time planting potatoes

I usually choose small seed potatoes to plant and mine usually have only a couple of eyes anyway.

Sigh, I planted my seed potatoes a month ago about, and they were doing so well, up about a foot, bushy, healthy, I was so proud... then...a few nights ago, zapped by frost. Since then, zapped a couple more times worse! Should have thrown a sheet over them, but didn't think it was going to get that cold!

Heartbreaking, but, that happened to me in the past and it seems like they recover from it, hope they do this time. It may still frost again til mid May, who knows?

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Re: 1st time planting potatoes

This thread reminds me of the way Ruth Stout used to plant potatoes, just lifted up the mulch and put them under there. Said she had great potatoes. She wrote books on mulching, gardening without work, etc. Probably lots of gardeners here remember her.

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Re: 1st time planting potatoes

Yup, definitely love Ruth Stout's books and video, which are hard to find these days.

Potatoes are pretty tough and cold hardy plants, I imagine they will recover fine.
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