Potato planting: No eyes vs. 'Long' eyes

bart1(6/7 Northern VA)March 31, 2008

I recieved some seed potato in the mail and none of them have any eyes showing yet. I see the little "dimples" where the eyes will form, but they haven't started sprouting yet. Is there any problem in planting them like they are now, with no eyes sprouting?

I also have some spuds from last year that have some long eyes growing. Some are 4 inches long. What's the best way to plant these? Should I just stick them in the ground with the 4 inch eye and burry them, or should I break off eye at the potato and then plant?

Thanks!

Bart

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glacier1093

I don't know but I sure would like to. Any tater planters wanna enlighten us?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 8:38PM
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anney(Georgia 8)

Bart

Here are instructions for growing potatoes. Bring your spuds into a warm area with lots of light. They'll sprout then. Recommended ground temps are 45 degrees for planting outside.

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Potatoes

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 8:46PM
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glacier1093

Well I planted some potatoes that had little pimples on them, are those considered eyes? will the plants grow, or did the eyes have to be long before planting?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 10:24PM
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sinfonian(U8b A2 S5 SeaWA)

It's my understanding that dimples will sprout underground if they haven't already. Leaving them out in indirect light for a week will only hasten the process.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sinfonian's gardening adventure

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 11:30PM
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glacier1093

thanks sinfonian. I was worried I'd have to dig em up and replant sprouted ones.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 12:11AM
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anney(Georgia 8)

They'll just take a lot longer to sprout if you plant them with the eyes unsprouted, but eventually they'll pop up.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 9:10AM
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grandad_2003(9A/sunset 28)

My process which I had gotten from my wife's step-grandfather (an old-timer who farmed) was to cut the potato into chunks keeping an eye indentation in each chunk. Dusting the newly exposed chunks with lime helped keep out contamination. I generally would get approximately 6 to 8 eye chunks from each potato. Let the chunks sit for about a week or so to promote eye sprouting and to heal, then plant.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 9:30AM
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tcstoehr

The procedure I'm using is to place the seed potatoes in egg cartons next to a north-facing window. Strong light but not direct sunlight. I do this about one month before planting outdoors. When they go out, they cannot tolerate exposure to frost. After a month indoors the sprouts are quite well developed but still tender and brittle. I carefully cut any potatoes in half that are large or have alot of sprouts, again being very careful not to damage the shoots. When they go outside, I bury the shoots almost completely.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 12:13PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I recieved some seed potato in the mail and none of them have any eyes showing yet. I see the little "dimples" where the eyes will form, but they haven't started sprouting yet. Is there any problem in planting them like they are now, with no eyes sprouting?

Yes, bury them 6" deep with the eyes on top and the "dimples" (which are the eyes) will sprout and grow. How fast? Depends on the weather.

I also have some spuds from last year that have some long eyes growing. Some are 4 inches long. What's the best way to plant these? Should I just stick them in the ground with the 4 inch eye and burry them,

Yes, bury them 6" deep too and they will grow and will likely pop up a bit faster than the others. But they will all catch up quickly and you won't be able to tell the difference.

This is not to say the pre-sprouting is bad or wrong or anything else, just not needed unless you prefer to do it and have the time.

However, to be clear, seed potatoes are not intended to be buried whole unless they are extremely tiny. ;) Chunking the seed potatoes (as Grandad describes above) is quite beneficial in production and allowing them a couple of days for the cut edges to air dry before planting is also quite beneficial.

Hope this helps.

Dave

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 1:37PM
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naturegirl_2007(5B SW Michigan)

Dave,

How tiny should the chuncks be. I've seen various recommendations. One sheet in front of me now recommends a 2 oz size. Seems like whatever size I plant usually grows. However, maybe I could get better yield if I made a few changes.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 5:15PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

2-3 oz. sounds good. Honestly I have never weighed mine. I just cut them up so that there is at least 1 eye in each chunk and usually 2. But the number of eyes will vary from variety to variety too. I always grow Red Pontiac as they are our favorites. Chunks of them are about 1 1/2" in diameter - say 2 chubby knuckles long. ;)

Dave

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 7:56PM
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farmerdilla

Like Dave said, 1-3 eyes per cut piece. Size will vary due to the size of the potato. Eyes are usually spaced further apart on large potatoes. There are usually less eyes on the stem end. Each eye will make a plant.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 8:26PM
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bart1(6/7 Northern VA)

Thanks everyone!

Can I ask a question about spacing too? I don't have my books in front of me but I think I remember reading that you should space them 12 - 18 inches apart. Again, I'm not sure if that's the actual range, but I always stuck to the wider spacing thinking I'd get better plants and crops.

What spacing do you use?

Thanks again,
Bart

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 5:56AM
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