cutting seed potatoes -- should they look like this?

dab07April 19, 2010

About 10 days ago I put my potatoes in a single layer, warmish place, with indirect sunlight. I read to do this in the Ronniger's potato catalog. This pre-sprouts them and has a few advantages over immediate planting. So far it's working nicely.

Several days ago I decided to cut the really big ones in half, and then I put them back with the others to heal over and continue pre-sprouting. I'm planning to plant them in a few days.

The surfaces I cut look pretty ugly! They're grey/white and moldy looking, tho I don't feel any mold on them. A few are black. Is this the way cut seed potatoes look, or did something go wrong?

If this isn't normal, do you think if I planted them sooner rather than later, before they get worse, they'd be OK? Or maybe I should recut those areas to remove the blackness?

Thank you.

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organicislandfarmer(9)

you are fine from what I have read. So long as you have three eyes per chunk. The potato itself is gonna rot in the ground anyway.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 1:37PM
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joann23456(New England, US)

That's what mine looked like, too. I think it's fine, because they grew roots and then started growing stems. I've never grown potatoes, and I just cut up a couple of old potatoes that I had lying around, but it sounds the same as yours.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 11:20PM
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cyrus_gardner(8)

IMO pre cutting and curing is just waste of effort. I would cut them right in the garden and plant them.
However, sproting(chitting/greening) make sense.
When pre-sprouted potato is cut and planted right away, the roots will grow before the seed rots. Once the roots are grown
it does not matter if the rest rots. You can actually peel a potato about 1/4 to 1/2" thick and jusplant the eyes. And make french fries with the core.lol

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 5:02AM
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dab07

Thanks cyrus gardner, that's good to know. I'm not looking for extra work!

Joanne, you're in for a treat! Potatoes are fun to grow. It's exciting digging for them the first time and actually pulling beautiful potatoes out from the soil. I do recommend that you look into some of the varieties of seed potatoes you can buy from different sources. There are a LOT of different kinds, and many of them have much better flavor than any you find in the supermarket. They're a bit of a pain when the Colorado potato beetles find them, so for the work you put in, the end result better be worth it, IMO!

Here are links to a few sources with large selections. Fedco (the "Moose Tubers" section) is probably closest to you in NE, and their prices are low because it's a coop.

FEDCO: you can download a catalog to see their list and description here

Ronniger's

Seed Savers Exchange

The SSE also has a yearbook of seeds that members sell, and that list is the longest one I've seen anywhere:

SSE Yearbook

Some of my favorite varieties are Carola, Green Mountain, Red Gold, Epicure, Ozette fingerling....

Hope this is useful.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 10:35AM
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tn_gardening

The cut side of my taters turned black (I cut them and left them on the patio for a day or two before planting).They appear to be doing great (already see green leaves poking up).

FWIW, I planted my taters in an old trash can. I put a couple inches of dirt in the bottom and topped the taters with shredded leaves. Planning to continue to add shredded leaves as the plants grow.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 9:59AM
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dab07

Post at the end of the season, I'd love to hear/see how they turn out. I've been interested in trying this to free up garden space for other crops.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 8:26PM
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