planting sprouted potatoes: which end is up?

zootjs(zone 5 MA)April 24, 2010

Last year, I planted fingerlings, and when I harvested them, I saved some to plant this year, as seeds. I kept them in a paper bag.

I just looked at them, as I want to plant them now, and saw that they have long since sprouted. The sprouts are several inches long.

Do I plant the sprouted eyes going up or down? Generally, I understand that the eyes should point up, but if these were up, the potato would be pretty deep in the ground. Should they point sideways, in a trench, maybe?

--Jonathan

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I suppose you could side lay in a trench but sprouts up is better. The potato needs to be buried fairly deep anyway so just bury most of the sprout and leave the tip exposed.

One point since you live in that part of the country that was hit with all the late blight last year. The official AG recommendation is not to use saved potatoes this year as the LB fungus can over-winter in saved potatoes. The potatoes won't show any signs of it until they sprout but if there was any LB in your vicinity last year you might want to consider if the risk of re-contamination is really worth it.

Just something to consider.

Dave

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 10:52PM
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organicislandfarmer(9)

Dave rocks!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 9:11AM
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zootjs(zone 5 MA)

Thanks Dave, I appreciate the input.

I haven't heard anything about potato blight around here.

--Jonathan

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 2:23PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Jonathan - it wasn't "potato blight" it was Late Blight in tomatoes and most of the tomato crop in the NE US was wiped out last year by it. MA included. News was full of it at the time. But the fungus that causes it can over-winter in potatoes since they are in the same family.

So, if you or a nearby neighbor grew tomatoes last year and lost them to the disease before the season was over, your potatoes "could" be infected. You might want to do some reading through the many discussions here on 'Late Blight' before deciding.

Dave

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 2:41PM
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zootjs(zone 5 MA)

Right, got it. Thanks for the clarification.

I didn't get hit by the tomato blight last year, and I don't believe my neighbors did either, but I'll call around. How close does someone need to be to be considered a neighbor, for this purpose?

--Jonathan

P.S. By "not getting hit," I mean that I grew a ton of tomatoes and they were fine. Not that I didn't try growing tomatoes!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 5:19PM
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