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Beginner Vegetables: growing potatoes from "eyes"

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easter_lily
Greentown, IN
(Zone 5a)

June 20, 2007
11:17 PM

Post #3638813

I am in need of some info. Despite some internet "research," I have yet to find the answers I am really looking for! I have never grown potatoes and was wondering if I could use the potato in my pantry that has sprouted eyes. I have plenty of extra room in my large vegetable garden for some experimentation, so wasting space is not a problem! Does anyone have any advice for me? For instance, one source I read said that I should cut the potato into pieces immediately before planting. Another source said let the pieces "scar" over for a few days before planting. I'm so confused! Also, is it too late in the season to plant the potatoes in my zone? Any help you can offer is more than welcome! Thank you!

This message was edited Jun 20, 2007 6:27 PM
Farmerdill
Augusta, GA
(Zone 8a)


June 21, 2007
1:00 AM

Post #3639122

Back in Virginia , when I was a kid we planted fall potatoes around the Fourth of July. so your window of opportunity is narrowing. It is the best practice to cut the potaoes into pieces each containing one or more eyes. two would be appear to be the consenus. Letting the cut pieces expose for a day or so does reduce the potential for rot, especially in the early spring when the pieces are in damp cold ground for an extended period before the plants emerge. It is good practice, but not absolutely essential, especially since you will putting them in hot soil that may be a litlle dry. If you are one of folks that gets carried away with a hose, tho, I would reccommend it.
easter_lily
Greentown, IN
(Zone 5a)

June 21, 2007
2:51 AM

Post #3639665

Thanks so much, Farmerdill! Since reading your post, I have already cut the potato and will plan on putting the pieces in the ground in a couple of days. I do have a few more questions for you or anyone else willing to answer, if y'all don't mind! (My husband's from Virginia, too, and I lived in Tennessee long enough to pick up a few habits. Hence the "y'all!") When I plant them, is the direction important? I mean...do I put the eyes pointing up or down??? Also, how deep do I plant them and about how much space should I allow between my plants? And how do I know when to harvest? Thanks again for helping out a 'green' gardener.
Farmerdill
Augusta, GA
(Zone 8a)


June 21, 2007
9:45 AM

Post #3640257

1. It is not critical but eyes up may give you more uniform emergence. 2. roughly 3 inches
3. 12-18 inches. 4. New potatoes can be taken as soon as the vine gets full size ( bloom is a good indicator, but not all cultivars bloom) Full harvest when vines die back or first frost.
drivenbonkers
Perth,, ON
(Zone 5a)

June 21, 2007
1:05 PM

Post #3640566

lol, eyes up, so they can see where they're growing...

Just did this very same thing, planted potatoes with already sprouted eyes.

I dug out a trench about 4 - 5 inches deep, mounding the soil up on each side for the length of the row, let the trench be for the day. (this will warm the soil in the bottom of the trench) Later in the afternoon, plant the potatoes, by setting them eyes up in the bottom of the trench, about a foot or two apart. (depending on the space you have available. ( I have some of mine in 1 foot spacings, and others closer than that. Am planning to dig up the close spaced ones when they're still tiny baby spuds.)

Push over the soil from one side of the trench onto the planted spuds. use enough to cover them over, but not too deep, for now. As they emerge from the ground, pull a bit more soil over the base of the stems to 'hill' them up, and fill in the trench. Stand back and watch them grow.

The already sprouted ones should be showing leaves breaking in 1 to 2 weeks. Potatoes planted with no visible sprouts take 3 weeks or longer...

Happy potatoe gardening!
easter_lily
Greentown, IN
(Zone 5a)

June 21, 2007
8:57 PM

Post #3642407

Awesome. Thank you both so much! As of today, my potatoes are already showing some green sprouts on the tips of the eyes, so I'm hoping they'll take off quickly once in the ground. Again, your advice has been invaluable. Enjoy your first day of summer everyone...and the rest of it, too!
FarmerForde

May 12, 2010
4:03 PM

Post #7787688

hello, I see this thread is pretty old
but
I just want to 'confirm'>> Eyes UP???
meaning the growth growing out of the potato goes up?
and
gets covered with soil??
thank you!
organicfarm
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 17, 2010
1:54 AM

Post #7799677

Yes, best eyes up toward the sky. I'm surprised there is no discussion here about the potato bags and potato containers now being sold on the internet that supposedly get you more potato yield. I just got 2 potato containers and waiting to see how my small potatoes will do.
bookie71
Anchorage, AK

June 19, 2010
7:59 PM

Post #7904055

I tried a couple of kittie litter buckets as they seemed to be the same size as the potato containers (and cheaper). They are at least 2 -3 times the size of the spuds I planted in the raised containers.

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