Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Basics - Preparing Seed Potatoes for Planting

The Basics - Preparing Seed Potatoes for Planting

You've never tasted a potato until you've tasted an organic homegrown potato, dug fresh from the garden.

Potatoes are very easy to grow and very affordable.

Have you ever noticed, when you buy a bag of potatoes in the grocery store - occasionally you will find an older potato that has a little bud or eye on it? - Well, this is the beginning of the potato plant.  In the past I have planted "old" potatoes that I bought from the grocery store but I recommend buying "Seed Potatoes" from your local greenhouse or nursery instead.  This year I bought 2 bags of "Seed Potatoes" for $5.99 each and I ended up getting 70 potato plants out those 2 bags.

I have started cutting the "Seed Potatoes" into "sets"

Before planting your "seed potatoes" - you must first:
1.  Take the Seed Potatoes out of the bag and set them in a warm place (60 to 70 degrees F.) with lots of sunlight.
2.  Keep them in this warm place for about 1 to 2 weeks or until you notice the "eyes" or "buds"
sprouting (see the first picture above).
3.  Now you will need to cut each potato into "sets".  Whenever you see an "eye" (or bud) - cut just below the eye (see the picture below).  Now I have 2 potato plants from 1 Seed Potato.  From some of the larger potatoes you might get 3 or 4 plants.  Continue cutting until you have completed the entire bag of seed potatoes. 
4.  Wait 2 more days before planting to allow the cut side to harden or "leather."  

In a later post I will show you how to plant potato sets.



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  1. I must say potatoes are one thing I've never tried to grow!

  2. My sister in law has a lovely garden and she grows potatoes. You are so right, nothing tastes as good as a home grown potato!

  3. Thanks for the tips! My potatoes didn't do well last year, so I am pinning this. :-)

    I came over from Green Thumb Thursday!

  4. Great tutorial! I planted potatoes for the first time last year. They did ok, but now i can see a thing or 2 I did wrong. Thanks for the info!

    Thanks for linking up with Green Thumb Thursday. I hope to see you again this week!

    ~Lisa M

  5. I cut my see potatoes to prepare for planting, and I came down with the flue before I could get them in the ground. A week past, and it became moldy at the slice. The buds are sprouting nicely still, but the potatoes are a little more dry than when I started and shriveling. What will my success rate be, or should I toss & start again. I really need some good advice here. I have 3/4 of my garden started and I'm worried I will need to hunt down more seed potatoes if these are ruined. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Wendy, thanks for stopping by! I have a 3 option answer in order of preference (the first option being the best option & so on) :
      1. Since I am unable to see how moldy they are (my seed potatoes will sometimes get a little gray moldy but never fuzzy and the shriveling part is fine) but I would just start fresh & get new seed potatoes - it's still early so you have plenty of time to cut them & they are fairly inexpensive to buy new.
      2. If you feel that you cannot buy new, then I would try placing the moldy ones in a very sunny window sill or in a sunroom for a day and then plant them the day after being in the sun.
      3. I would pick out the better less moldy potatoes & plant them in your prime potato ground and then if you have a section of ground that you weren't planning anything special- then I would plant the remaining in that ground just to see if they will grow. (Or plant in a large container to see if they will grow) (Make sure that your soil is not soggy wet - even try planting in dry straw)
      Thanks again! I hope that helps & good luck!

  6. I have heard that putting wood ash on the cut part of the potato helps seals the cut. Never tried it myself. Guess there are pros and cons to almost everything.


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