I am doing a bio-intensive garden this year and the book I have been referencing tells me to sprout my potatoes. Can anyone tell me the best way to do this. Do I cut the potatoes into pieces?
most efficient if you cut the potato up so each piece has at least one "eye" - don't want to let them actually grow before you bury them tho
i try to buy my seed potatoes a couple of months or so before i need them so i can get them sprouted with long healthy growths. i do this buy putting the seed spuds into egg cartons to keep them seperated and with the best buds upward then put into a cool dark dry place then they should have good growths ready for planting the whole spud out.
this gives a slightly shorter season in the ground and you only get to plant the viable tubers.
Here is a link that might be useful: lens garden page
The potatoes I have in storage are begining to sprout now the weather is warming up, so that would suggest dark and warm. But why does your source recommend sprouting? What's wrong with nature's way of letting them sprout in the soil? By the way, I never cut seed potatoes, rather I select the smallest ones to get top value for my huge outlay ($2 to $3) on seeds for a year's worth of spuds. The only benefit of cutting that I can see is economy, which is fine if you are planting several acres. Regards, Peter.
i saw a documentry on how the jersey islanders grow their spuds so tried it and it at least assured i was planting viable stock, i also don't cut them. just because you stick a spud in the ground is no guarantee it will sprout.
these aren't a natural occuring plant they are hybradised by man since about when columbus or someone discovered america. but yes small tubers missed at harvest can sprout the next season but not all of them do and i don't think most of them do for that matter.
What I have learned is you want to green up your potatoes at least 4 weeks before you plants. Put them in a room that gets light but out of direct light. Greening up makes sure the sprouts do not get too long (you don't want them any longer than 3' to 4'. being in the dark encourages a lot of leggy, weak growth as the sprouts reach for any available light). Cut the potatoes into pieces no more than 24 hours before planting. make sure there is an eye in each piece and that the pieces are not too small.
Here is a link that might be useful: Boulder Belt Eco-Farm
I cut mine (called chitting) a month before I want to plant them. I've discovered that giving them a spray of water when I'm watering the rest of the greenhouse helps them along. I don't chit small potatoes.
I read once that the LAST thing you want to do is save tiny potatoes from one year's crop to plant for the next year. When you do that, you're selecting over time for the traits of small tubers and lateness to maturity.
Makes sense to me.