How to Sprout Potatoes
– Step 1: Get potatoes to sprout
– Step 2: Choose a suitable place to sprout potatoes
– Step 3: Sprout your potatoes
– Step 4: De-seed your potatoes
– Step 5: Plant your potatoes
If you want to plant potatoes, you can either buy pre-sprouted seed potatoes from a garden center or sprout them yourself, which is more economical and gives you a much wider choice of varieties. Planting pre-sprouted potatoes have several advantages: the plants come out of the ground more quickly, which brings forward the harvest, and above all, you get a more significant number of stems per planted potato, thus a better yield.
This fact sheet explains how to sprout potatoes.
1. Get potatoes to sprout
Sprouting your own potatoes allows you to choose the varieties that interest you.
– Buy potatoes from a store (make sure they have not been treated for sprouting).
– Or harvest your seed potatoes from your garden the year before:
◦ Select vigorous, perfectly healthy plants.
◦ Pull your seed potatoes a month or so before harvesting potatoes to eat.
◦ Leave the tubers you just pulled on the ground for 15 days.
◦ Then remove any that show signs of rot.
◦ Store the others in a cool, ventilated place until January-February of the following year.
Important: Don’t sprout potatoes from your vegetable garden more than 2-3 years in a row to avoid spreading existing diseases. Instead, renew your plants every 3 years or so.
2. Choose a suitable location for sprouting potatoes
To germinate your potatoes, choose a clear, dry place with a temperature that is neither too high nor too low (ideally between 10 and 15°C). In practice, a garden shed, a garage, or a shed with a window is suitable for sprouting potatoes.
3. Sprout your potatoes
– Sprout your potatoes 4 to 6 weeks before planting, usually in January-February. Depending on your region, this will make them ready for planting in March, April or May.
– Select only perfectly healthy potatoes.
– Place your potatoes upright next to each other, without overlapping them, on racks, wooden crates, or even on cardboard sheets that have been used to pack eggs (useful for keeping the potatoes upright).
– Locate the part with eyes, or sometimes the beginning of a sprout, and place it on top.
– Leave your potatoes like this for 4 to 6 weeks, which is the average germination time.
4. De-seed your potatoes
Watch your potatoes during the sprouting period: if a single sprout, called apical, appears at the top of the tuber well before the others, it must be removed. Otherwise, you will get a plant with only one stem and, therefore, a less abundant future harvest.
Important: some varieties of potatoes, such as ratte or Belle de Fontenay, do not tolerate being degermed. Other varieties cannot be degermed more than once.
5. Plant your potatoes
Plant your potatoes in the ground when the sprouts are purple in colour and still short (2-3 cm) and without leaves. Handle the tubers gently to avoid breaking the sprouts and plant them sprout upwards.
Necessary: wait 15 days before planting degerminated plants.
Hope you have liked this post. Remember to share your experience in the comments below.