A question for martin about potatoe seeds.

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by r.h. in okla., Mar 30, 2006.

  1. Here a while back you mentioned that if your potatoe seeds have eyes that are too long to just break them off and new ones will form. How long will that take for the new ones to form? I ask this cause I'm running about 2 weeks behind on getting my taters planted and the seeds have sprouts severa inches long. Some even have little green leaves on them. I'm hoping to get them planted about the 1st week of April. Will they have time to develope new eyes or should I just go ahead and plant them like they are?
     
  2. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    r.h., "several" inches still ain't bad as I draw the line at about 3". At that length, they still haven't transformed all of the stem into a true stem. If buried several inches deeper than the tip of the growing sprout, the production portion of the stem will still elongate a little. All tubers will then form off that short little area. If they are under 3", plant them as is. Over 3", take a chance on another good eye and snap them off.

    Examples of seed which has gone really too far is when the whole works looks like it is mixed with long strands of spaghetti. Those white strands are the specialized stems which the tubers form on. If your seed ever gets that far, there is no choice as to what to do. You either dump everything or tear off every one of those plants as they are beyond the sprout stage.

    You can always avoid any further worry about those seed pieces by planting them as soon as possible. I planted today! Only the second time in past 20 some years that I've got some planted in March. 40 Red Norland and 10 each of Purple Majesty and Finn Rose. Still have 25 Carola and 50 Kennebec but I have to wait until early May before we can get into the community garden plots.

    Martin
     

  3. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    Sheesh, Wisconson can't be too different than North Idaho, where our last (usually) safe frost date is June first. Is it too soon to plant here? My raised beds are workable. If I do plant two months early I imagine I have to cover them until all danger of frost is past?
     
  4. Thanks Mart, some of them are just barely sprouted and some of them are as long as 5 inches probably. I'll see what happens!!!
     
  5. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    I looked at some of my Kennebecs which would be a bit far along in another month. Those are all about the size of a hen's egg or smaller. Despite most originally having at least a dozen eyes, only one has sprouted on most of them. The other eyes are still there but dormant. Should something happen to the one that is presently growing, another one will quickly come to life and take over.

    If you have some sprouts which are 2 or 3 inches long, study them for a few minutes. Right at the base, there should be a ring of small bumps. Those will become the roots. They may be tan or brown to start. About an inch away from the base are short "branches", usually white or very light green. Note that they do not have a green tip. That's because they are not to become leafy branches but to form tubers. If the tips of those become damaged, others have to be formed or you get no tubers. When you get 2 inches or more away from the potato, the color will become a darker green and the growing tips will be green. Those become the true stems and branches.

    Martin
     
  6. dogo

    dogo Well-Known Member

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    He I know this is not what you are talking about, but in away it is. Back in 1966 and ole army buddy was telling me about how he planted potato's and I thought it was interesting. So when I got back to Gods country, Of course you guys know it by the name Alabama LOL. I was going to try it. Well I did and it worked. You prepare the ground and lime it real well . Then you take your seed potato's and lay them in rolls on top of the ground just like you would if you were burying them. After laying them on the ground you take hay ole hay would be better and cover the seed potato's to about 3 or 4 inches on top of them. Then wet it down real good keep it moist or wet, but don't drown them. Of course you put fertilizer with the lime and rake all this in before laying your potato's down. Anyway your vines will come threw the hay and lay right on top. When they bloom you know the potato's are putting on and you harvest them after the vine dies. You just rake the straw back and your potato's are right on top of the ground and clean . I harvest some before the vines died, it was easy. You just have to watch for snakes some like to crawl under the straw. Of course I never seen one, but possible. I raised a small plot of potato's just to try. Then I move to the city no garden place. The time I did them that way I got 4 or 5 gallons of new potato's. I had a real good friend from Idaho His Name was Don Green that was in 66 sure loved to hear from him. Anyway I wanted to share this with you Potato guys.....