Emergency question re potatoes...

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by organicfarmer, May 25, 2006.

  1. organicfarmer

    organicfarmer Well-Known Member

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    We are desperately trying to get our garden in today as they are threatening rain again (it has been too wet and cold here in Ontario). My potatoes from the root cellar have very long roots. Will they be ok to plant or should I get new seed potatoes? We are planting the garden as I type (well the boys are out there right now as I am here at the computer).

    Thank you.

    Silvia
     
  2. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    They will be fine plant them with the roots on them.
     

  3. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Are they roots or sprouts? They are two completely different things!

    Martin
     
  4. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    Martin are potatoes modified fleshy stems or roots?

    I think they are probably sprouts they are writing about in which case plant them carefully trying not to break the sprouts off if you want them to grow faster. They will still send up new sprouts if you break them though it will take longer.
     
  5. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    The potatoes which we eat are neither a fleshy stem nor a root but close to one of them. They are tubers which are formed on stolons. The stolons are modified leafless branches off the main stem. In Nature, the stolons would be short and just above the surface. Growing them underground, as we do, is not the natural way. But it's the only way to assure that they are not poisonous.

    Planting any potato with long sprouts is a sure way to not have to worry about how to store an abundant harvest since there won't be an abundance! The stolons are produced at each stem segment and only one per segment. Under normal conditions, those segments are less than apart. When potatoes have long sprouts, the segments may be several inches or more apart. No doubt there will be one tuber per vine, maybe two. If there were still good eyes left on each piece, which there normally are, one would be further ahead to remove every single long sprout and let them start over again. Two inches is maximum sprout length that I will allow to remain on a seed piece. Anything longer than that means perhaps only 2 tubers per individual plant instead of 3 or 4.

    Martin
     
  6. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Some of our 25+ varieties of potatoes that we store every fall and replant every spring always have long sprouts on them, and we plant them anyway, and they almost always grow. Have been doing this for many years. So go ahead and plant them.
     
  7. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    My issue is not if they will grow or not but production. Ronnigers doesn't give a length of a sprout but says that it should be "short and stubby and not easily broken off". An ideal sprout should also be a greenish color due to developing with proper lighting. Some white "spaghetti" tangles which develop in total darkness are totally worthless since many also include the stolons. The only thing that can be done with those is to strip them and start over.

    Martin
     
  8. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Guess everyone should stick with Melissa's potato peelings method...sprouts were about 1",short and fat and these plants are doing fabulously in the garden. DEE