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Old 03-22-2010, 07:23 PM
eyeh8bolton eyeh8bolton is offline
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Default Encouraging eye growth on potatoes



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This might be a stupid question, but is there anyway to encourage eye growth on potatoes?

This is my first year growing them, so I got some from gurneys. They came last week, but not many of them have eyes. I'm assuming that most, if not all of them, will eventually have eyes, and am curious if there's a way to speed up the process.

Doesn't sound right, but should I just plant them with or without an established eye with the assumption that one will grow eventually and re-orient itself once the potato's in the ground?

Thanks!
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Old 03-22-2010, 07:30 PM
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Leave 'em for awhile in a dark place. They'll do their thing on their own when it's the right time. Plants know when to sprout. You can either cut them in pieces with one eye per piece, or plant the potatoes whole.
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:19 PM
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If you put them in a warm bright area, it will encourage the eyes to grow.
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:54 AM
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My understanding is that you want to expose them to light. I know that the ones I have in a bag in an area that gets sunlight regularly have started sprouting eyes, and usually the recommendation is to store potatoes in the dark, probably to discourage the growth of eyes.
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:01 AM
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Cut the potatoes like you were going to plant them, take a cookie sheet and put about 1/8 - 1/4 inch of water in it.

Then place the potato cuttings into the water. After a few days the cuttings will start to sprout roots.

As for eyes, they will sprout when they are ready. I personally think that they have some kind of internal clock that tells them when its time to sprout. Temperature can help or hurt the sprouting process. I think if you keep the potatoes cool, the longer it will take them to sprout. Put them in a warm place, and you might be able to speed up the sprouting process. But do not expose the potatoes do direct sunlight.
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jane333 View Post
Leave 'em for awhile in a dark place. They'll do their thing on their own when it's the right time. Plants know when to sprout. You can either cut them in pieces with one eye per piece, or plant the potatoes whole.
chitting potatoes is done by putting them in a spot where they'll get indirect sunlight. It promotes the growth of strong chutes.
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:56 PM
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I have always been told not to store potatoes near onions or apples as they will cause the potatoes to sprout, so you might try that. Mine have started to develope eyes that are about 1/4 inches long, so I was going to put an onion with each small box of potatoes to see if it helps hurry them along. I don't think I would plant them without sprouts on them ... they might just start to rot and decompose if they haven't started growing before you put them into the ground. I am in Central Virginia, and I still have 2-3 weeks left to get them into the ground, so I am sure that by then, they will be ready! You still have a little time ....
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:16 PM
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Plant only potato pieces with eyes. If you plant them without eyes, they will just rot. You can force more eyes by leaving the potatos in indirect sun and a warm, moist (humid) area.
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by fulminated View Post
chitting potatoes is done by putting them in a spot where they'll get indirect sunlight. It promotes the growth of strong chutes.
Is any of that in English?? You sound like an expert, tho.

I store my seed potatoes all winter in the cool, dark. They sprout on time, ready for planting, sometime in March. I suppose I could leave them in the light and then they'd get eyes in January, but what's the point? The ground's frozen.

So, if you really know your stuff, explain what the point is of taking them out of the dark (underground in a field in the real world, waiting for Spring thaw) so that they get started BEFORE the temperatures are sufficiently warm outside to plant. I wanna know.
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Old 03-24-2010, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by jane333 View Post
Is any of that in English?? You sound like an expert, tho.

I store my seed potatoes all winter in the cool, dark. They sprout on time, ready for planting, sometime in March. I suppose I could leave them in the light and then they'd get eyes in January, but what's the point? The ground's frozen.

So, if you really know your stuff, explain what the point is of taking them out of the dark (underground in a field in the real world, waiting for Spring thaw) so that they get started BEFORE the temperatures are sufficiently warm outside to plant. I wanna know.
I'm not an expert. I read stuff. The stuff I read said chitting helps early varieties produce a better yield. A very experienced homesteader who no longer posts here also advised me to chit them. The why's and wherefors don't really concern me as much as the how and when.

http://www.the-organic-gardener.com/...-potatoes.html

from google search results.
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Old 03-31-2010, 07:48 PM
eyeh8bolton eyeh8bolton is offline
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for what it's worth, i tried a several of the solutions mentioned:

1. halved/quartered the spuds, suspended them in water and set them on the window sill (with the blinds closed most of the time). [chutes sprouted to around 1/4" and are mostly green]

2. halved/quartered the potatoes and set them on the window sill with no water. [eyes showed some small growth]

3. left the spuds whole and set them on the window sill. [the eyes didn't budge on these]

4. put some of the whole potatoes back in the paper bag and put it in the laundry room (cool temps for the most part) and away from any windows/sunlight. [the eyes on these grew like crazy. probably the best results of the bunch]


like i said, take it with a grain of salt, but seems like stowing them in a cool, dark place works quite well, and in my case better than any other option.

thanks again for all of the suggestions!
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeh8bolton View Post
This might be a stupid question, but is there anyway to encourage eye growth on potatoes?
Put them in my basement for a week. It never fails (even when you want it to ).
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Old 04-01-2010, 02:05 AM
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Put them in the pantry, under the bottom shelf, don't open the door for a week...they will sprout... stink a bit but they will sprout....



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Old 04-02-2010, 09:00 PM
Matthew 7:25 Matthew 7:25 is offline
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I prefer the KISS system whenever possible. I let them sprout in the ground, that way they don't break. If you see a little pimple size spot, that will be an eye.

My grandfather (frugal fellow) used to cut the eyes out when he peeled his potatoes and plant them.

This is not rocket science people. Potatoes know how to reproduce themselves better than we do.
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