How to Seed Potatoes for Planting

Written by James Puno

April 13, 2020

While potatoes do not normally produce seeds, growers call a part of the potato with eyes as “seed potatoes”. Growers usually select certified seed potatoes to avoid problems while growing their crops. You can find quality seed potatoes that were certified by the government from reputable sources. Once you get them you can start planting them in your garden.

In case you wish to seed your potatoes on your own, you can also do so. Get the potatoes you’ve harvested from your last harvest. Get the best crops that have one or two eyes. Keep in mind that the more eyes a potato have, the smaller the crop would be when it matures. Always look for potatoes with one or two eyes. It’s important that you know how to seed potatoes on your own.

Preparation

Growing potatoes from seeds is quite easy. You can start by cutting your seed potatoes two days before your scheduled planting. Doing so will allow the pieces to seal up or callus. This prevents the crop from rotting. It will also prevent soil borne diseases from getting through your seeds. On the other hand, the cut pieces will start to take root.


Chitting

Growers use the term chitting when they prefer to pre-sprout their seed potatoes before planting. Most of the gardeners think that this gives them a head start. However, there’s no proven fact that it does give them a boost when they plant their seed potatoes. Whether you chit or not depend on your preference as a grower.

How to Chit

Chitting is done by placing your seed potatoes on a bright spot. It can be indoors or outdoors as long as they are placed on a cool place. Make sure that there’s enough light to hit your seeds. Traditionally, they are placed on an egg tray. Some growers position the potato pieces with their bud end facing up. However, there’s no evidence or proof as to the efficacy of the practice. Growers can put their seeds anywhere as long as they aren’t pile on top of each other.

Normally, a seed will take 2 to 4 weeks before the chits develop. This is why you need to schedule your planting to avoid problems in the long run. Chit should be done at least one month before your planned transplanting of your potato seedlings.

Planting

You can start planting your seed potatoes when the sprouts are about 1/2 to 1 inch long. When planting, make sure that you handle the seeds with care. Improper handling of the seeds will result to damaged seedlings. In case the weather isn’t good, you can always postpone the planting of your seed potatoes. However, don’t wait too long as they will dehydrate after several days. It’s important that you also have a backup plan just in case the weather doesn’t cooperate with your scheduled planting.

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