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I am asking you as you are in the same zone.When are you planning to plant yours.I have some that have huge eyes and would like to get them planted as soon as I can safely do so.
I was thinking of potting them in the GH now for planting later but have never tried this before,but then again whats the point if they can go out in the garden soon.Any tips? Thanks
 

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I am asking you as you are in the same zone.When are you planning to plant yours.I have some that have huge eyes and would like to get them planted as soon as I can safely do so.
I was thinking of potting them in the GH now for planting later but have never tried this before,but then again whats the point if they can go out in the garden soon.Any tips? Thanks
Put the potatoes in bright light and chit them. I do this some years. An egg carton works well to hold them in place. The shoots will turn green.
Potato Chitting

I haven't got my potatoes yet, but would be chitting them now if they were available. One can start six weeks or more before planing.
 

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Thats the problem the eyes are huge and they really should be planted somewhere.
You are talking about the shoots. They should be broken off and chitted, and if not chitted broken off before planting. The shoots are the stems that grow above the ground. Actually they get broken or damaged when planting in the ground anyway.

The new tubers grow from the very bottom of the eye and lower portion of the stem always above the seed potato.

26 April 2011 Chitting Potatoes 26 April 2011 Chitting Potatoes

Required are about 96 potato plants in the home garden. This year the chosen are All Red, Purple Viking, Green Mountain, and Pacific Russet. I expect about four pounds plus from each plant. The seed potatoes were chitted for about a month, and today were cut to give me around 24 of each type. They will be allowed to grow more in bright light and this also heals the cut surface prior to planting.

Chitting and cutting serves several purposes. Cutting reveals any poor quality potatoes, which may be discarded, and chitting indicates the viability of the tuber, and givers the tuber a good start when planted. The shoots are green when started in bright light, this is quite different from the shoots that form when the potato is kept in darkness. The desire is for the green shoots. The colour of the shoot varies slightly depending upon the type of potato. If enough time elapses the green shoots get quite long, usually less than two inches but strong and green.

21 August 2009 How a Potato Plant Grows. 21 August 2009 How a Potato Plant Grows
There is a great deal of information on the Internet about growing potatoes in tires, boxes and indicating that large quantities of new tubers can be produced with high vertical hilling. The view propagated is that potatoes grow from branches all along the main stalk. This is utter nonsense, as the pictures indicate. New tubers are formed around the seed potato and always slightly above it.

My potato growing test box was opened today. The pictures speak for themselves. Clearly there is no advantage in carrying out excessive hilling when growing potatoes. The purpose of hilling is to insure the tubers are covered, since light affects potatoes producing a green appearance, which is an indication of solanine, which is harmful if ingested in large quantities.. For comparison one Pontiac Red was dug in the same row, which was almost identical to the test box potato in appearance.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK,now I get it.I will chit these,and I do have egg cartons. Your pics are a great learning tool.Thanks so much for going to the trouble to help me with this Durgan, I really appreciate it.
 

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FWIW, I'm in the same zone and the recommendation here is to plant on St Patrick's Day (March 17). I didn't get mine in until the 25th but I think they will be fine. All but a few are coming up already.
 

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FWIW, I'm in the same zone and the recommendation here is to plant on St Patrick's Day (March 17). I didn't get mine in until the 25th but I think they will be fine. All but a few are coming up already.
We couldn't even dream of planting in March. I have taken a chance and planted 15 April and have lost all my plants due to rain and cold temperatures. Some years I succeed but it is risky. The real danger is prolonged cold after planting, root bugs form and the plants stand still. Cold an too much rain is a deadly combination.
 

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i was told to cut the potatoes and let them rest a few days before planting. is this chitting?
 

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i was told to cut the potatoes and let them rest a few days before planting. is this chitting?
A potato has plenty of inherent food to sustain early growth, so cutting into chunks with at least one eye will allow growth with no loss in production. Cutting into chunks is a method of limiting the number of seeds potatoes required. The cut surface should be dry before placing in the ground to discourage soil disease. Cutting potatoes also gives a chance to inspect for damage and discoloured flesh prior to planting.

Chitting is simply growing the potatoes without soil to give a head start before placing in the ground. There is no loss in production. I do it sometimes to keep the seed potatoes healthy as opposed to keeping in the dark, since the anaemic not green shoots growth without bright light probably inhibits proper growth. Chitting can commence about two months before planting time.

A potato will grow almost anywhere, and is a most forgiving plant due to the large reserves of food in the potato proper. Once strong shoots start the seed potato plays no roll in production, since the shoot interacts with the soil, hence gets it food there. The seed potato often rots in the ground after shoot growth commences.

The objective is to grow new tubers with a firm flesh, no hollow centres, smooth surface shape, reasonable size, and about four pounds or more per plant. To me good production is a variety of sizes from one plant, and no bulges or knobs on the new potatoes, preferably without deep eyes.
 

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Does anyone pinch off the blooms on potato plants? I read yesterday about someone doing that. Does it make a difference in the size or quality of the potatoes?
 

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Does anyone pinch off the blooms on potato plants? I read yesterday about someone doing that. Does it make a difference in the size or quality of the potatoes?
I experimented one year and saw absolutely no difference that was detectable as to quality or quantity of the new potatoes, but the variation between plants is so vast normally, that if there was a difference it would be difficult to determine accurately.
 

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Do the eyes have to have visible growth to them before planting? If so, mine will fail.
 

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Do the eyes have to have visible growth to them before planting? If so, mine will fail.
No, the eye of the potato need not have growth only be present. One eye is enough. If you have the opportunity, have a look at machine planted potatoes that commercial growers use. When I first saw them I though they were hard stones.
 
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