While going gardening or going for homesteading, people go for many trees, plants, and vegetables. The main purpose along with fulfilling the craving for the passion of gardening is ensuring the supplies for the kitchen. For that people go for vegetables and shrubs.
One of these vegetables is potatoes. Potatoes are usually the main ingredient in many dishes across cultures. So gardeners always try to plant potatoes to get them for their kitchen. That’s why we are going to tell you how to cut potato eyes for planting.
Potatoes are known to everyone. These are used in all cultures in many shapes and forms. Important is that these have great nutritional value. Also, there are many varieties available in the market which are tasty and can be used according to their characteristics.
Potatoes are a type of starchy vegetable that is a staple food in many parts of the world. You can get fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. They can be eaten in many shapes and forms. The most common you see is the fries.
They are also used as an ingredient in many dishes, such as mashed potatoes, potato chips, and French fries. The potatoes can be grown anywhere. It is easy to grow and take care of. Growing potatoes is like textbook training for new gardeners for gardening, along with getting the potatoes.
Why plant potatoes?
There are many characteristics that make potatoes very liked vegetable across the globe. Here are some of the important characteristics which are highlighted as follows:
They also contain small amounts of other essential vitamins and minerals. Besides enjoying and having potatoes as a meal, they provide a good amount of nutrients to the body.
Easy to grow
Potatoes are relatively easy to grow and are a hardy crop that can be grown in a variety of climates and soil types. There are many varieties available that be planted with a specific target of potatoes for the kitchen, growing for seed, or growing commercially. Potato can be grown in all climates having different varieties.
Cooking in a versatile manner
They can also be used in a wide range of dishes, from soups and stews to casseroles and side dishes. You can use them as you wish to enjoy. They can be used in many shapes and forms like mashed, baked, fried, etc.
Easy and safe to store
Potatoes can be stored for several months if kept in a cool, dark place with good ventilation. They can be stored and transported without perishing. That’s why you would see potatoes are imported and exported in many parts of the world.
Cheap to buy & plant
Potatoes are generally inexpensive and widely available, making them a popular food for people of all income levels. The same goes for the plantation. You can plant them at home even in a container and get potatoes for your kitchen
Ways to plant the potatoes
There are several ways to plant potatoes. As we are going to discuss cutting the eyes, that is why we should know in which way it is being cut. Also, it’s important to understand how a particular method is different from others.
These are small potatoes that are planted directly in the ground to grow new plants. You will not find this size of potato in the market. it is not eatable. These are planted as a whole potato and then more potatoes grow from it.
Cuttings of the potatoes
Potatoes can also be propagated by taking stem cuttings from an existing plant. These cuttings should be about 3-4 inches long and planted in soil. These cutting are usually placed in a moist setting or sand, and then these are planted. This method is not been practiced so much.
Another method of cutting is cutting the tubers. The seed of the potatoes is usually available and stored. When the time for plantation comes, it is sent to market. These potatoes are cut from the eyes. Each of the eyes of the potato is planted, and it creates a full potato plant.
The layering of potato plants
Another way to propagate potatoes is through layering. This is done by bending a stem to the ground and covering it with soil, leaving a small section of the stem exposed. This section will eventually produce roots and grow into a new plant.
This method is also not used on the commercial level. It is usually used in research and development settings.
Micro-tubers potato planting
Micro-tubers can be used to propagate potatoes. This method is used to produce genetically identical plants and is commonly used in commercial potato farming. This can be used in gardens and homesteading settings as well.
Grafting of potatoes
Potato can be grafted with other plants to produce new plants. This is a complex method and is used in professional breeding and seed production. This method is not for common potato growers. You just need to focus on the other ones.
In short, the common two methods practiced widely are seed tubers and cutting the seeds. Others are not used as much. Planting seed tubers is easy. Cutting the potato eyes is a careful job to be done. So that’s why we are going to learn how to cut potato eyes for planting.
Cutting eyes of potatoes for planting
It is important to note that the eyes of the potatoes are actually the sprouts of the potatoes which are present on the seed of the potatoes. Once you have cut the potatoes, you need to make sure that these are planted eyes upward, so that they grow easily and fast.
Whole potato with at least 2-3 eyes
Cut the potato into chunks, making sure each piece has at least 2-3 eyes. This method allows for multiple plants to grow from one potato. If not possible, keep at least one eye on each of the parts. Then plant the cut potatoes.
Whole potato with 1-2 eyes
Cut the potato into halves or quarters, making sure each piece has at least 1-2 eyes. This method is useful when space is limited or you want to control the size of the plants. The same is the case here. You need to have at least one eye on each of the cut pieces of the potato. More the eyes, the better the chance of growth.
Potatoes with one eye
In this case, you can simply cut the eye in half, and get two of the potato pieces. Or on the other hand, you can simply plant the whole potato in the soil with one eye.
Important is the presence of the eye on each piece. Most of the time, potatoes grow even with half or one eye. It’s rare that potatoes don’t grow with one at least one eye on a piece, until or unless there is a disease or some other problem.
Cautions while cutting the potatoes
When cutting potato eyes for planting, it is important to select healthy and disease-free potatoes. This will make sure a good germination rate as well as good growth of the potato plants as well. They will have a greater resistance to pests and diseases.
Before cutting, clean the potatoes and disinfect any tools you will be using. It is important to use a sharp knife or a clean and sharp pair of scissors to make precise cuts. It is because the rust or any other material present on the tools might infect the pieces of potatoes being cut.
Better the tool, the better the potato piece. And better the potato piece, the better the germination and growth of potato plants.
Avoid cutting too close to the eyes, as this can damage the potential new sprout. Just make sure potato eyes are present in good shape and form.
After cutting, let the potato pieces’ dry for a day or two before planting to promote callusing and reduce the risk of rotting. Keep the cut pieces of the potatoes away from direct sunlight. It can cause harm, as well as it can reduce the germination rate.
Mix the wood ash with cut pieces of the potatoes. It will make them dry and easy to carry. Moreover, wood ash has nutrients, as well as it, will prevent the potatoes from some pests and diseases. It will help in good germination as well.
In a nutshell, growing potatoes is quite an easy job. There are many methods available in the market to plant potatoes but planting the potatoes by cutting is quite good. It will help us get all the area covered, as well as it will make sure the good germination and growth of plants, as it is standard practice.