Can I Plant Potatoes with Foot Long Sprouts?

Know the ideal conditions for planting potatoes with long sprouts. We’ll provide a step-by-step planting process, from preparing the potatoes and soil to caring and harvesting.

Sean Stratton | Updated May 22, 2023
potatoes with long sprouts

Can I Plant Potatoes with Long Sprouts?

Yes, you can plant foot-long sprouted potatoes if the sprouts are in good condition. Sprouts are stems and indicate the potatoes are still healthy and attempting to step into the next phase of their growing cycle by creating a whole new plant.

Even in adverse environmental conditions, potatoes manage to grow sprouts to reproduce. Digging the sprouted tubers in the soil will allow them to grow.

Tips for Planting Potatoes with Long Sprouts

Planting potatoes with long sprouts can be a bit more challenging than planting seed potatoes with shorter sprouts. However, with the following tips, you’ll still have a successful potato harvest.

  1. Prepare the soil: Before planting, loosen the soil to a depth of 8 to 10 inches and mix in plenty of organic compost or well-rotted manure.
  2. Plant the seed potatoes: Dig a trench about 6 inches deep and place the seed potatoes about 12 inches apart with the sprouts facing up. Cover the seed potatoes with 2 to 3 inches of soil.
  3. Use Espoma Bone Meal: To give your potatoes a boost, use Epsoma Bone Meal. This will provide the potatoes with the nutrients they need to thrive and produce a good harvest.
  4. Protect the plants: As the potato plants grow taller, use plant supports to stake the plants and keep them upright.

How Long Should Potato Sprouts Be before Planting?

Potatoes do not require soil to sprout. To plant sprouted potatoes, however, you will need soil. But before planting the sprouted potatoes, you have to let the potatoes sprout for about 3 to 4 weeks. Only after that certain period, you should plant the potatoes in the soil.

Nonetheless, the average time a potato takes to sprout is about seven to twenty one days. The length of sprouts mainly depends on the variety of potatoes. Thus, several varieties of potato sprouts will have several sprout lengths.

However, the ideal length of the sprout should be at least 2.5 centimeters or 1inch before planting. Leaving the potatoes for at least three to four weeks will hopefully bring you the ideal length.

Also Read: How to Mix Zoysia and St Augustine Grass Successfully

Should Sprouts Be Removed from Potatoes before Planting?

Actually, potato sprouts turn into leaves and stem eventually when they are planted. So, sprouts help the potato grow into a new plant. Consequently, the tubers or the fleshy part develops under the soil along with the stolons or stems.

However, experts suggest keeping the topmost sprouts of each tuber. Keeping four sprouts will be enough. Also, if the potato has multiple sprouts, you can cut the potato into pieces where each piece will contain at least two sprouts.

How to Store Sprouted Potatoes for Planting?

Since you need to cut the sprouted potatoes into pieces first so, you cannot store them in water. Also, you cannot let the sprout soak. Rather, store the pieces of sprouted potatoes for panting in a dry and cool place. If stored properly, you can spend a few days before planting them without any tension.

Important Read: Planting Cucumbers and Squash Together

How to Plant Potatoes with Foot Long Sprouts?

Planting potatoes with foot long sprouts is most probably the easiest job on earth only when you know how to do it. Let’s get to know in steps.

Step 1: Prepare the Potatoes and Soil to Plant

Yes, it is the first and foremost task to do before planting potatoes with foot long sprouts. Preparing the potatoes is important. However, while preparing keep in mind that sprouts are stems, so, you cannot pull them off or damage them.

You can cut a potato into egg-sized pieces if it is larger in size and has multiple sprouts. If the potato is small in size then it is better to plant the entire potato.

After cutting the potatoes into pieces, you have to dry the cutting areas. Take a cardboard box or a cookie sheet and spread the potato pieces on it. Then leave the pieces to dry for about 3 days.

Select a thawed area where tilling can be done without facing clumping. Nonetheless, spring is the best season for growing it before about 16 to 21 days of frosting in your area.

Also, select an area where the soil is slightly acidic and sandy-loamy. Again, make sure the place gets direct sunlight for about six hours. Moreover, prepare the soil by removing weeds, grasses, stones, and breaking clods and also, make beds.

Furthermore, make the soil fertile with well-rotted compost. And then, cultivate it from 12 to 15-inch depth. In the case, the soil is infertile; add balanced fertilizer to a ratio of 10-10-10. Incorporate the soil well with the help of a rake.

Step 2: Plant the Potatoes

When the potatoes and soil is prepared, it is time to plant the potatoes. For that, you have to create trenches that come in a V shape. Make the trenches about 4 to 6-inch deep. Make a gap of about 1 feet in between two trenches.

Then lay each piece of sprouted potatoes at the trench bottom. After lying, cover 2 to 3 inches of the pieces and sprouts with soil.

Step 3: Time to Care

After planting the potatoes properly, you have to water them frequently. Never let the soil dry when the potatoes with sprouts are thriving. The planted potatoes require about one inch of water every week.

Moreover, if you have planted the potatoes in sandy soil then you might have to water them twice than usual.

Again, as the season goes on, the sprouts will continue to develop as leaves and stems. Thus, when the plants grow one foot in height, hilling needs to be done. Mound the soil on the top four inches of the plants. This process will not allow the sun to burn the plants and also induce potato production.

Step 4: Harvest Potatoes

Last but not least, harvesting potatoes is also vital. You will discover your potato plants giving flowers. First, you need to deal with the baby potatoes. Collect them using a small trowel. Mulch the remaining plants to prevent weeding and conserve moisture content.

When you see the potatoes are browning, cut to the soil level and dig them after 14 to 21 days with a shovel. Within this time, the potatoes will improve their skin toughness. Also, select a sunny day for harvesting potatoes.

After harvesting, cure the potatoes by keeping them in a cool and dry place for around a week. Then brush off the dirt and store the potatoes in a dark and dry area with 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit temperature.

Do You Plant Potatoes Sprout Up Or Down?

While planting potato with sprouts, the sprout side should be facing up while the cut-side down. About 3 to 4 inches portion of sprout should remain below the soil surface. But make sure not to put the sprouted potatoes in very deep of the soil. Also, take a look that the sprouts are healthy enough, not broken or damaged.

Here is a guide:

Final Thoughts

Now that you know, you actually can plant potatoes with foot long sprouts, why not give it a try? You literally can grow potatoes from potatoes but this time way more in quantity!

Just follow the steps we have stated above and you are all set without being a professional. Lastly, a free tip, make sure after harvesting you wash potatoes only before you will use them.

Written by Sean Stratton

Sean Stratton

Hi, I'm Sean, the senior editor here at Fertilizer Pick. I grew up on a farm in North Carolina and have grown fruits, vegetables, and trees since childhood. While I no longer live on a farm today, I still enjoy spending time on my garden and sharing my knowledge with friends and fellow garden enthusiasts.