Should I Cut The Seed Potatoes In Half Before Planting Them

Can you Cut Seed Potatoes in Half and Grow Plants? (Quick Facts)

Cutting seed potatoes is a cheap way of increasing your potential yield and seed stock. Seed potatoes are tubers or the planting portions of the root structure. You can use them to grow new potatoes. When planting seed potatoes, do I need to cut them in half?

When planting seed potatoes smaller than ping pong balls, you can plant them whole. If they are too large, cut them into pieces. Each piece should have at least one “eye.” Cut 3-5-ounce seed tubers in half before planting.

Seed potatoes are genetically identical to the parent potato. This kind of vegetative propagation is more helpful for potato growth. It is easier for most farmers than growing from seeds produced by the plant’s flowers.

To harvest by mid-summer, plant seed potatoes in the early spring. It can take about 60-90 days for potatoes to grow after planting. 

Should Seed Potatoes Be Cut Before Planting?

Buds or eyes on the potato surface give birth to new sprouts. Each eye can grow into a new plant. Farmers cut up seed potatoes into pieces before planting. From each seed potato, you’ll get more plants by this.

When Should I Plant Seed Potatoes?

Plant potatoes in the early spring, 2-4 weeks before the expected last frost date. They thrive in full sun. You can plant a second crop as late as June 15th and harvest them as late as possible.

How Can I Choose Potatoes To Plant?

Avoid using potatoes you buy at the grocery store as seed potatoes. Manufacturers often treat them with growth inhibitors to keep them fresher and longer. It will prevent sprouting or stunt growth at the same time.

Use disease-free, certified seed potatoes. Natural ones are better as they are free of growth inhibitors. Discard those with soft spots, bruises, cracks, or signs of rotting before you plant them.

You can “chit” or pre-sprout your potatoes before planting. Chitting helps you get larger potatoes. It will add 2-4 weeks to the planting process.

Read more: Are Potatoes Easy For A Beginner Gardener to Grow?

Do You Cut Potatoes In Half Before Planting?

In general, more eyes mean more potatoes. Smaller potatoes with one or two eyes mean less produce. But they will be hefty in size. Cut them in half or into quarters if you have large seed potatoes. Most gardeners cut their seed potatoes into pieces that have two eyes each.

How Do You Get Seed Potatoes To Sprout?

Fruits emit a gas called ethylene that encourages the sprouting of potatoes. Place apples or onions alongside your potato tubers. Or you can store your potatoes in a paper bag with ripening produce.

Increase moisture or humidity around the potatoes. It is another method to promote quick sprouting. Between potatoes, layer paper towels with a slight dampness. Or dampen an empty cardboard egg carton using a mister. Set potatoes inside.

Bring potatoes out of the dormant stage. After harvest, potatoes go into a dormant stage. It lasts from 4-8 weeks. Set them in a dark spot in the refrigerator and leave for about 15 days. 

Bring potatoes out and place them in a light-filled room. Or you can bring them into a warm room, which expedites the beginning of growth.

Should I Cut Long Sprouts Off Potatoes Before Planting?

Plant seed tubers with long shoots if they are healthy and strong enough. They may grow pretty long if potatoes start to sprout a bit early. Two sprouts of any length in good condition are possible on each piece. 

Chitting / Greening Or Sprouting The Potatoes 

Keep potatoes in a cool place with bright light for 2-4 weeks. It will help the sprouts to grow sturdy, stocky, and dark green. Potatoes sprouting in the dark will produce long, pale shoots prone to break. 

Place seed potatoes upright in an egg carton or box. You can use a tray or screen as well. Keep them with most buds (“eyes”) facing up. Avoid piling them atop one another. One month before outdoor planting, start this process. This video shows you how to sprout potatoes.

How Do You Split Potatoes For Planting?

Cutting The Potatoes For Increased Yields

Cut the seed potatoes into 2-inch squares using a sharp, clean knife. Cut them about two days before planting. This time helps them form a seal or callus. As they sprout and take root, it prevents them from rotting.

You can dust seed potatoes with powdered sulfur to protect them further. Put your potatoes in a bag, add the sulfur, and shake. Lay them out and let them dry for 3-4 days. Do it right after cutting them and before planting. 

Plant the seed potatoes whole when they weigh between 1.5 and 3 ounces. Cut tubers from 3-5 ounces into two pieces. Cut 5-7-ounce tubers into three. Tubers weighing more than 10 ounces may be worth selling. 

Ideal seed tubers are blocky pieces about 1.75 ounces in size. Remove damaged, very tiny, or poor ones. Learn how to cut seed potatoes in this video.

How To Cure Cut Seed Potatoes?

To cure, cool the cut seed to 38-40 0F. Avoid piling it more than 6 feet deep. Give good air circulation to help the wounds heal.

Precut seeds give higher plant and stem populations, earlier emergence, and robust growth. Warm the potatoes before cutting, and do not wash them.

Plant Your Sprouted Potatoes In Rows

You can plant your seed potatoes when the sprouts are 1/2 to 1 inch long. Dig individual holes for seed pieces or a 6-8 inches deep trench to plant several in a row. 

Plant them in rows spaced three feet apart for best results. Be careful when handling seed potatoes to prevent them from breaking off.

Plant seed potatoes with the sprouts or eyes facing up. Space them 12-15 inches apart. When planting pieces, make sure the cut side is facing down. Fill trenches with four inches of soil. Add more soil as the plants grow. Mound it up around them.

What Are The Best Companion Plants For Potatoes?

Many plants grow well near potatoes. Plants with above-ground growth habits do well with them. Best potato companion plants include beans, thyme, basil, marigolds, nasturtiums, and corn.

Thyme plants keep Armyworm Moths away, a pest of potatoes. They make excellent groundcover or living mulch. Basil contains a strong smell that masks the scent of the potato plant. It prevents pests like thrips from finding the plant.

Beans attract beneficial insects to the garden. Corn decreases the risk of common soil-borne plant diseases like fusarium wilt. Marigolds help keep nematodes at bay and repel whiteflies. They attract beneficial insects like parasitic wasps to the garden.

Do Potatoes Need Fertilizer?

Potatoes often have high fertilizer necessities and do need consistent fertilization. 2-2-3 is the best NPK ratio for potato fertilizers. Potato plants have a greater need for Nitrogen during the first two months. The plant’s foliar part shows rapid development during this period. 

When the plant is developing, it needs a low Nitrogen (N) level. It prevents the top from becoming too lush. It also prevents them from being susceptible to diseases like potato blight. 

The higher Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) are essential for potatoes. They help tubers to grow large and healthy.


Move your seed potatoes to a cold spot if you postpone planting. It will slow down their growth. But the potatoes may start to dehydrate and shrivel. So it is not advisable to wait too long.

It is not essential to chit the potatoes to get a good crop. But you may need to chit them if you notice them starting to sprout. You will also have to chit them when you want an earlier harvest date. Chit potatoes before cutting if you cut them before planting.

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