Q&As/Potatoes/Chitting potatoes

Question

When chitting potatoes, if I have a potato with a few healthy-looking shoots, can I cut that potato in half and plant both halves? Do I need to cure the skin on the cut pieces? If so how do I do this?

Answer

As long as your seed potatoes have ‘eyes’, which are shoots on various parts of the potatoes, they can be cut in half and planted. If the soil has been well cultivated and is not too wet, you can plant potatoes immediately. However, if the soil is still significantly moist, allow the cut potatoes to heal for 7-10 days before planting.

Potatoes grow best in soil that has been mounded above the existing soil level. As they commence growing, and when plants are about 20cm high, regularly ‘mound up’ the soil up to around 10cm above existing ground level - on both sides of the plant, weekly or fortnightly. You can even cover some of the new shoots and lower leaves as this will help towards a better crop. This ‘mounding up’ process helps warm the soil around the roots of the potato plant which contributes to better development of reasonably sized potatoes.

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