[Market-farming] double cropped potatoes
mhcsa at verizon.net
Wed Jul 25 10:07:05 EDT 2007
David, would you explain your method in more detail? You remove the sprouts
from ...? And when? This is an interesting idea. What growing zone are
I should have called the two crops in a season relay planting not double
cropping. If it is one crop or two this is one method I use.
Spring. Lay uncut spuds in a shallow tray in a cool part of the greenhouse.
I do it in stackable tomato harvest trays and lay them out when the sprouts
appear. Cover with mix and keep moist. Wait until sprouts emerge. Check
every couple of days until roots appear. Snap off individual 'sprouts' where
they connect to the 'mother' spud and plant in holes so an inch is above
ground. Water in. That's it. Spacing could be closer than usual. The
sprouts don't have the 'mother' spud to grow from so they're different for
a while until they get established. This is somewhat compensated for by them
being able to photosynthesize from the get go which, if you time the
planting right, gives an extra 2 weeks of growing time.
This is most useful for maximizing the propagation of limited or expensive
'seed' stock and for keeping planting stock virus free because you don't cut
the mother potatoes and therefore don't transfer virus. Fingerlings are
ideal because they have so many 'eyes' and are expensive to buy. Initially
they will produce undersized spuds but these are ideal for planting the main
field crop the following year. When I plant them through plastic they size
up nicely. This method is more work and requires careful handling of the
'sprouts' but I have a couple thousand bed feet planted this way. However if
you miss the right root stage all the roots will get tangled in the tray
which is a nightmare. I once tried snapping the shoots early and potting
them on into individual cells; it worked but used a lot of valuable GH space
and had no particular advantage other than the cells being more robust than
the bare root sprouts and providing greater transplant timing flexibility.
Does that answer your questions?
Western Mass. Zone 5
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