Sprouting Potatoes

Basic Tips to Help You Plant Sprouting Potatoes in Your Kitchen

Sprouting potatoes are induced under favorable conditions like high humidity, warm temperature, and bright light. Find out more from this article.
Gardenerdy Staff
Last Updated: Mar 9, 2018
Sprouting potatoes are commonly observed after storing them for an extended period. In case, you have land or vegetable garden, a perfect solution is to plant them. They usually perform well, yielding good crops. Even though they are excellent for growing, there is a lot of confusion about their food safety. While some people consider them to be good for consumption, others claim them to be poisonous.

Are They Safe for Consumption?

At the time of sprouting, the starch content in potatoes starts converting into sugar. It is a normal phenomenon during the development of new plants from tubers. Sprouted potatoes with firm skin and flesh are safe for consumption. In case, they are very soft and shrunken, do not eat them. Other than this, they are not dangerous for consumption. You have to take care during their preparation for cooking; what you can do is slice off the sprouts and remove green portions (if any).

Potatoes sprout under normal temperature, light, and humidity conditions, which is why they develop buds so easily. Commercial control is done by irradiation and treatment with chemicals (e.g., chlorpropham and maleic hydrazide). At home, they can be controlled by using essential oils. However, the most effective method is to regulate the storage conditions, such as low humidity, cool temperature, and adequate air circulation.

How to Plant Them?

You can plant sprouting potatoes for your kitchen. But, the main drawback with grocery bought potatoes is no surety for disease and pest resistance. Hence, for mass scale plantation, it is suggested to use only quality seed potatoes from a reputable supplier, which are specifically released for growing. Before 3 - 4 weeks of planting, you can place them in a wooden box or in open egg cartons (if available), so as to induce sprouting. Place them near a sunny window or under the fluorescent light. Within a few weeks, your seed potatoes will develop healthy sprouts.

Select partial shade to full sun location for growing them. The soil conditions ideal for growing them are moist, well aerated, and nutrient enriched soil. About 2 - 3 weeks prior to planting, supplement potassium rich fertilizer in appropriate dose. Select small potatoes with 1 inch length sprout, or cut them with attached shoots. Make 4 - 6 inches deep holes and plant them with the sprouts facing up. Cover with soil and ensure that you maintain a space of about 1 foot between two sprouted potatoes. Follow proper care as per directions of horticulturists.

Sprouting potatoes in water is a common biology project for preschoolers. For this experiment, you will need a glass jar, a healthy elongated potato, toothpicks, and water. Insert toothpicks around the potato and near the sprouts. Fill the glass jar with water and place potato with the sprouted end down. Making sure that it is not totally immersed in water, place the glass near a windowsill. Within a few days, you will notice sprouting of potato with roots in the glass.

According to commercial cultivators and gardening enthusiasts, using sprouted potatoes is beneficial in shortening the time period for tuber formation by about one month.
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