Potatoes are one of the easiest vegetables you can grow in your garden. While they can be started from seed, many gardeners opt to begin their potato plants from seed potatoes which are simple to work with. Preparing a seed potato for planting doesn’t take much work, but you will want to get them started to ensure successful plants. Purchase your seed potatoes at least a week before you want to plant them in spring so they have time to form buds.
Set your seed potatoes into a cardboard egg carton with each potato in individual wells, or space the potatoes out in a shallow box no more than 2 inches deep. The potatoes should not be touching one another. The cardboard will catch any juices should there be a bad potato.
Place the egg carton or box where it won't be disturbed in a sunny room but not in direct sunlight. Leave the potatoes in place for a week to let the eyes begin to sprout.
Look over the sprouted seed potatoes to make sure each one has at least two to three buds on it. If sprouts haven’t emerged, then leave the potatoes for a few more days.
Cut any larger potatoes, if desired, into smaller halves or quarters, but be sure that each piece has at least two to three buds after cutting. Fewer buds on a seed potato will form fewer, larger cooking potatoes, while several buds on a seed potato will form several, smaller cooking potatoes, so decide to cut them based on the size of potatoes you want to harvest.
Dust over the cut surfaces, if you have chosen to cut them, with a light application of garden lime before planting. If you don’t have garden lime available, then allow your cut potatoes to sit outside in the sun for a few hours to heal over the cut surface before they are planted.