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How to Cut Potatoes for Planting

potatoes image by egirldesign from

When the growing season gets underway, potatoes are one of the first vegetables a gardener prepares to plant. Because potatoes need cool temperatures, you must plant them in early spring before the soil warms too much. Purchase seed potatoes from a garden center or nursery and then cut the potatoes for planting if they are large. Small and medium-size potatoes do not need cutting.

Prepare the seed potatoes for planting. Divide the potatoes you must cut and the potatoes that do not need cutting. You must cut any potatoes that are bigger than an egg. Separate potatoes smaller than an egg and place them aside because they do not require cutting. Place the potatoes that are bigger than egg together for cutting.

Cut the big potatoes into pieces that are approximately 1 inch across. Each potato piece you cut for planting should have two eyes for best results.

Place the pieces of potato into the grocery bag as you cut them. Continue cutting the potatoes and placing them into the grocery bag until you have cut every potato. You can place up to 5 pounds of cut potatoes in one large grocery bag.

Fold down the top of the bag tightly and place the bag aside to sit at room temperature. Leave the bag undisturbed for approximately three days.

Shake the closed bag vigorously after the time elapses and allow the closed bag to sit undisturbed for three more days.

Plant the potatoes after the final sitting time elapses. This should be approximately four weeks before the final frost date in your area.


Soil temperatures of at least 40 degrees F are ideal for planting potatoes. Some gardeners opt to leave the cut potatoes in the grocery bag until they sprout. This may take a few days or it may take as long as one month. If you allow the potatoes to sprout in the bag, they will grow more quickly in the soil after you plant them.


Do not plant potatoes in the same spot more than one year in a row. Do not plant potatoes where you have grown peppers, eggplant or tomatoes in the previous two years because spores may exist in the soil that can cause growing problems.

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