How To Plant Potatoes Without Pre-sprouting

Usually early potatoes let pre-sprout for laying. However, planting can be done without it. Especially for storage potatoes do without the extra effort. How to grow potatoes without pre-sprouting, is in this text.

  • Pre-sprouting brings advantages, but also more effort
  • not pre-sprouting has hardly any disadvantages for storage potatoes
  • the preparation and laying is the same for both methods
  • non pre-sprouted seed potatoes usually grow slower

Why pre-sprout seed potatoes?


You should pre-sprout early potatoes so that they have a head start on growth. They are also said to be less susceptible to diseases and pests, but this is not explained by pre-sprouting alone, but also by the short cultivation time. Pre-sprouted early potatoes are ready for harvesting even faster and therefore do not take up as much space in the vegetable garden. After early potatoes, other vegetables can still use the space in the bed.

Advantages of not pre-sprouting


As a rule, you should not pre-sprout storage potatoes because they have such a long cultivation period that it is simply not worth it. It also saves you quite a bit of work. For pre-sprouting, the seed potatoes need to be stored in boxes or egg cartons at appropriate temperatures and light conditions for a while. If you have little space in your apartment or house, you may not be able to pre-sprout your seed potatoes anyway.

gekeimte Kartoffel

Note: Another advantage is that with ungerminated seed potatoes do not need to be so careful when laying. No germs can break off.

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Procedure & requirements


In general, planting potatoes without pre-sprouting is no different from planting sprouted seed potatoes.

Bed preparation


It is best to prepare the potato bed the previous fall. This includes:

  • in case of heavy soils digging, spade depth is enough
  • in case of new planting, digging to the depth of two spades is also possible
  • loosen light soils only
  • work in plenty of rotted manure or compost
  • cover with a mulch layer (leaves) over winter


Storage potatoes are laid from March to May at the latest. Early potatoes under foil even earlier. Before starting, remove the mulch cover that has not rotted. You can put the remains between the rows later.

Digging furrows


You don’t have to put seed potatoes in furrows, but it makes it easier to create ridges later because you don’t have to pull them up as high. Basically, you can also just lay the tubers in rows on the bed and cover them with soil.

  • row spacing for early potatoes about 50 cm
  • for storage potatoes up to 70 cm
  • Make furrows about 5 to 10 cm deep


Lay potatoes


In the trenches, the seed potatoes should have a spacing of 30 to 40 cm. However, it is also sufficient to keep a foot distance from the next potato after the laid one. If the soil is very dry, watering the potatoes has proven to be effective.

Kartoffeln in vorbereitete Furchen legen

Close furrows


If you have enough rotted compost in the garden, you can use it to fill the trenches. However, normal garden soil will also do. The trenches are completely leveled in the first step. Do not press the soil too hard, especially if the soil is heavy and clayey. Loose soil improves tuber set and potato plant growth.

Mounding the ridges


The second operation is the mounding. This is necessary for the new potatoes to form in the ridges, where they are well protected, especially from sunlight. For this reason, the mounding is repeated two or three times after the potato plant has grown to a height of about 10 cm. Using a rake, mound the soil over the rows, first on one side, then on the other, until a straight, even ridge is formed. The base should be wider than the top.

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Note: If the soil is very loose and sandy, you should tap it well to prevent the ridging from slipping away.

Other tips for growing potatoes


1.The spacing of seed potatoes in the row and the distance between tubers also depends on the following aspects:

Size of the seed potatoes
available space
Potato variety


2.If potatoes are laid without pre-sprouting, more time must be allowed for the first shoots to appear.

Kartoffel gehört zu den Nachtschattengewächsen

3 one of the simplest methods of growing potatoes is to simply lay them on the bed without pre-sprouting and cover with plant material, grass clippings, hay or sheep wool. It is important that the mulch cover is always as dense as possible. While the material rots, the potatoes are continuously fertilized.

4 potatoes can also be grown without a dam, so the row spacing can remain smaller. The advantage of smaller row spacing is that the potato plants cover the area faster and suppress weeds. However, this makes harvesting more difficult, as it is then necessary to dig deep into the soil for the tubers.

5 deep trench culture also has advantages and disadvantages in potatoes. First, the labor is greater and harvesting is more difficult; second, there is no need for mounding and heavy rainfall cannot expose potato tubers because there are no dams to be leveled or washed away.

Frequently asked questions

Is it possible to lay early potatoes without pre-sprouting?


This is possible, but the advantage of faster growth is lost. Early potatoes should grow as quickly as possible and be ready for harvest. If they are pre-sprouted, they can be put in the ground earlier in the year if it is protected with fleece or film.

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Does pre-sprouting have any effect on storability?


No, storage potatoes can be stored for a long time with or without pre-sprouting. Especially since the lay potato rots in the soil over time anyway and is not harvested with it.

Is pre-sprouting harmful for storage potatoes?


Basically, it is not harmful, but if seed potatoes germinate outside the soil for too long, they will sprout long, thin shoots and shrivel if not watered regularly. The long, thin shoots break off easily when planted unless great care is taken.

Are unsprouted layer potatoes more susceptible to pests or diseases?


The susceptibility of a potato variety depends more on its cultivation period than on pre-germination. To prevent diseases, it makes sense to select resistant or robust varieties. Against pests, it helps if the cultivation site is changed frequently.

Author

  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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