I planted my potatoes yesterday; I'm in Maryland a bit north of
Baltimore. While I was siutting at the kitchen table, cutting the seed
potatoes into segments where appropriate, I wondered if there was a
name for the part of a seed potato you put into the ground. That is,
if I cut a large seed potato into two parts for planting, do I have
two sets or plugs or potatoettes? Or do I just end up with two seed
Which led to my next question. I'm only planting 20 pounds so I can
spend a little while at the kitchen table cutting them into segments
for the most efficient planting. What about the guy who's planting 100
acres of potatoes? I can't imagine him and his wife and the kids
carving up seed potatoes night after night. I suppose that commercial
growers use rather small potatoes for seed, many a maximum diameter of
an inch or so, and plant them mechanically. Or maybe they just cut a
whole bunch of seed potatoes mechanically, figuring that statistically
enough will end up with eyes that they'll grow when planted. Anyone
Fortunately, I finished my task before I came up with any more wierd
Your last sentence is correct, at least it was way back when.
Between 1947 and '50, I worked week-ends and after school for a farmer
who grew many hundreds of acres of potatoes. One of my jobs in the
spring was cutting seed potatoes but it wasn't by hand per se. My job
was putting potatoes in a series of about 6 cups in a row across on an
endless chain conveyor belt. The chain would move forward, stop, a row
of + shaped knives would drop and cut each potato into four pieces
then the chain would move forward again until the next set of cups
would stop under the knives. At the speed you had to work to keep the
cups filled, there was no consideration given to getting eyes in each
Today, many large growers employ more high-tech methods such as high
pressure water jets or lasers for cutting seed potatoes.
Southern Ontario, Canada.
AgCanada Zone 5b
43º 17' 26.75" North
80º 13' 29.46" West
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