Tag Archives: pull sprouts

How to Grow Potatoes from Pull Sprouts

Growing potatoes from pull sprouts is a method of increasing overall yield from a single tuber.  It is more labor intensive than growing from typical seed potatoes.  Pull sprouts tend to produce larger (but fewer) tubers than potatoes grown from seed tubers.  Since I prefer to have larger tubers for cooking, the extra planting work is worth the effort.  This method works best on ‘late’ potato varieties because it tends to speed up the growth cycle of the plant.  Early potato varieties generally don’t have enough time to form a good crop from pull starts.  I experimented with this method successfully in 2015 and will continue to use it in 2016.  Potato varieties that produced well from pull sprouts include: Magic Molly, German Butterball, Adirondack Red and Austrian Crescent.

Here is a photo guide to planting potatoes from pull sprouts:

To grow pull sprouts, potato tubers are started in a container like any other seeding destined for transplanting.  Place tubers in a container, cover with soil, water and wait until there is ~3 inches of growth.

To grow pull sprouts, potato tubers are started in a container like any other seeding destined for transplanting. Place tubers in a container, cover with soil and keep moist.

When the sprouts are about 3 inches tall, gently remove the tuber from the soil.

After two weeks or when the sprouts have grown about 2-3 inches tall, gently remove the tuber from the soil.

Snap off each sprout with as many roots attached as possible.  Don't worry if some of the roots break; potatoes are pretty hardy plants.

Snap off each sprout with as many roots attached as possible. Don’t worry if some of the roots break; potatoes are pretty hardy plants.

Bury each sprout up to the base of its lower leaves.  Plant them least 8 inches apart.

Bury the sprouts up to the base of its lower leaves. Plant them individually; at least 8 inches apart.