This is one of those gardening things that some people do while others will have never even heard of.
Cutting your seed potatoes in half to get extra seed potatoes.
The premise is simple enough: you cut your seed potato in half before planting, doubling the number of plants you get.
But does this work? And if the plants grow, do you get the same-sized harvest?
I was intrigued to find out, so I ran a mini-trial of my own this year, using Charlotte potatoes.
I had four bags filled with the same compost, and then two would have half a seed potato in and the other two a full one.
Would the half grow? Would the harvest be the same? Let’s find out.
Here are the potatoes, full, half, full, half from right to left. They are all in the same compost and will be grown in the same spot.
When cutting your potatoes in half, you need to let them cure for a bit and skin over the wound before planting – just a little tip if you do decide to do this yourself.
So now it’s time to harvest the spuds and see the result.
These were Charlotte potatoes, so an early type which means we are expecting to harvest smaller “new” potatoes.
Looking at the foliage things don’t look too different, but were not bothered about the foliage – time to find out what happened underground.
The harvest of our first tuber, which was cut in half, comes in at 277.7g
And the second half tuber comes in at 188.2g
The first full tuber harvest comes in at 336.2g
And the second full tuber comes in at 316.5g
|Half or full||Harvest|
So it’s pretty clear already that you will get a much smaller harvest if you cut your seed potatoes in half, but how much smaller?
Well, when we combine the numbers, we get 465.9g vs 652.7g
That’s a whopping 40% larger harvest if you use full-seed potatoes rather than cutting them in half.
This is just a small trial with only four plants in it, but it has shown a very clear difference.
Next year I will be trialling this again but with maincrops, so keep your eyes peeled for that and why not sign up for my newsletter?