Pre-germinate potatoes - a worthwhile head start

Pre-germinate potatoes - a worthwhile head start


Advantage 1: With pre-sprouted potatoes, higher yields can be achieved.

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Advantage 2: The pre-germination makes the potato ready for harvest faster. After sowing, the potato can start sprouting directly, which gives it a growth advantage of around two weeks.

Pre-germinated tubers continue to sprout even in colder soils, whereas non-pre-germinated potatoes need warm soil to develop their germs.

Advantage 3: The growth lead makes the tubers less susceptible to diseases. Your shell will set faster and make it harder for intruders such as wireworms and fungi. If the late blight sets in, the tubers are more robust and some of them are already ready for harvest.

Which potatoes are suitable for pre-germinating?

  • Seed potatoes from the trade
  • Seed potatoes from the previous year's harvest
  • if table potatoes are to be used, then only use healthy, untreated tubers
  • Seed potatoes must always be intact

Correct storage until pre-germination

Seed potatoes, even those that have been bought, must be stored in the dark so that they do not sprout prematurely. You can store seed potatoes from your own harvest in a dry, dark and cool place until early spring, preferably at temperatures between 4 and 8 degrees Celsius.

This is how pre-germination works

You start pulling forward about 4 weeks before sowing. You can drive new potatoes from February, medium-early and late varieties from March.

You lay out the potatoes next to each other in a fruit crate and place them in a light, dry place with temperatures of 10 to 14 degrees Celsius. The potatoes should develop firm shoots about 1 cm long, 4 to 6 are sufficient.

If you like, you can also fill the fruit box with potting soil and ripe compost. As an alternative to the fruit crate, you can use egg cartons.

Tips & Tricks

Not all potatoes germinate when they are pulled forward. You should sort these out before planting, as they will then probably no longer sprout in the cooler and dark soil.