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Sprouting Spuds

(82 Posts)
Heather51 Tue 26-Mar-19 18:26:31

Hi Everyone, looking for some advice on keeping potatoes. I think I’ve tried everything but hoping somebody has something I haven’t tried.
The problem is that the potatoes I buy in the supermarket start to sprout within a day or two of buying. I keep them in a cool dark cupboard. I have tried taking out of bags and laying out on newspaper, keeping in paper bags, a cloth bag and also the plastic bags they are sold in. Doesn’t matter which method I use they soon start shooting away at a great rate of knots.
Are they keeping them too long in the stores before selling them or storing them wrongly making it impossible to keep for long at home? 🤨
Any suggestions gratefully received.

NotSpaghetti Fri 29-Mar-19 09:21:01

JackyB, the rhubarb is forced once it starts to poke through the earth by creating a microclimate that is warm and moist. The resulting stalks are thinner and weaker with a more delicate taste. They are less acidic and tart than the main crop and, because they have been hurried up, are earlier too. Yum yum.

With potatoes we chit them in a warmish, light dry place in order to give them a headstart when they are planted out. We do this in the light as we want fattish green with pink shoots that are strong, not the wiggly thin white things you get when you leave your potatoes in the dark.

This means the "early" potatoes have the opportunity to grow bigger quicker. For the "late" potatoes it means we can harvest them before the worst of the potato blight hits.

If you have "volunteer" potatoes appear in your garden you will get tubers from them but it will be a smaller crop. I think they tend to be more unusual shapes too. This might be because they can grow from very tiny tubers or even peelings so haven't been nurtured very well when they started off.
If you grew potatoes the previous year and had any disease (most likely blight) then I'd remove them at sight.

Grammaretto Fri 29-Mar-19 07:56:21

We do pay extra for the proper seed potatoes when planting, but whenever I wonder if I'm doing the right thing, I think of my forebears who all survived and I can't imagine they had much choice .
We are lucky in many ways and far better off but life must have been a lot simpler back then. (sigh!)

JackyB Fri 29-Mar-19 06:56:44

I've never thought anything of cutting off the sprouts, I assumed it was what you do. Thepeelings often sprout in the compost heap, too. We plant them out and get about a dozen plants which gives us some free potatoes in the autumn.

But why should these bootleg spuds have diseases? Can someone explain?

Actually I thought they sprouted BECAUSE they were in the dark. My Dad used to put an upturned barrel over rhubarb to 'force' it to sprout early.

silverlining48 Fri 29-Mar-19 06:50:43

We planted some random potatoes found by the side of a field when the gc had the greatest fun digging them up in the autumn.
This year we have bought some from Aldi for planting hoping they might grow a bit bigger as some of the first crop were minute. The bigger ones didn’t taste that well, a bit dry. Big expectation for Aldi.

NotSpaghetti Fri 29-Mar-19 05:49:51

I’m with you on this M0nica - potatoes are (depending where you live) the worst veg for chemical residues. If you can afford to buy just one foodstuff from the organic veg section, this is probably the one to choose.

M0nica Thu 28-Mar-19 08:50:18

I would rather my potatoes sprouted than were treated with any chemicals to stop them sprouting. I like to be confident that I know what I am eating, with no hidden 'extras'

Colverson Thu 28-Mar-19 07:32:27

Your store must be keeping them too long or mine are treated as they do not sprout
I hope mine arent gm I think I need to find out at sainsbury next time i go
Did you also know that spuds are not counted in your 5 aday

Davidhs Thu 28-Mar-19 06:15:50

Potatoes being stores in “pies” stopped many years ago, the old potatoes you are buying today will have been stored in boxes in controlled climate stores. As new potatoes become more available the old ones from last years crop dwindle during June.

Lyndiloo Thu 28-Mar-19 02:46:35

Potatoes sprout because they are old! Most of the potatoes we buy in supermarkets are more than a year old, and have been kept in 'potato pies' (a layer of potatoes, a layer of straw, a layer of potatoes, etc.)

Just cut off the sprouts and use - not if they've gone soft though. I just ditch these.

But you can plant sprouting spuds too! Look for the 'rose' on the potato - the end where most of the sprouts are, and plant this uppermost. About 3" down.

Of course you can buy proper 'seed potatoes', earth them up, blah-de-blah. (If you want to be a serious potato grower!)

But I just shove them in anywhere in the garden. Dig them up when the flowers have died. You'll get about 5 - 6 potatoes for every one planted. And they're lovely. Magic!

Baloothefitz Thu 28-Mar-19 02:09:00

I use a Potato sack I bought from LAKELAND many years ago,keeps them perfectly, no sprouts at all.

Jalima1108 Wed 27-Mar-19 22:43:45

Thank you NotSpaghetti

NotSpaghetti Wed 27-Mar-19 22:28:15

* Jalima1108* - “seed” potatoes (generally from Scotland here in the U.K.) are used to minimise the risks of your crop being contaminated with blight spores and viral diseases. This is why lots of people don’t want to compost them - as if they have picked disease up it’s just going to spread it about.
In colder climates the aphids that spread the disease don’t flourish so you can buy “certified virus free” tubers to plant without worry.

Davidhs Wed 27-Mar-19 17:48:43

There is nothing wrong with sprouted potatoes just peel them and use them as normal when they have gone too far they go wrinkly
I keep mine in the salad drawer in the fridge that reduces sprouting to a minimum. Dark and cool.

MissAdventure Wed 27-Mar-19 17:33:49

I've planted my sprouting potatoes. smile

Aepgirl Wed 27-Mar-19 17:23:29

I buy potatoes fortnightly and they last well with no ‘sprouting’. Perhaps the ones you buy aren’t very fresh and so go off quicker.

kennyh Wed 27-Mar-19 16:48:08

Here is an old trick to make potatoes not sprout as fast.But if they have all ready sprouts on,knock them of 1st before putting an apple in your potato do`s not stop them but it really do`s slow the sprouts down. And yes the supermarkets keep the spuds in their cold stores before bringing them out to fill the shelves etc.That`s another reason why sometimes you peel a potato & they are black inside,or when you boil them they sometimes turn black in the water.Some farms spray the potatoes to retard them from sprouting,before packaging them for the shops,which is ok,in a way.but the only down side to that is if you only use a few spuds at a time,instead of sprouting, the retard chemical rots the potato eyes inside the spud,then it makes the potato go black inside.To be Frank well it makes a change from kenny,its swings & roundabouts,but if your spuds come in a plastic bag make a few more airholes in them,or put them in a paper bag.

Pussycat2012 Wed 27-Mar-19 16:36:14

For all enquires re sprouting spuds: I have always popped an apple in besides my potatoes which I keep in a basket in one of my kitchen cupboards and have never had a problem since! Don’t ask me where I learnt this trick but it was definitely from a chef on a cooking programme or in a magazine. It’s worth the apple! Any make will do, hope this helps.

Hellsbelles Wed 27-Mar-19 16:32:42

To the people who say they keep their potatoes in the fridge - don't. If you Google it you will be told by keeping them in the fridge it accelerates the starches being turned into sugars which effects the taste and obviously not so good for you either !

Bijou Wed 27-Mar-19 16:07:09

I think the trouble is that the potatoes are washed. My neighbour who lives alone has a sack of potatoes from the farm which she keeps in the garage and they last her for months.

Jalima1108 Wed 27-Mar-19 15:59:48

He doesn’t replant our own sprouted potatoes as quote ’youre not supposed to do that’, no further information cometh
Our DH's must have gone to the same horticultural school 00mam00grin - mine muttered something about 'disease'
For the same reason I am not allowed to put potato peelings on the compost heap.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Wed 27-Mar-19 15:39:36

I keep mine in the salad drawer of the fridge and most of the time it seems to keep them sprout free.

driverann Wed 27-Mar-19 15:05:47

I keep mine in the dark but be warned they do have eyes to find their way out.

quizqueen Wed 27-Mar-19 14:52:20

Keep them in a cool place, in a paper bag not plastic, and put an apple in with them.

NotSpaghetti Wed 27-Mar-19 14:03:15

Like others I'm not bothered by the sprouts, rub them off and cook as usual (not eating any green bits) and have lived over three score years without poisoning.
Given the worries of some others on this thread I thought I'd Google it!
Yes it IS safe to eat them after they start to chit:

dragonfly46 Wed 27-Mar-19 13:20:37

I think the problem is the potatoes are kept too long at the suppliers.
Through his job my DH became a potato expert and told me you should never keep potatoes in the fridge as the sugar content makes them turn black. They should be in a cool place in the dark.