Earlier in the year I wrote that I would experiment with planting whole Charlotte tubers and half-cut tubers and compare yields. I wanted to see if I could get more value from a pack of 30 tubers costing around £6.95. (Of course the best value probably comes from saving your own).
And so I chitted all of my Charlotte tubers in the usual way and selected two. I cut these in half and let them heal over for about two weeks before planting out. (A few days would probably be enough). Each half had at least one eye.
Come sowing time, the half-cut tubers were set in a spade deep trench, lined with grass clippings, one foot apart and then the whole tubers were planted in the same way, one foot apart. I ridged up the trench about a foot high as I was going away and didn't want the emerging shoots to suffer from a late frost. It also saved earthing up later on.
Both were harvested in early July. The average yield from the half-cut tubers was 810g per half-cut tuber versus 1.2kg from the whole tubers. Over a 30 foot row the half-cut tubers would yield about 24kg and because you cut them in half you would have a second 30 foot row to plant giving a total yield of about 48kg. On the basis of my results from a 30 foot row of whole tubers you could expect about 36kg. (I'm pretty sure my yields are down on last year as I didn't compost/manure enough).
So by going to the trouble of cutting the tubers I can get about 10-12kg more potatoes come harvest time. Worth thinking about if you have the space.
Of course there is the risk that the tubers could fail to heal over when cut or disease is introduced and you lose some. And as I harvested early I don't know if they would have continued to bulk up in the same proportion of 810g versus 1.2kg (don't see why not) or whether the whole tubers would have bulked up more.
Now I want to see if I can get a Christmas crop from chitted Charlottes which I'll plant late August/early September.