This morning before work, boy and I planted the seed potatoes into the cold ground. It was 35 degrees with a coating of frost on everything, but we have 60 degrees forecast for today, so I did not feel too bad about breaking through the frost layer to plant the potatoes. Yes, frozen ground, I've never had to deal with this in Texas before--it's that dern global warmin' I tell ya!
My seed potatoes were purchased about a month ago. I got 3 lbs of Red Lasoda from Calloways, I also had another pound or so of Wal-Mart baking potatoes that had sprouted. These potatoes have been hanging out on a platter in my kitchen window for the last few weeks working on sprouting their little eyes.
On March 1st, I carefully cut each seed potato into sections with about 1 strong sprouted eye each. For the potatoes which were fist sized or larger I cut into thirds, smaller than fist sized I cut into halves, and for golf ball sized potatoes, I just left to plant whole. I probably could have gotten a few more starts if I had been more ruthless in my cutting, but I don't have much room for potatoes, so my amount worked out just right.
I let the cut potatoes sit, cut side up, on the window for two days to allow a nice scab to form over the cuts. The theory is that this scab will prevent the potato from rotting in the ground. I did not let the cut potatoes scab over last year and they did just great. I have also heard you can dust the potatoes with powdered sulphur to prevent rot, but I've not gone that far yet.
The potatoes are tucked neatly into their potato coffins and hopefully ready to grow with the warmer sunny weather that is forecast for us.
The boy was helping me plant this morning, he said "These are seed potatoes, we will plant them and they will grow into BIIIGGGG mashed potatoes!"