Friday I got my seed potatoes from www.potatogarden.com. I got three pounds each of Purple Viking and Red Pontiac, both varieties that are supposed to do well in the South. Purple Viking was the best potato I grew back in 2010, though it still wasn't that great (I planted 3 pounds and harvested 5 pounds). I haven't grown Red Pontiac before, but it's a Florida heirloom, which sounds good.
Here are the seed potatoes being cut up. The Purple Vikings are on the left, and the Red Pontiac are ready to be cut up next on the right. I cut them and let them dry out for a day, then planted them in the bed that I had a cover crop of Austrian Winter Peas growing in over the winter. I hope that adds enough nitrogen to help them make a better crop this year than the last time I tried growing potatoes.
Here the potatoes are in the bed getting watered. I have another bale of moldy hay I haven't used yet. I plan on mulching the potatoes with that after they sprout, since potatoes like a deep mulch. I hope that also adds more nutrients for them.
My "purple potato" seedlings are also doing really well. These are from the seeds I got in a trade as a surprise. Some of them are growing really vigorously! I tried planting some last year and they didn't do well at all, so I didn't really count on these doing well either. I now have about 50 seedlings. I'm not sure where I'm going to put them.
Here are all my seedlings, including tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. It's been so warm it's tempting to plant some of them out now, but instead they'll have to stay on their pots, soaking up some sun on the porch.
After the peppers got all mushy from freezes, I cut them all down to stumps to see if they might survive the winter and grow back in spring. So far it looks like they all have. They are all still green. If they do all survive, I'll have a lot of extra pepper plants since I've already started more seedlings. I'll have to find some people to adopt them out to.
This weekend is Groundhog Day. Down here in Texas it sure feels like it's already spring, and it's still January. I keep thinking of how lush my garden would be right now, if we would only get some rain to go with these warm temperatures.