Just found a box of last year's seed potatoes...


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They were buried under another box in the pantry. They've attracted some fruit flies, but even though they're quite shriveled, the roots and eyes still look like they have life in them. They are whole Russets, not cut up, and they are commercially treated. There is a very light mold-type dust on them, but they aren't rotting or leaking, and they don't smell at all. They look like zombie potatoes! o_O Now I don't know quite what to do with them!

I don't think they'll last in here all the way to March, but if I were to put them outside now, even under straw, wouldn't they freeze? I can't dig holes for all those potatoes, and I don't have a cold frame or a greenhouse (yet.) Trying to start them inside would be problematic too, as potato leaves are poisonous and I have cats. Still, I don't want to throw them out. I remember paying twenty dollars for these at the local feed store. I forgot all about them when the spring heat wave hit and I was confined indoors, just trying to survive. Now how can I try to resurrect these poor things?

I can upload a photo later, after I replace my camera batteries :p
 
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How many potatoes are we talking about? You may as well get them going since you say you can't keep them indoors until spring. At least you have a chance of salvaging them that way. If you think they might be in danger of freezing at some point, you'll just have to provide them with protection.
 
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Sorry I took so long to reply, ChanellG! We are talking about twenty five pounds of seed potatoes here. Far too many for me to just let them go to waste. I think I will have to start planting them slowly, even if I can't dig very much. I'm pretty sure they'll freeze if I just put them under straw. However, if I plant them shallowly and then pile on a lot of insulation they might survive. I'm going out today to have a look at last year's squash patch. I planted those in hills, and the soil still looks pretty bare, so I might get lucky and be able to plant those potatoes there. Wish me luck! :)
 
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Fruit flies means that at least one has gone off.
Find and discard it before it affects those around it, and they affect those around them...
 
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Sorry I took so long to reply, ChanellG! We are talking about twenty five pounds of seed potatoes here. Far too many for me to just let them go to waste. I think I will have to start planting them slowly, even if I can't dig very much. I'm pretty sure they'll freeze if I just put them under straw. However, if I plant them shallowly and then pile on a lot of insulation they might survive. I'm going out today to have a look at last year's squash patch. I planted those in hills, and the soil still looks pretty bare, so I might get lucky and be able to plant those potatoes there. Wish me luck! :)
Potatoes are hardy to at least -6C (23f), it's the foliage which is very frost-tender.
Plant them deep, on top of the straw, with some manure and woodash if you can get it.
The straw and manure will give off a little heat as they rot down, the manure giving the straw some nitrogen to help, the woodash is good fertiliser, and although alkaline, will be more than balanced by the acidic manure.
Planting them deep, and later hilling up if necessary, will keep the foliage safe underground until the weather is more clement.
 
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Good luck, @Atrea! I have only grown potatoes once as an experiment and cold weather wasn't really a factor for me. I did it in a basket, and it was such a delight to find those little red nuggets! I enjoyed eating them more than any other potato ever, lol! I now have a tall plastic hamper in which I hope to try again. Maybe wire towers would give you some more options as you wouldn't have to dig.
 
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