Planting potatoes

Hi; About a month ago, or so, I planted a bunch of seed potatoes that I had gotten from Johnny's and Burpee. When I planted them, I simply took them out of the fridge, and planted them whole. After all this time, nothing has shown up above ground, so I dug one up, and found that it looked exactly the way it did when I planted it. If I had peeled it, I could have made mashed potatoes, or fried potatoes.
Is there anything I should have done to the seed potato before planting it? They were small enough, and this is my first try, so I didn't cut any eyes.
The varieties are Red Gold, Yukon Gold, and Kennebec. My soil is clay, and I rototilled, and added (so far) 1" of composted manure (Moo Doo), and some Complete Organic Fertilizer (cottonseed meal, lime, kelp meal, rock phosphate). Also, I live in Zone 5, Central-Southern Vermont. This is my first garden.
Thanks, Vicki
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They will sprout, your soil temps may still be a little low.
I'm in the south and plant potatoes 1st of February and they are blooming now.
I usually cut the potatoes into eyes (even the small ones) a couple of days before planting and let them dry some before planting, this seems to trigger a quicker sprouting response.
basilisk
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This is the recommended method for planting potatoes. Don't cut the eyes too small though. When you cut the potatoes, it is recommended that you put some sulfur powder on the cuts to prevent spoilage. Needless to say, the more sand and organic material (up to 30% and 15% respectively) you can put into the clay soil, the better your crop will be. Manure is supposed to be bad for potatoes, so you may want to use fish emulsion on your plants.
My dogs took out all my potato plants last year but this year they (the potatoes) rose next to this years planting.
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- Billy
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I have never used the sulfur on the cuts but it makes sense that it would help in damp weather.
My mix for potatoes is roughly 1/3 topsoil, 1/3 composted horse and quail manure mix(nitrogen) and 1/3 rotten pine bark fines(acidifys). This has worked well for me, so I can't say that I have had any problem with manure, but it is well composted and I just add to the mix every year and don't replace it.
I also lost some potatoes due to chickens last year, the meals gravitated from potato to a more chicken oriented menu, so it worked out for the best. I don't suggest you eat the dogs though.
One thing that may have helped the OP, that I should have mentioned was that she could cover the ground at night to help hold in some of the daytime heat.
basilisk
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This is all I know about growing potatoes. So far it seems to work. http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/Growing-Potatoes.aspx
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There's a pre-planting technique for potatoes which involves giving them some sunlight before you pop them into the ground. What happens is the eyes begin to develop; I usually don't wait until they develop sprouts, but green buds (I've forgotten the name of the technique - chitting?). I also don't bother cutting them up, since my local greenhouse has 5lbs bags for less than $5.00 and no S&H charges.
I get a few (2-4) varieties and usually have enough to do a mid-season sowing once summer gets here.
So what happens for me is that usually within a week I get leaves poking up. After plants have 8-12 inches showing they get their first feeding and hilling.
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My neighbor gave me one seed potato (red, I think). I cut it into four pieces and planted them about 2" deep five weeks ago in a double- dug bed. They are now robust bouquets two feet across here in zone 17.
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basilisk wrote:

Thanks, basilisk, and everybody else who posted such useful information. The Red Golds, and the Kennebecs are now tall enough that the plants touch each other. Soon I'll be hilling them. And the Yukon Golds are a few inches tall too. So, everything did sprout, eventually.
Thanks again, Vicki
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snipped-for-privacy@shoreham.net says...

We are zone 5, Ontario. We planted on April 26th.
The potatoes were 1" above the soil on May 12 when they got a little frosted. The plants are fine now 4-6" tall and due for another 2" of soil. We are on sandy loam.
Yours will grow. --We get volunteers from missed potatoes all the time but there is no predicting when.
I wonder if you're planting too deep. Basilisk has already noted the issue of soil temperature. Clay is probably going to be cold.
We dig a trench about 8 inches deep then plant the potato 3 inches deep in the bottom of the trench. As the plant grows upward we fill in the trench a bit at a time until you reach ground level. (I keep saying we, but my wife is the *real gardener* and I absorb knowledge and bask in reflected glory.)
Trenching answers linked issues: depth, soil temperature, and tubers will grow from the length of buried stem.
I'm not suggesting that you replant them, but adding this to your repertoire may be useful.
Find Eliot Coleman's "Four-Season Harvest." (He's from Maine.) -Your local library may have a copy.
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I'd suggest just giving them time, I'm another zone 5 Victoria, and the red potatoes I planted in a *huge* pile of leaves took a while to sprout, to the point I thought maybe they weren't going to do anything, but now they're coming up in like 7 different locations, and one clump looks like there's gonna be a nice haul from them. And I'm gonna plant Yukon Golds tomorrow(they're my mother's favorite), and got some russets today to plant as well. We also have All Blue potatoes doing nicely. I love homemade potato chips :-)

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