It’s time to prep potatoes for planting! These are just a few photos from a lovely day in 2018 when I was in Cusco, Peru during their annual Papa Festival. Peru has 4,000 varieties of potatoes that grow in the Andes mountains, in many colors and shapes. What varieties are you growing this year? The full moon is coming up so it will be time to put them in the ground during the waning period. Potato plants will not begin to grow until the soil temperature has reached 45 degrees F. PREP STEPS 1. A few weeks before planting, set your seed potatoes in an area where they will be exposed to light and temperatures between 60-70 degrees F. 2. After a few weeks, you will start to see some eyes sprouting. 3. To multiply the use of one potato, a few days before planting, use a sharp, clean knife to slice the larger seed potatoes into smaller pieces dividing it where the potato has sprouted. 4. Once dry, plant them in full sun. They do best when planted in a light, loose, well-drained, slightly acid soil with a PH of 5.0 to 7.0. Potatoes can tolerate a light frost, but provide protection for the plants if there is a hard, late freeze in the forecast. Organic seed potatoes can be at garden stores or directly from the grocery store. Visit the Texas A&M Extension website to learn about their varieties for Texas. For more ideas on Ornamentals, Perennials, and Herbs, visit the Central Texas Gardener and The Natural Gardener lists online. Download the Texas A&M Extension Planting Chart and Varieties Chart at AustinOrganicGardners.org. ____ Become a member of the oldest organic gardening club in the U.S. Memberships are only $10 a year and 100% of your dues support Zilker Botanical Garden.