Tender potatoes, harvested from your backyard, and then boiled and served with plenty of butter, are nothing short of heavenly. Growing potatoes is especially rewarding because there are so many new varieties. Try delicious fingerling and other potatoes, which often come in a rainbow of colors. Skin colors include red, white, blue, tan, and brown, and flesh colors include traditional white as well as yellow, red, blue and bicolors. Pick them small for the most delicate garden treat. Let them get larger if you want to mash or store them.
Potatoes are usually grown from pieces of tuber, called sets or seed potatoes, rather than true seed. Plant them two to four weeks before the last spring frost. After sprouts emerge, mound soil around the stems to shade developing tubers from sun. Exposed tubers turn green, bitter, and mildly toxic (cut out any green portions before serving.)
- Plant Type:
- Plant Height:
- 1-2 feet tall
- Plant Width:
- 1-2 feet wide
'Butte' potato is a classic, oblong russet baking potato with white flesh that packs 20 percent more protein and 58 percent more vitamin C than most varieties.
'Caribe' potato is an early maturing variety with purplish blue skin and pure white flesh.
'Dark Red Norland' potato offers good resistance to scab and foliar diseases, making it a popular early red-skinned variety. The white-fleshed tubers are tasty harvested as new potatoes.
'Red Cloud' potato is a mid-season selection with crimson skin and dry, white flesh. It is a good keeper.
'Russian Banana' potato is a fingerling with yellow skin and flesh. The tuber's waxy texture makes it ideal as a boiled potato.
'Superior' potato is a widely adapted mid-season selection with buff-color skin and white flesh. It has good scab resistance.
'Yukon Gold' potato has yellow skin and moist, golden flesh that creates a flavorful, buttery eating sensation. The plant is drought-tolerant and quite productive for an early variety.
You may begin harvesting new potatoes six to eight weeks after planting when tubers are 1 to 2 inches in diameter by carefully digging next to stems with a small fork. Wait for the main harvest until plant tops start to die back on their own. For storage, cure undamaged, harvested tubers by placing them in a dark humid location at 65° to 70°F for two weeks. For long-term storage, place cured tubers in the dark at 40° to 50°F. At colder temperatures, potatoes may become sugary.