Hot Potatoes

Hot Potatoes

Fried, baked, diced, grilled, broiled, mashed… the possibilities for enjoying these tasty tubers is endless!

chittingTo begin the process of growing your very own potatoes, you first need to purchase high quality seed potatoes that are disease and chemical free. Do not try to use grocery store bought potatoes as plant starts. They have been specially treated so as to not go to seed and sprout. Seed potatoes have “eyes” that are the buds which the plant will grow from.  To maximize your yield you will want to use a simple technique of “chitting” the potatoes.  Chitting is the act of placing potatoes inside in a sunny location.   This helps to sprout very shot buds. Which in turn cuts down on time to harvest and usually renders bigger harvests.

Once you’ve finished chitting your potatoes, cut the potato into pieces about the size of a “medium hen egg” about 5 to 6 days before planting. Be sure that each piece of potato has at least one good “eye,” or sprout. Also be careful not to break off any of the budded eyes. This “eye” is what will provide the seed with nourishment until it has established a root potatoessystem. Store the seed pieces in a well-ventilated space so that they can heal over in preparation for planting. We find that one pound of seed potatoes usually yields 9 to 10 seed pieces. While you can save these seeds for extended periods, be sure not to save them for more than a year. This considerably increases their potential for developing a virus that will significantly diminish the plant’s tuber yield. March, or about three weeks before the last spring frost, is the time when soil temperatures are about 50°F, signally that it is time to plant your seed pieces. Start by digging a trench about three inches deep, then placing the pieces in the soil about 12 inches apart. Make sure to press the seeds down firm enough so that they make a solid connection with the soil. Then cover the seeds, but with no more than three inches of soil.  If seeds are covered with too much soil they will take longer to break the surface and will be more susceptible to decay and disease. As the seeds grow occasionally add compost on top. Your first harvest of young potatoes will be ready when the plant begins to flower. Full sized potatoes will be ready for harvesting when the vines turn yellow or have died-back.

Potato Varieties available in bulk:

all-blueAll Blue- Blue: Dark blue skin with an almost purple flesh. The plants have beautiful blue flowers and produce tons of oblong tubers. They make beautiful and unique mash potatoes and are great in potato salad as an added splash of color.

cal_whiteCal White- White: These are a great basic white potato. It produces very large smooth, oblong tubers that are thin-skinned. The plant is large in size and has a great yield.  Great for boiling.

organic_chieftanChieftan-Organic: This variety is a mid-season potato maturing with  beautiful, smooth, coppery red skin and creamy white flesh. With shallow eyes and few of them, Chieftain does not darken after  peeling, boils well, has a fairly thin skin and stores very well.  They are quite attractive on the table! If you want to use them as new potatoes, harvesting can begin 8 weeks after planting. Picture these coppery red skins in fresh potato  salad! Yummmm!

Dark Red Norland

ButterbalGerman Butterball-Organic: Rich, golden russet-type potatoes are an all-around favorite for baking, frying and steaming. An all-purpose potato, with delicious, buttery flavor and a tender, flaky texture. Just one look and taste and Butterball will be an instant winner in your kitchen and your garden. Excellent for winter storage.

red_pontiacRed Pontiac: A red, round and thin-skinned “new potato” with deep-set eyes. This variety has a popular delicate flavor and maintain their shape very well when boiled in their skin. Firm texture makes them perfect for “new potato hash” and home fries. Pontiac red plants boast dark-green foliage from a single stem and produce a high yield of tubers located right under the plant.

Russet Burbank: With brown nut skin, this famous Idaho potato is great cooked any way imaginable: mashed, fried, boiled or baked. It produces a large, leafy plant with good yield.

Russet Norkotah

Viking Purple:-Organic: Truly a beautiful potato, with deep purple skin dappled with pink splashes and stripes. Bright white and creamy-good, the flesh bakes or mashes perfectly. This variety produces large oversize potatoes, so plant close (8”-10”) to control size.

Yellow Finn-Organic

Yukon Gold- Organic: Smooth and thin-skinned with shallow pink eyes and yellow flesh. Yukons are all-around great potatoes, baked or mashed! Its plant grows large and stands very tall and upright.   It sets on early and can produce large tubers. Stores very well.

Fingerling Types-available in packages-Organic

French- Fingerling: This quality potato boasts a delicious nutty flavor in an oblong package. It has a moist yellow flesh that is streaked with pink color. The French fingerling plant has dark-green foliage and is a great ranger.

Princess La Ratte

Red Thumb

Rose Finn- Fingerling: Beige with touch of blush-red skin and deep yellow flesh distinguishes this very fine fingerling potato. Its tubers have an incredible flavor that makes them ideal for gourmet recipes. The plant is medium sized and mostly upright with its tubers growing close to the surface.

Russian Banana:

Other Organic potato varieties-available packaged:

All Red: Also known as Cranberry Red, this gorgeous potato has rich cranberry-red skin and white flesh with rosy tie-dye swirls which hold color during cooking. Earliness and high yield capacity make it perfect for a new potato, or medium to extra-large full size potato. Best boiled or steamed.

Dark Red Norland

Kennebec: The Kennebec potato is making quite an imprint on the culinary world… potato-wise. The days of ‘just use any old potato’ for french fries are gone, and finer restaurants are switching over to the Kennebec for a variety of reasons and for many kinds of dishes. It is a large potato, and it looks very pretty with its light tan skin, nice uniform appearance and attractive white fleshy insides. The skin is thin so it peels quickly.  It is an easily-grown main crop potato, the plant has a high and dependable yield of large potatoes, it resists blight and other diseases well, and the potatoes winter very well for a long storage time.

Purple Majesty

Red LaSoda: The Red La Soda Potatoes are an improved Pontiac variety! The La Soda is a red potato which matures in 110-120 days, or late season. This potato has short storage, fair boiling properties but makes an EXCELLENT baking potato.

Red Pontiac

Russet Burbank

Yellow Finn

Yukon Gem:  Late blight resistant!  A hybrid developed through traditional means from Yukon Gold. 

About Brenda Powell

I'm one of the owners of a family-owned retail nursery. I have a degree in horticulture from Oregon State University. I love to garden and read. My technically savvy but horticulturally challenged husband, Mitch, spends most of his time as slave labor in the garden. Thank goodness he adores me! My goal in this blog is to share my enjoyment of gardening, my love of nature, and my addiction to books. Did I mention I like to cook, too?
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