Saturday, March 14, 2009

Potato Crazy!

Last year, because I got a bit of a late start with the garden, when I went to the nearest nursery for seed potatoes, they were sold out. They sent me to a feed store across town who had a few left. I wasn't going to let that be the story this year, so a couple weeks ago, I emailed the local nurseries I could find online (I think 5 places?) and asked when their seed potatoes arrive, what varieties they carry and how much they cost. Within a day, I had replies from all but one. From there I looked up the varieties they carried and decided on my list. They got the potatoes in early this week, so I headed into town to get the best selection. I went to 2 garden centers. I got most of my list from one store (ok, and I added one type on a whim) and found my way to the second just to get some Purple Majesty seed potatoes. These are said to be unusually high in antioxidants. They are VERY purple inside! I should have taken a picture when I cut the seed, but I didn't think of it at the time.

I'm quite sure I went a little overboard but I liked the different colors and I wanted some early types and some later maturing types. Here's what I got:

NORLAND:
Red, Early (determinate - so won't do well in a "tower")
Yield: Low to intermediate
Excellent for boiling & frying. Fair for baking.

VIKING
Red, Main season maturity, but early tuber set
High yield potential
Excellent culinary quality

RED PONTIAC (SYNONYM: Dakota Chief )
Red, Late Season
High yield potential
Generally good storage properties

KENNEBEC
White, Main season maturity
High yield of large tubers
Thin, smooth white skin
Good culinary qualities (especially chips & fries)

YUKON GOLD
Yellow, Medium to early maturity (also not good for towers)
Moderate yield
Yellow/white skin & light yellow tuber flesh
Retains flesh color when baked, boiled or french-fried

ALL BLUE (this was my impulse purchase)
Blue, Main season
Oblong medium size, deep blue to purple skin and brilliant purple flesh
Moist, firm flesh with slightly grainy texture
Excellent storage

PURPLE MAJESTY
Purple, Medium to late season
Smooth purple skin and deep purple flesh
High yielding
Makes excellent purple chips


The above descriptions are from the following websites:
http://www.umaine.edu/paa/var.htm
http://potatoes.wsu.edu/varieties/

There is a lot more information there as well on a dizzying number of varieties. I'm glad I had a relatively short list to choose from.

2 comments:

Annie's Granny said...

I have had excellent luck with Kennebec. One year I grew some that were nearly four pounds each! I do wish I had room for more than 12 seed potatoes! Maybe next year.

Granny

Amy said...

I'm going to use my potato bin I built last year but most of them are going in containers this year. The Kennebec are showing signs of sprouts already!