Seed Potato Medley

March 20, 2007

I didn’t plant a single potato in the garden last year due to space constraints, but this year I’m looking to include at least one variety of heirloom potato.

I say at least one variety because it’s turned into a difficult decision to select among several varieties that I am interested in growing in my garden this season.

Rare Potatoes for the Home Garden

I settled on growing a fingerling type potato because I really like the waxy texture and the versatility that they offer in the kitchen. Fingerlings are just as easy to grow as the common standard potato varieties.

I enjoy the unique qualities that fingerlings offer, and while they are starting to become more obtainable in conventional supermarkets, the quality doesn’t come close to what home gardeners can achieve in their own backyards.

Many heirloom fingerling potatoes also have interesting stories surrounding their history, background, and introduction to the Americas.

Tempting Fingerling Varieties

I was eyeing several different fingerling potatoes from which to select a variety to plant in my garden this growing season:

  • French Fingerling – Rumored to have been smuggled to America from France in the 1800’s. This gourmet fingerling has a bright red skin, yellow flesh, and lends itself to a range of preparations in the kitchen. Smoother, shorter, and rounder than most fingerling types.
  • Austrian Crescent – A great yielding fingerling potato that will produce large quantities of pale yellow skinned potatoes with a light yellow flesh. These attractive tubers can grow to ten inches in length.
  • Ozette – Another good yielder, this fingerling was brought to America by Spanish explorers in the 1700’s and was quickly adopted by Native American tribes in the Northwest. Unassuming appearance with a pale golden skin and flesh, and a nutty flavor makes this one of the best tasting fingerling varieties.
  • Rose Fin Apple – This is an all purpose fingerling potato with a reputation for creating great potato salads due to its flavor and pleasant waxy texture. Pale red skin covering a rich golden yellow flesh.
  • Purple Peruvian – A South American variety with purple skin and bright purple flesh, one of the most colorful blue or purple potato varieties available. A delicious and nutritious fingerling choice for the home gardener.

And the Winner Is…

These are just a few of the interesting fingerling potato varieties that are available to the home gardener. If my garden was larger I would love to grow more of them, but this year I decided on planting two; the Purple Peruvian and the Ozette.

They both appeal to my taste buds, in addition the Purple Peruvian will satisfy my cravings for something unusual and ornamental, while the Ozette fingerlings will fill the role of an all purpose potato that’s versatile and productive.

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  • Gale Lilly

    I just moved to NE and want to put out a vegetable garden. My Grandmother always planted by the moon. I need to know if you plant potatoes by the dark of the moon or light of the moon or if you use the moon at all.
    Thank you…gale

  • Kenny Point

    Hi Gale, I’ve looked at the ideas for planting potatoes and seeds according to the various phases of the moon, but I really haven’t tried applying the techniques in my garden. I usually plant according to the season, weather conditions, gardening intuition… and my hectic schedule. I can’t attest to the effectiveness of planting by the moon but if you’re looking for more information John Jeavons covers the topic pretty well in his book; “How to Grow More Vegetables Than You ever Thought Possible.”

  • Jenni

    As a potato farmer I have to recommend the Rose Finn Apple, it’s our biggest seller, and our personal favorite on the farm. You really can’t go wrong with any fingerling, but try some next time if you feel like it, I’m sure you’ll agree 🙂

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