Connecticut Garden Journal: Give Red And Blue Potato Varieties A Try | Connecticut Public Radio
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Connecticut Garden Journal: Give Red And Blue Potato Varieties A Try

Jul 2, 2020

We grow potatoes in our garden. Even though they're cheap and plentiful, there's more to potatoes than russets and white boiling potato varieties. There are many unusual potato varieties you won't find in most markets. These varities feature red or blue skin and flesh and unusual textures, shapes and sizes.

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We've been growing blue potatoes, such as 'Adirondack Blue,' and red ones, such as 'All Red', for years. We love the colors they add to the traditional potato salad. How about a red, white and blue potato salad for this 4th of July! Plus, we grow fingerling potatoes. These small spuds have interesting coloring and texture. 'Russian Banana' is a favorite that has a waxy flesh. 'French Fingerling' has a nutty flavor. Fingerlings are great for grilling or roasting.

This time of year we make sure our potatoes are either hilled or mulched heavily. We've been trying Connecticut's own Ruth Stout's no-dig method of just laying the potatoes on the ground when planting and heavily mulching with hay or straw. Even with the dry summer, the plants seem to be growing fine. We'll see what the yields show us later.

Watch out for the potato beetles on your plants and on eggplants. Look for yellow egg clusters on the backside of leaves and soft, red or brown larvae feeding. I usually just squish the eggs when I see them and that stops the problem. Once potatoes flower, which these old-time varieties will, check for a few new potatoes by gently digging in the hill or mulch. You can steal a few spuds and still get a later harvest as well.