Saturday, December 8, 2012

seed potato order

Our last spring frost date that has a 10% chance of dipping down to 28 degrees is April 21st, Mother Earth News recommends planting seed potatoes 2 weeks before that (April 7th), and, where I ordered my seed potatoes from, recommends a shipping date of 3 weeks before planting time, so when I placed my order today, I requested it be shipped on March 17th.

At least I think that's right.

I selected a hodgepodge of early, mid, and late cultivars (all images courtesy of

Red Thumb Fingerling: early season, uniform shape

Purple Viking: early season, excellent mashed or
baked, drought-resistant,  becomes sweeter in storage

Desiree: mid season, very disease-resistant, prolific
yields, excellent all-around cooking potato,  easy to grow

Katahdin: long season, heirloom from 1932, drought-
resistant, high yields, excellent mashed or baked, stores
well, top flavor

Rio Grande Russet: long season, uniform shape, excellent
all-around cooking potato, high yields, resistant to
common scab

Ranger: long season, high yields, excellent baked or
French-fried, very disease resistant

I was very tempted to order potatoes based soley on color but resisted this urge and instead focused on varieties that are disease-resistant and/or taste the best. I still had to order a purple-skinned and a pink-fleshed variety, though. Who doesn't want purple and pink potatoes??

I'm planning to grow my potatoes unconventionally in welded-wire towers as well as in traditional hills. I've read various accounts about the tower method, some of which reported lower than normal yields, but I'm going to try it anyway because the tidy nature appeals to me. Go figure. The hills will be my backup because I cannot live without potatoes.

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