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Red potatoes — have any favourites you grow?

Discussion in 'Gardening On Your Homestead' started by Joel_BC, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. Nov 8, 2018
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    Here's a link to read about different red varieties, some of which are grown commercially due to the high yield and some they have to grow a certain way to get smaller, more uniform spuds for commercial sale.

    I find the Red Pontiacs to be a larger, high yield variety, which is one reason we have always grown them.

    I've never seen much high yield or large potatoes when growing Yukon Golds nor did I particularly enjoy their flavor or texture. Do they grow differently where you live, Joel?
     
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  2. Nov 8, 2018
    wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Almost Self-Reliant

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    When I grew Yukon Golds a few years ago, I ended up with an OK crop of medium-large sized potatoes - about 3". The flavor was good, but they seemed to take a little longer to dry off before storing. I harvest my potatoes, then let them air dry in deep shade until they seem dry enough to store.
     
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  3. Nov 8, 2018
    Joel_BC

    Joel_BC Super Self-Sufficient

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    I think of the Yukons as a "serviceable" large, and (normally) good yielding variety. We've never disliked their flavor, Bee. The Russets are "okay" flavor-wise, good-yielding, but when baked they're just dry-ish (begging for gravy, lots of butter, sour-cream dressing or whatever). Even when boiled for mashed potatoes they turn out pretty dry, which improves with the addition of milk at the mashing stage.

    We've been happy enough with the Yukons... grown on sandy-silty soil, to which we amend with sulphur, and having a humus level that's pretty good and which we nurture each year. Could be some sort of environmental differences (soil, micro-climate... who knows?)
    I'd say our experience with the drying/curing time for the Yukons is similar to yours.
     
  4. Dec 14, 2018
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Almost Self-Reliant

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    I love growing potatoes. My favorite crop to grow. Variable success. Favorite variety: All Red if I can get it. Red skin AND flesh. Love the flavor and texture. Waxy, not dry. Lately, I've not been able to get it, so have grown Adirondack Red. Worthy substitute. Have tried All Blue, or Adirondack Blue, but find the size and flavor to be lacking. They are also more prone to scab as mentioned by PP.
     
  5. Dec 14, 2018
    Joel_BC

    Joel_BC Super Self-Sufficient

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    Thanks for the recommendation of the Adirondacks. I'll look into seeing if I can get seed for that here in the far west and above the 49th parallel.
     
  6. Dec 14, 2018
    wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Almost Self-Reliant

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    Does anyone plant in potato bags? or do you'all just plant rows of potatoes and hill them?
     
  7. Dec 14, 2018
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    Neither for me. I plant in compost beds....some are cut down CPs with chicken wire to hold in contents, and shaped into a circle. Did those at the base of my apple saplings for the past few years with good success when I didn't make the mistake of adding chicken compost to those....that soil is rich enough, adding anything to it just produces all tops and no bottoms. Those are usually filled in the fall and let compost down all winter and spring, then planted. No digging required...just push the spuds down into it until you reach near the bottom.

    Last year I did spuds in a haybale raised bed filled half way with composted leaves and hay and will do that again next year, if the Lord wills it.

    In my son's garden, I just layered a pile of hay and leaves and later added some grass clippings. Planted into that rectangular pile and left it be. Yielded a great crop.

    The beauty of planting in this manner is good moisture retention, an ongoing feeding of the plant from the ongoing composting of the materials, and an easy harvest of very clean spuds. Just brush away the compost, pick up the spuds.

    Wash, rinse, repeat in the fall of the layering of the leaves and hay.

    Compost beds in various stages of prep and growing spuds....

    100_0231.JPG 100_0315.JPG 100_0573.JPG 100_0685.JPG
    The mound of compost in my son's tiny garden....produced VERY well.

    100_0780.JPG 100_0697.JPG
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
  8. Dec 14, 2018
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Almost Self-Reliant

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    I dig a trench, lay in my seed pieces, cover with soil. I never hill. As the potatoes grow, I layer on the mulch, and keep doing so until it is 12" deep.
     
  9. Dec 16, 2018
    Joel_BC

    Joel_BC Super Self-Sufficient

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    I learned that the Adirondack Red is both red skinned and red fleshed... which is interesting. The reds I've known about are just red on the outside.

    Thought I'd give them a try. So I did put some time into a search for A.R. seed potatoes from a western Canadian source, but it seems that the variety (which was developed by Cornell U.) hasn't travelled too far west yet. Maybe some year soon. :hu
     
  10. Dec 16, 2018
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Almost Self-Reliant

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    You can get them from Fedco Seeds. This is my favorite seed company. They will not knowingly purchase GMO seed, have boycotted all Monsanto products. They are a strong partner in OSSI (Open Source Seed Initiative) which works to keep seed varieties in the public domain instead of allowing big Agri Giants to patent and restrict access to all varieties they can get their hands on.

    You might get from the gist of this post that I am passionate about seeing to it that the ability to produce our own food remains a basic human right.

    You can access Fedco Seeds on line, or request their catalog. I suggest that if you want to place an order for anything Fedco offers, do so ASAP. The more popular varieties and materials sell out quickly. They also have a tree catalog.
     
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