Now that we have a Christmas break, let’s take time to think about what worked and what could be improved in the potato patch. So please think about what we can do this spring to produce more potatoes!
Last spring, when the soil warmed up, we planted Red Gold, Lindzer Deleketess, and Alaska Sweetheart potatoes. The Red Gold variety were scabby and we won’t plant them again. The scabby skin can be peeled off, but it’s much easier not to have to peel, more nutritious, and scab-free potatoes store better.
Potato scab is a virus that stays in the soil. It can be lessened by planting disease free seed potato varieties that are scab-resistant, and controlled somewhat by rotating the beds. That means planting potatoes at most two times in the same place.
The Lindzer Deleketess were mostly scab free and a good producer. They’re a fingerling potato and tasted great. The Alaska Sweetheart had little scab, pretty bright pink skin and pale pink flesh, which keeps its colour after boiling, small producer and tasted good.
We’ll keep the fingerling Lindzer potato, and it’s been suggested by Rosemary that we could try Chieftain as a good producer and disease free (scurf). Another suggestion is the Russian Blue potato, a very popular and fun favourite potato.
Now that we know a few potatoes that work well in our garden in terms of disease and growing time in our short season garden, let’s think of ways to produce more potatoes overall. It may be a more regular watering schedule to take advantage of rain and warm weather, for example.
Let us know your thoughts and questions! Post what you’re thinking on this blog or the garden Facebook page. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Anne Wilson, Potato team leader (2014)