For centuries, potatoes have been one of the world’s most favorite vegetables. They are a staple Go Food for many households and they are an integral part of many cuisines worldwide. It’s hard to find a culture that doesn’t maximize this golden-yellow crop’s starchy and delicious goodness.
Potatoes also remain as a primary crop grown in Philippine soil. Many restaurants and markets depend on the abundance of potato-growing farms all over the country. In other words, potatoes have always been and will remain a primary root crop that will sustain many industries and households.
With modern technology designed for agriculture becoming more accessible to homeowners, it is now possible to grow potatoes in your garden. Here are nine of the best potato varieties you can grow in your backyard or even in pots!
First grown in Canada in the early 1960s, Yukon gold potatoes are a favorite potato variety due to their rich, buttery taste and flexibility to a wide array of recipes. Yukon gold potatoes are waxy enough to withstand boiling temperatures but are adequately fluffy for yummy mashed potatoes. They are also great for baking and roasting, coupled with your favorite herbs and a few bits of bacon and cheese.
Yukon gold potatoes aren’t just versatile and tasty. They are also relatively easy to grow, especially if you live in colder climates. Since most potato species grow well in temperatures ranging from 5° to 30 °C, residents of Brentville International Community in Biñan, Laguna, may start growing Yukon golds in pots or their front yard soil. Having these potatoes in your garden will give you a sustainable source of carbohydrates and energy.
All blue potatoes are named for their purplish skin and insides. They grow to a height of 18 up to 24 feet (approximately one meter) and a width of 8 inches. All blue potatoes have a medium size and are ready to harvest ten weeks after planting. Their texture is perfect for mash, making them suitable for casseroles and cottage or shepherd’s pie.
When planting all blue potatoes, it is best to place their seeds in a deep container with well-drained soil. Put them under direct sunlight for at least seven to eight hours to ensure optimal growth. Use an all-purpose fertilizer to boost their growth and defense system against weeds, pests, and mold. If you live in a frost-prone area, cover your potatoes at night to keep them from freezing and dying.
Another favorite potato variety, Red Pontiac potatoes are recognizable for their thin, red skin, small eyes, and white flesh. They have a sweet flavor, making them perfect for mashed potatoes, potato cakes, and sweet potato pies. However, they are not suitable for deep frying.
Red Pontiac potatoes require full sun to grow healthy and strong. They grow to a height of about 18 to 24 inches–with the fruit growing to about two to three inches–and a spread of eight inches. Growing these may need your patience as they can be harvested after 80 to 100 days from planting.
While they have the typical brown skin and whitish-yellow flesh, Kennebec potatoes are perfect for salads, curries, stews, soups, mash, and chips or fries. Besides being tasty, Kennebec potatoes yield an abundant amount of spuds. They also last long in storage, so you’ll have an adequate stock of these potatoes for months.
Kennebec potatoes are great for planting at home gardens because they are resistant to potato leafroll, a virus that causes tuber net necrosis. They are also moderately resistant to potato diseases such as blackleg, late blight, fusarium dry rot, potato warts, phoma rot, and potato viruses S and X. Compost and fertilizer are crucial to keeping your Kennebec potatoes from rotting and yielding sickly and inedible tubers.
Maris Pipers are a well-loved all-rounder potato that is typically used for frying. Their dry, floury texture makes them extra crispy and golden, which is why they are perfect as chips and French fries. However, some professional chefs claim that they are also ideal for mashing and roasting.
Planting Maris piper potatoes in pots also require well-drained soil and full sunlight to boost healthy potato growth. However, because Maris pipers are susceptible to slug infestation and common scab, proper irrigation is vital to keep Maris piper potatoes from these crop diseases.
Fingerling potatoes are named for their elongated, finger-like shape. They are smaller than most potato varieties, making them suitable for soups, sauces, and salads. Due to their tiny size, fingerling potatoes are pretty easy to grow in containers. They mature in about 90 to 110 days. When planting fingerling potatoes in a large pot, place the container in a sunlit area. Keep them under the shade during rainy days to keep the soil from over-moistening and drowning your golden crops.
Rio Grande Russet
Rio Grande Russets can be eaten with their skins. You can enjoy extra crispy fries and chips and more flavorful potato wedges. This potato type is rich in antioxidants and highly nutritious, so it is considered a guilt-free potato. You’ll have healthier skin and gut; at the same time, you’ll worry less about calories and gaining weight.
Another bluish type, salad blue potatoes have a floury texture that helps retain their color during cooking. Perfect for mashing, roasting, and making blue potato chips, salad blues are great pops of color for your dishes. Despite their name, salad blue potatoes are not suitable for salads.
Salad blues produce a great abundance of blue-like tubers that supply you with a months’ worth of yummy potatoes. It is best to plant them from February to March for an early harvest in May.
Masquerade potatoes are named so due to their unique bi-color type. Their marbled yellow and purple colors make them great decor for your favorite dishes. Plus, their low starch content makes them perfect in salads and mashed, roasted, and baked potatoes.
Masquerade potatoes are one of the fastest-growing potato varieties. They mature in about 63 days, making them ready to harvest in just less than three months.
As a whole, growing these nine potato types in your home depends on proper irrigation, full sunlight, and adequate use of compost and fertilizer. Following their planting and growing methods in containers will yield you a bountiful harvest of delicious and healthy potatoes.