Fall and winter-planted early potatoes, typically planted in August or February, are usually ready for harvest in June or early summer. Purple-fleshed sweet potatoes need a long, warm season to produce a good crop, but the starchy, deep-purple roots of varieties such as ‘Violetta’ and ‘All Purple’ are worth the wait. You can rob your new potatoes anytime after they have reached usable size, 50-60 days after planting for early varieties. Excavate lightly next to the plants and gently dig out a few tubers from each plant. When to Harvest Sweet Potatoes. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. The health benefits of growing purple potatoes Purple tatties not only look good – they could help ward off strokes and heart disease The colour purple: the Vitelotte variety of … Boiled Purple Potatoes. Moist but well-drained soil, warm summer temperatures and all-day sun result in a bountiful harvest. Choose and Prepare a Container: Let me be very clear on this, almost any container will do with … While all the purple potatoes made acceptable home fries, the purple gnocchi were dense and gummy across the board, due to their low starch levels. You can harvest new potatoes about three weeks after flowering – dig carefully to avoid bruising tubers or damaging roots. Early types, like “Caribe,” require 70 to 90 days to reach full maturity. You can often find them in specialty stores. The size of new potatoes varies, but they get larger as the season progresses. Physical signs on the plant provide a better guide for when to harvest than the numbers printed on the seed potato label. The color typically fades toward blue when the potatoes are cooked. A lot of people I imagine are the same way. Cover them with several inches of soil – this is known as “hilling” – at least twice while growing to protect tubers from light. Growing an Okinawan sweet potato vine is rewarding as long as you have the right climate. It can be grown like other sweet potatoes and needs a long, hot growing season. The young potato tubers begin to form at flowering. There is more to three options in the potato world. In their native Andes Mountains of South America, more than 2,500 potato species and cultivars exist, with colors ranging from white, pink, red and yellow to purple, bluish and black. Click here to find out where you can purchase purple or blue potatoes. They are related to lilies and have a cylindrical shape with blackish or brown, bark-like skin and white, purple, or reddish flesh. Store in a dark, cold but not freezing area with high humidity. Most gardeners pre-sprout, or chit, their potatoes. Here are some popular varieties of blue or purple potato plants for the garden: ‘Adirondack Blue’ Roasted red, white, and purple potatoes: Combine equal amounts of red potatoes, white or gold potatoes, and purple potatoes to make about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds.Scrub the red potatoes but leave the skins on for color, if possible. Growing potatoes at home really is lots of fun, Weaver says. If the harvest operation is conducted in wet soil, allow roots to dry naturally in a shaded area until the soil dries. The purple potato made its way to Hawaii and then to the U.S. mainland. Different varieties of purple potatoes will have different storage times. Despite their exotic looks, growing purple potatoes (Solanum tuberosum, sometimes Solanum tuberosum andigenum) is similar to growing most other types of potato. Most red-skinned potatoes and fingerlings have thin skins, while big russets and many other brown-skinned potatoes have thicker coats. Baking or Russet and red, sometimes gold is all I knew growing up. The color does not affect flavor. In other respects, purple potatoes are no different from other potato varieties and need similar growing conditions and care. Hawaiian sweet potato, which is a variety called ‘Okinawan’, but is commonly called purple yam, Japanese purple potato or Japanese Sweet Potato. Fleshy root damage should be minimized when harvesting in dry soils. Plant die-back indicates that's its time to harvest the potatoes. Space your potatoes 12 inches apart if growing standard potatoes with smaller potatoes spaced at 8-12 inches. How to Rescue Potatoes From Potato Blight. Selecting the proper variety, or cultivar, is important since varieties differ in yield, cooking characteristics, time of maturity, skin and flesh color, and storage life. Mature potatoes are usually ready three or four weeks after the tops die down. Line the holes with coffee filters – don’t worry, they’ll biodegrade – and put about 3 inches of dirt in the bottom. This action will further allow the tubers to develop. Purple potatoes feature purple skins, although blue varieties are sometimes referred to as purple. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Purple Pelisse – another fingerling; deep violet in color. Picking the potatoes at the right time depends on the variety of purple potato and whether you want new or full mature tubers. Allowing the plant to die back ensures the skins of the tubers harden enough so they don't scratch off easily. When left in storage for too long, potatoes can begin to sprout, creating debate as to whether they're safe for consumption. Picking new potatoes doesn't require extensive digging if you are allowing most of the tubers to reach maturity. But, to get the best each variety has to offer, find out its best traits. This is an early-maturing potato variety that is typically ready to harvest in 85-90 days after planting. Peruvian Purple – fingerling; purple throughout. Allow the blue potatoes to cure for a day in a dark area before storing them. This article reviews whether it's safe to eat sprouted potatoes. The interior reveals a beautiful kaleidoscope of purple shades from light to dark. I don't know how you are growing them but when I've done potatoes in the past I have tried mounding up soil and also spent hay and straw (hay/straw was easier for harvesting because there's no digging at harvest time and it's easier to just break open a bale and cover them. I got a delayed start because we got a lot of rain this spring and I need to expand my garden to make room for them. Brush off loose soil. Purple potatoes require the same growing conditions as other potato types. Place them in a single layer in a warm, well-ventilated shady place for a week or two. With maple … When your potatoes get close to flowering is the come get me, I’m ready for the table signal. Cool-season plants, they do best when planted in early spring so they can make growth before hot temperatures hit. Just about any kind of dirt will do, provided it contains some compost or manure. Here are possible varieties: All potatoes need rich, fertile soil and good drainage. Updated March 30, 2020. Harvesting Purple Sweet Potatoes… Sweet potatoes need a long growing season, at least four preferably five months of good summer heat. I expect the harvest to begin sometime in early to mid July, depending on the weather. This guide to growing potatoes takes you step-by-step through the process. I don't believe there is any real difference harvesting them from white-fleshed ones. Keep weeds down with mulch or hoeing. Then remove the soil by gently rubbing with the hands. You can harvest “new” potatoes once the canopy flowers have bloomed, which is usually about six to eight weeks after the potato plants begin to grow. This is a sign that the tubers are indeed forming in the soil. Sweet potatoes are sometimes confused with yams. Can I Plant a Cut Potato to Grow More Potatoes? Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. I hear more and more people asking for purple potatoes. Although expected time to maturity can help when selecting a purple potato variety, it is not an exact guide for harvesting. Harvest on a sunny day and leave them out to dry for an hour. Often, the combination of mulching and dense top growth will prevent weeds from invading the potato garden bed. 1. Modified tractor-pulled potato harvesters can be used for harvesting sweetpotato. Purple potatoes are fun. A good rule of thumb is to watch for the first signs of yellowing leaves. Sweet Potatoes vs. Yams. When to harvest sweet potatoes depends largely on the seasonal growing. Purple potatoes are vibrant, versatile and nutritious, making them a must-have for any seasoned spud-lover. Some potatoes are bred for early harvests and others are better as mature potatoes. In either case, do not wash after harvest – it encourages rot. Note: The leaves of potato plants are poisonous to humans and animals. New potatoes don’t store well and should be eaten within a day or two. University of California Cooperative Extension Stanislaus County: Potatoes in Your Garden, University of California Cooperative Extension Contra Costa Master Gardeners: Contra Costa County Vegetable Planting Guide for Interior Regions. Some varieties have white interiors while others may have flesh as blue as their skins. Proceed with the recipe. In the case of potatoes, it is the anthocyanins that provide the deep purple color. This allows the skins to finish drying so they store better. Potatoes come in a variety of colors, one of which is a deep blue or purple tint. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening. Plant in individual holes or a trench and hill the potatoes at least twice while growing by covering with several inches of soil. Like other colorful fruits and vegetables, purple potatoes’ bright color is a … If the plants don't die back before a hard frost, which sometimes occurs with late-season purple potatoes, you can dig up the potatoes before the plant dies off completely. You can dig up new potatoes at any time after your plant flowers. There is no doubt that purple sweet potatoes have gained popularity—just open the pages of Eating Well, Martha Stewart Living, The Washington Post and O, The Oprah Magazine.Even journalist Dan Buettner, author of Blue Zones, credits these purple beauties with being part of the diet and lifestyle that has propelled the longevity of the centenarian Okinawa population. We recommend skipping purple potatoes in recipes where the starch content is critical to success, such as potato latkes or gnocchi. Pull the tubers out of the loosened soil and brush off the excess soil. It is noted that the first purple sweet potato was bred by the Japanese and grown specifically on Okinawa, hence its name. Keep potatoes well-watered during growth but stop watering once they flower to promote tuber development. Generally, only harvest those the size of a golf ball or larger and leave the smaller tubers on the plant to reach full maturity. Blue/Purple Potato Varieties. Once potatoes reach 6-8 inches in height, start to hill them up. Loosen the soil around mature potatoes with a spading fork, but avoid piercing the tubers. Packed with antioxidants. Their unique colors come from natural anthocyanin pigments; some Peruvian potatoes are naturally purple, while others are bred for deeper shades. Although potatoes have a reputation of causing weight gain, studies show that the type of potato you choose and how the potato is prepared could make a difference.. Both skins and flesh may display the purple color. Here in the South (again, I am in central NC, zone 7b), I plant my sweet potatoes in the middle of May and harvest in … With frequent and consistent watering, even novice gardeners can grow bountiful harvests of purple potatoes. Purple Majesty Potato produces oblong potatoes with a dark purple, almost wine-colored skin. Harvest potatoes … These new potatoes are smaller and have thin skins compared to those harvested later in the season. Weather, water and environmental stress can all affect the expected harvest time. New potatoes don't store well and are best used soon after harvesting. Expected Harvest I planted my potatoes in early May. Use your fingers to feel around in the top 2 or 3 inches of soil around the base of the plant to find a potato of suitable size and pick it. Late-season varieties, such as “AC Domino,” need 110 to 130 days to reach maturity from planting. Research shows these potatoes have anti-inflammatory properties and are high in fiber. Most of the crop will be in the top 6 inches of the soil. Between rows, it should be 2-3 feet. Purple Vikings are ready for harvest after the vines begin to die, typically 95 to 100 days after they've been planted. Instead, substitute them in recipes that call for Yukon Gold potatoes. Varieties traditionally have been classed as white, red, orrusset, based on skin color and texture. https://homeguides.sfgate.com/harvest-purple-potatoes-62385.html If the growing season has been good with adequate water and sunshine, harvesting sweet potatoes should begin about 100-110 days after planting depending on the variety. Increased interest in new gourmet varieties has added purple, blue, orange, yellow, and other colors to the inventory. I cook purple potatoes three different ways - roasted, boiled, and pan fried or sauteed. These baby potatoes range from one- to two-inches in diameter. Grow them in full sun in all USDA Zones. ). In between are many multi-purpose potatoes like the purple potato I've been growing for years. As a general rule of thumb, more deeply colored vegetables and fruit have high antioxidant levels. Midnight Moon – purple skin and golden yellow flesh. They are also rich in vitamin C. Like all potatoes, purple potatoes may be large bakers, small round tubers or fingerlings. You can harvest new potatoes about three weeks after flowering – dig carefully to avoid bruising tubers or damaging roots. Check for bruises and small areas of decay before storage – these potatoes can still be used immediately by cutting out the bad spots. Adirondack Blue – More blue than purple, with purplish flesh. Growing Okinawan Purple Sweet Potatoes. Figure 6. Midseason and early purple potato plants planted in spring usually begin to die back in late summer, while late-season plants die back in fall or after the first frost. Plant three to six inches deep; fingerlings are planted more shallowly due to their smaller size. Harvesting new potatoes before the main harvest is often referred to as “robbing”. “True yams” are rarely found in U.S. grocery stores and are starchy, dry tubers from Africa. Potato varieties vary in the thickness of their skins. Mashed Purple Potatoes: This recipe makes a beautiful dish with the deep purple color. Russet tubers tend to be … Always cure your potatoes prior to storing. Plants tend to come as live cuttings that … This allows you to get an early start on the growing season. Purple potatoes, also known as Peruvian purple potatoes, have naturally purple or deep blue skin and flesh, and are unusually high in antioxidants which makes them super healthful. After harvesting store them in a dark, dry place for a week at 65-70 degrees F. Then store them at 35-40 degrees F out of the light. Harvesting New Potatoes. Purple Viking – snow-white flesh and true purple skin with pink or red splashes. Take your potato chunks and place them on the dirt, cut side down. Potato tubers (the part growing in the ground that we eat) can be harvested any time after their first buds or flowers appear. Exact guide for when to harvest sweet potatoes need rich, fertile soil and good drainage dish with the.. 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