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Whats a Potato? Toplef10Whats a Potato? 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Whats a Potato? I22gcj10Whats a Potato? 14dhcg10

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Whats a Potato?

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Post  Hoggar 2/8/2013, 3:03 pm

My actual question is, What is the difference between a potato and its counterpart the fingerling? I had always just assumed a fingerling was just a potato that had been harvested before it had reached full size.

I have been trying to find Blue or Purple potatoes to grow but all I have been able to find are fingerlings.
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Post  Lindacol 2/8/2013, 3:16 pm

Hoggar wrote:My actual question is, What is the difference between a potato and its counterpart the fingerling? I had always just assumed a fingerling was just a potato that had been harvested before it had reached full size.

I have been trying to find Blue or Purple potatoes to grow but all I have been able to find are fingerlings.

Burpee and Gurney's have Purple Majesty potatoes
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Post  camprn 2/8/2013, 3:35 pm

Potatoes come in all shapes and sizes and colors.

Here is an image of native Andean potatoes varieties.

Whats a Potato? Ns4f65482a
http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread820614/pg1



Here are some that are commonly grown in the US.

Whats a Potato? 2008_09_25-potato-varieties
http://www.thekitchn.com/potato-varieties-64061

And at the link below is a primer from the American Potato Board that addresses your question about fingerlings, etc.
http://www.potatoesusa.com/products.php?sec=Table-Stock%20Potatoes

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Post  Nonna.PapaVino 2/8/2013, 11:05 pm

Irish Eyes potato source has a huge selection of all types of potatoes. They have been one of my main sources for the past two years' orders (still trying to find the very best tater type for our climate):

http://irisheyesgardenseeds.com/index.php/potato-seed.html

Note right on the first page is are a couple of all-blue types. We grew some a couple of years ago and you should have seen the grandkids' eyes when I served purple-blue mashed potatoes. Warning: do not, I repeat, do not mix purple types with yellow ones before mashing. Khaki just isn't that attractive a tater mash. Nonna
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Post  JackieB999 2/9/2013, 12:07 am

Those Andean potaotes sure are interesting. Who knew there were so many varieties? Wow.
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Post  Turan 2/9/2013, 1:05 am

Nonna.PapaVino wrote:Warning: do not, I repeat, do not mix purple types with yellow ones before mashing. Khaki just isn't that attractive a tater mash. Nonna

Might be just the ticket when serving green eggs and ham Laughing

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Post  Pollinator 2/9/2013, 9:38 am

JackieB999 wrote:Those Andean potaotes sure are interesting. Who knew there were so many varieties? Wow.

I've eaten some when I was in the Andes. The one I really liked was yellow all the way through like a sweet potato. It tasted like it was already buttered.
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino 2/9/2013, 12:47 pm

This year, we're trying German Butterball, it's supposed to tast "buttery." Anyone else tried this variety?
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Post  llama momma 2/9/2013, 1:33 pm

I've got a first time order of G. Butterball coming from seed savers.
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Post  camprn 2/9/2013, 2:02 pm

There is a good thread about potatoes in the 'Rookie Topics", which you can find HERE. Follow the link and click on the 'Rookie Topics' near the top of the list.

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Post  Janas 2/11/2013, 9:26 am

Hoggar: A seed potato source in Colorado is PotatoGarden dot com. They have thumbprint pictures of their spuds so you can easily spot the colors you're looking for and their list of varieties is extensive. You can order as little as 1 lb, which is nice for small gardens.

Fingerlings are so named because they're shaped like a finger, long and slender. I love La Ratte fingerling, it makes a superb pan roasted potato in my black iron skillet. It cooks up fast, too, which is nice for quick meals.

Lama and Nonna: German Butterball is my main potato and I'll be squeezing it into my new, tiny garden in my condo this year. It's produced clean spuds with no disease for me, it's a nice all-around potato in the kitchen for roasted, salads, or mashed potatoes, and it's flavor is very pleasing. My son who never cared for taters really likes German Butterball. This variety seems to be gaining popularity quickly, I see it in many more catalogs than just a few years ago. It does grow fairly tall (2-1/2 to 3' tall), you might keep that in mind and either give it a place where it can spill over into an aisle or you might make a twine and stick "fence" around your potato squares to keep them from leaning over neighboring squares.

I just love my home grown spuds. sunny
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Post  cheyannarach 2/11/2013, 10:20 am

I am doing German butterball too! First time for me. Last year I did Yukon gold and red pontiac. I liked the Yukons the best!
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Post  Hoggar 2/11/2013, 10:52 am

Thanks for the Info lots of reading to do. Last summer as a test we hacked up a blue fingerling after it had sprouted and planted it in a square. That was in August and by the end of October we got about a half of a pound of Ping pong ball sized taters. We really like the Blue Potatoes, so I plan on filling a box with them this year.
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino 2/11/2013, 10:56 am

Janas, thanks for the info on German Butterball potatoes. Sounds like one that will become a "Keeper" for us, along with Chieftain and Rose Finn. My search this year is for taters that store well, as we eat lots during the winter months. Chieftain does not store beyond January, though, so it gets eaten first, and planted out first. German Butterball was listed as a good storage variety. Did you find it so? Nonna
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Post  camprn 2/11/2013, 11:03 am

Is the German Butterball an indeterminate potato?

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Post  Janas 2/11/2013, 11:09 am

Well that's a new one for me, Camp! I never heard the terms determinate and indeterminate for potatoes. Doing a quick scan on the web, German Butterball is indeterminate.
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Post  cheyannarach 2/11/2013, 11:17 am

camprn wrote:Is the German Butterball an indeterminate potato?

Yes!
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino 2/11/2013, 9:47 pm

German Butterball is a mid-season potato. From Irish Eyes: "Small to medium oblong tuber with smooth, thick, golden and netted skin with butter yellow flesh. Outstanding taste. Great for hash browns, fries steaming or baking. Stores well. Excellent flavor." Now y'all know all I know. Nonna
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Post  johnsonjlj 2/12/2013, 6:07 am

I'm also adding potatoes to my garden this year for the first time and have been doing a lot of reading about determinate and indeterminate potatoes. Janas, if my research is correct, an indeterminate potato is one which needs to be buried as it grows and mounded because the plant will grow potatoes all along the stem as it is buried. A determinate will still need to be mounded to keep light from reaching the potatoes, but will not grow the potatoes along the stem if it is buried. I think the main reason so many of those potato towers weren't successful was because they used determinate potatoes. I'll be growing Yukon Gold potatoes this year and sharing with my kids my favorite part of harvesting when I was growing up- diggin' 'taters!!! (At least, in a square-foot-garden kind of way!)

Judi
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino 2/12/2013, 11:13 am

Judi, Yes! By all means get the kids involved in finding the taters for dinner. My grandkids love to "steal" the potatoes for dinner. Last year I planted both Chieftain (red skin) and Rose Finn (fingerling) in the same 3 X 8 plot. Kids were amazed that potatoes could come in so many different shapes. This year, there will be a small plot of Purple Vikings for them to discover.
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