Saturday, July 2, 2011

Potato Potato

Potatoes being inspected and weighed in Tasmania, 1912.

Winter is potato time! I have just dug some up and it seems that August is the best time to plant but why not now!

Plant only certified seed potatoes, bred to be disease free.

Spuds grow well near peas, beans, cabbage and sweet corn. SPUDS DON'T GROW WELL NEAR apples, cherries, cucumbers, pumpkin and raspberries, all of which makes them susceptible to Blight. AND KEEP THEM AWAY FROM TOMATOES as exudation from their roots will stop the tomatoes growing well.

Place each piece or whole potato in a 15cm trench with the 'eye' upwards so that new shoots will grow and cover with soil and compost. Alternatively you can just place them at ground level and mound compost over them.

When the plants are about 10cm high you can add more compost and straw then continue to build up around the plants periodically as they grow for a huge crop of tasty, no-dig spuds. (But don't cover all of the foliage.) Material can be held in place with big bottomless pots, chicken wire, old car tyres.

But which spud do I choose?

The who’s who of Australian potatoes:


Creamy fleshed, firm textured and ideal for frying or use in salads. In season all year round and has a long shelf life.
Floury flesh ideal for mashing and bakes well. Very common in our supermarkets.
Waxy flesh that is good for boiling, mashing, salads or roasting, but not frying.
Golden Delight.
A great all-rounder good for mashing, baking or frying.
King Edward.
Good for baking or mashing, but not frying or salads. Another very common variety.
Use this buttery-flavoured variety is ideal for salads, steaming, boiling or roasting, but not frying.
A waxy variety that’s increasingly on the shelves. Good for microwaving or boiling, not for frying.
Pink Eye (also known as Southern Gold).
Waxy, nutty flavoured flesh that’s good for salads, boiling, steaming or baking.
Red Rascal.
Crisp, flavoursome flesh that’s good for boiling, mashing, roasting or frying.
Royal Blue.
Distinctive purple potato with white flesh that’s a great all-rounder.
Another very common variety that’s a real all-rounder.