Growing Purple Potatoes: Blue And Purple Potato Varieties

Purple potatoes are one of the most popular varieties grown commercially today. They have been used in many recipes throughout history, including some very famous ones such as “The Queen’s Table” (which was actually invented by a French woman) and “Potato Salad.” Many other dishes use purple potatoes as well, but they’re not quite as common.

In fact, purple potatoes aren’t even native to North America; they were introduced here from Europe during the 1800s. These days, there are two main types of purple potatoes: the European variety called “Blue,” which originated in northern France and Belgium, and the American variety known as “Purple,” which originated in New York State. Both varieties grow best in cool climates with good drainage.

Both varieties are also susceptible to blight, so it’s important to keep them away from areas where they might get hit hard by the disease. If you want to grow purple potatoes, you’ll need to plant them in pots or beds. You can either grow them yourself or buy pre-made potting soil and fertilizer.

Either way, you’ll need regular watering.

Planting Purple Potatoes: Where To Plant Them?

It’s important to remember that purple potatoes need to be planted in areas that receive constant moisture (but not necessarily full sun). The soil should be loose, well-drained, and with a neutral pH level (pH of 7 is ideal). You’ll also need to make sure your soil is fertile. If you’re planting them from seeds, you’ll need a planting medium of loam, peat moss, sand, and vermiculite or perlite.

After preparing your soil, you’ll need to wait until spring arrives to start your seeds. You can either plant your seeds directly into the soil, or start them indoors in pots and transplant them outside once they’re ready (this is called “transplanting”). When you’re growing potatoes, it’s important to remember that the plants are vines that can grow up to six feet long, so you’ll need a significant amount of space for them.

After your seeds are planted, you’ll need to wait about a month or so before the seedlings are mature enough to support your weight. It’s also important to remember that the vines can take up a lot of room, so you’ll need at least six feet of space between each row. You should also keep in mind that these plants can grow up to be about three feet tall (and they tend to droop as they get heavier with tubers).

When your plants are ready, water them well and then spread a generous amount of mulch around the base of the stems. This will help keep the soil cool and will also prevent weeds from growing around the base of your plants. Keep in mind that you’ll need to keep your plants well-watered.

If you fail to do this, your plants might die.

Harvesting: When Is It Ready?

When you’re growing purple potatoes, you’ll need to wait until at least late summer or early fall to harvest them. You’ll know your potatoes are ready when you see the foliage dying back and turning a golden brown color. At this point, you can dig up the potatoes and clean them off. Since these are not starchy potatoes, they don’t need to be peeled before cooking.

If you want to store your potatoes, you’ll need to keep them in a cool, dry place where the temperature doesn’t go below 55 degrees. If you live in a particularly humid area, you might even want to invest in a humidity/temp controlled storage unit (this is something I highly recommend anyone growing food long-term do).

How To Eat Purple Potatoes: Lots Of Ways!

There really aren’t too many ways to eat purple potatoes, but the good thing is that they can be incorporated into a wide range of recipes. Some of their most popular uses include being mashed (and then used as a substitute for traditional mashed potatoes), sliced up and roasted in the oven, or even sliced up and put into soups or stews. You can also just cut them up into small chunks and eat them as is.

They have a great, nutty flavor that most people really enjoy.

These potatoes can be eaten on their own as a snack, or even used as an ingredient in baked goods (I’ve seen them used to make muffins and pancakes before). Your imagination is really the only limit when it comes to what you can do with these versatile spuds!

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One of the things I like to do with mine is slice them up and then dehydrate them. They make for a great nutritious snack (high in fiber and vitamin C). You can also re-hydrate them and then add them to soups and stews (kind of like fresh sliced potatoes, but with half the calories and no starch released into your soup which might make it too thick).

How To Store Your Potatoes

As I mentioned earlier, one of the benefits of growing spuds is that they store for a really long time under the right conditions. If you live in a stable climate and grow your potatoes in the ground like I do, you can usually get a good two months or so out of your potatoes before they start to go bad (unless you get an unexpected cold snap or a particularly warm spell during which time your potatoes will start to sprout).

I should also mention that it is possible to buy “seed” potatoes (these are NOT to be confused with “seeds” such as tomato seeds). Seed potatoes are basically potatoes that have not yet flowered. These are the types you want to buy (or grow) if you want to get potatoes for storage.

If you were to buy a normal “baking” potato or yukon gold potato, for example, you will only get a normal baking potato or yukon gold potato (which have already flowered and will not keep as long).

Many gardeners grow potatoes in bags or containers. After the potato grows, it’s actually easier to store since you can just drag the bag around with you as it rots (you can’t do that with a buried 50 pound potato). Of course, a bag of potatoes is much easier to steal, so you would have to either put it somewhere difficult to get to, or invest in a good locking mechanism (I use a simple cable lock and anchor it to something heavy such as a bucket of concrete).

As for how to tell if a potato is good, there are a few ways to tell (just like you can with an apple). The biggest sign of spoilage is if the skin of the potato has turned dark brown or blackish. Any dark spots are a sign of impending rot as well.

Of course a good way to see if a potato is good is to cut it in half. If the inside of the potato has turned dark or has green spots, it is a good indication that it is no longer good (don’t eat those green parts though; they are poisonous).

Here are some other tips for storing your potatoes:

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1. Don’t store in direct sunlight.

This will cause them to turn green (which won’t affect how they taste, but isn’t as aesthetically pleasing).

2. Don’t seal them in an airtight container (this will allow them to turn green).

3. Don’t store next to onions, the gases they give off will make your potatoes green.

4. Store in a cool, dark place (basement or root cellar is best).

So now you know how to grow potatoes, how to tell when they’re ready and how to store them for use all year round. You may think that after learning all this you should grow nothing but potatoes, but don’t forget that potatoes are still a starch and should only make up a small portion of your diet (I would suggest having them no more than once every couple days at the most). But for now you can take heart in the fact that if TEOTWAWKI happens, you’ll be well prepared.

Enjoy your food storage!

This “How To” guide has been brought to you by Dan The Home Preservationist

To learn more about using and storing your food storage, check out the following products :

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Sources & references used in this article:

Red and purple coloured potatoes as a significant antioxidant source in human nutrition-a review by J Lachman, K Hamouz – Plant Soil and Environment, 2005 – Citeseer

Environmental conditions influence the content and yield of anthocyanins and total phenolics in purple-and red-flesh potatoes during tuber development by LF Reyes, JC Miller, L Cisneros-Zevallos – American Journal of Potato …, 2004 – Springer

Cultivar differences of total anthocyanins and anthocyanidins in red and purple-fleshed potatoes and their relation to antioxidant activity by J Lachman, K Hamouz, M Šulc, M Orsák, V Pivec… – Food Chemistry, 2009 – Elsevier

Antioxidant activity and quality of red and purple flesh potato chips by A Kita, A Bąkowska-Barczak, G Lisińska… – LWT-Food Science and …, 2015 – Elsevier

Red and purple potatoes-A significant antioxidant source in human nutrition by J Lachman, K Hamouz, M Orsak – Chemicke listy, 2005 – chemicke-listy.cz

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