Got the Gardener’s Blues? How about Planting All Blue Potatoes this Spring?

"Any potato is easy to grow, and All Blues are even easier, as they seem to resist fungal diseases."

They say variety is the spice of life.

For gardeners, varieties are the key to having the garden of your dreams.

Back in 2019, on this day, in The Old Farmer's AlmanacDoreen Howard wrote about her passion for growing blue potatoes - an easy-to-grow heirloom in the spring.

Here's what she wrote.

“I planted my first All Blue potato back in 1990. I’ve been hooked ever since. Who doesn’t love to mash blue potatoes?

As a kid, I hated potatoes. My Mom cooked mashed potatoes with the consistency of wallpaper paste.

Adulthood wasn’t much better; I even avoided French fries.

Children changed the equation; I needed to set a positive example.

A seed catalog arrived one spring with photos of vivid blue-skinned potatoes. The flesh was blue, too.

I thought my son would eat them out of curiosity. I was really projecting my own potato problems because he already was a French fry and baked potato fan.

Blue and purple pigments developed as mechanisms to shield tubers from excessive levels of ultraviolet light found at high altitudes.

Any potato is easy to grow, and All Blues are even easier, as they seem to resist fungal diseases.

I place tubers on top of a garden bed that has been enriched with compost and a bit of soil sulfur.

Potatoes develop scab in alkaline soils (6.0 to 6.5 pH is ideal), and my ground is 7.2 pH.

So, I add sulfur to acidify the soil. I use whole tubers instead of cutting them into chunks, as many gardeners do. I feel I’m avoiding a rot problem, as early spring in my area is cold and wet.

After spacing the potatoes about 12 inches apart in every direction, I cover the bed with about a foot of straw. That’s all I do.

Other easy techniques are to grow potatoes in a wire cage above the ground or in grow bags.

You can start harvesting baby or “new” potatoes when plants flower.

And, yes, their flowers are blue, too!”  

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All Blue Potato
All Blue Potato

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