Let’s talk a little bit more about growing spuds, because there’s always something new to learn! Potatoes are classified by their harvest times. The different groups are:
- First Earlies
- Second Earlies
- Main Crop
- Late Main Crop
We’re right at the end of Main Crop Potato season! For a main crop variety, we grew a bed full of Pink Fir Apple potatoes. They were planted on Friday, April 9, 2010, and we started lifting them about two weeks ago. They’re pretty good, but not my favorite. They had tough acts to follow, because our first and second earlies (Duke of York and Maris Peer, respectively) were such tasty buggers. Pink Fir Apple is the easiest to clean by far, as the soil just slides away under water, and I haven’t found any major scabbing on the shiny skin.
We’ve saved a few spuds of each variety for seed, despite all of the commercial warnings that saving your own seed potato is dangerous nowadays. All potatoes sold as “seed potatoes” have been treated with a fungicide. Since we don’t want to treat our plants, we will take our chances with disease, and save our own. Hopefully I don’t die of blight. Lots of gardening old timers do it, and they’re still around! Anyway, to save your own, you will just want to expose your dug up potatoes to light for a few days to encourage dormancy. Then, store them over winter in a cool, dry, dark, and well ventilated place away from frost. A home basement is the ideal potato storing facility.
Unfortunately, we never planted a late main crop variety, so after this bed of Pink Fir Apples, we will be back onto the store bought varieties. Next year, we’ll have to plan for a late main crop, and perhaps a few more beds. That way, we can store them into the winter and become self sufficient with our own vegan organic potatoes!!