Potato Experiments – Kipfler Harvest

I harvested my first Kipfler potatoes this week.  They are the first of the 4 different varieties I have planted this year to be ready.  They were pot grown ones.  I planted them in August and used two different methods for growing them, although both involved 40cm pots.  One pot I simply filled with potting mix and submerged the potatoes and left them to grow.  Then other pot I only filled a 3rd full of potting mix and then over the next couple of months topped up the potting mix as the plants grew.

Interestingly (or not, as this experiment was far from scientific – too many variables…) the former method – filling the pot completely initially yielded the most potatoes – 47 from 3 tubers.  The second method only produced 27.  I had a similar experience last year also from Kipflers.

Here are the potatoes from the completely filled pot: (that is my daughters hand – ever since she had her photo taken at Kindergarten she has fancied herself as something of a model…)

And a more meagre pile from the second pot:

I haven’t eaten any yet as we have been at my folks place for the last couple of days and we also harvested my fathers.  For the record I should mention he got well over 50 (much larger) tubers from a 50 cm pot using the top up the potting mix method.  His pots get full sun all day, compared with my half days sun.  Even so I did feel a bit of harvest envy……

I did get to eat his though – a salad for a family Christmas get together and they were delicious but the texture was a lot more floury than Kipflers I have had in the past.  We got our seed potatoes from the same source so it will be interesting to see if mine are the same.  Perhaps its because they went straight from ground to pot but generally I expect a more creamy, slightly waxy texture from Kipflers.

P.S on 02/01/2012: I harvested a third pot of Kipflers last week – 38 but weighing in at 1.25kg which was about the same yield as the other 2 pots combined.  I used the hilling up method for this pot which just goes to show there are many ways to skin a cat, or indeed grow potatoes.

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12 Responses to Potato Experiments – Kipfler Harvest

  1. Mark Willis says:

    The Kipflers look / sound like a smooth version of Pink Fir Apple, which I grow – another one which is quite waxy and therefore great as a salad potato. I think the growing in pots method is very good for someone like me who has limited space available. Just wish I had some home-grown spuds for MY Christmas dinner.
    Happy Christmas to you – and keep up the good work on the blog. I love it.

    • Liz says:

      They are quite similar – the Kipler doesn’t have the knobbly bits like the pink fir apple and can grow to a bigger size but they are fairly similar. i am growing pink fir apple as well and I’m really looking forward to them. Thanks for the lovely comment. A very Merry Christmas to you and your fabulous blog.

  2. Diana says:

    Beautiful spuds. This is one of our favourite potato. Well done!

  3. We grow some potatoes in potato bags and earthed ours as they grew so next year we’ll try the non earthing method

    • Liz says:

      I have quite a few other varieties planted and earthed as they grew so it will be interesting to see how they perform – it might just be Kipflers that seem to perform better just planting them. I guess it depends on the plants propensity to root from their stems.

  4. leduesorelle says:

    I’m fascinated by your results — thanks for posting about this! We switched to planting potatoes in pots last season and were disappointed with the results; now I know it may have been because we were hilling them up. If my length converter is right, it looks like you got an amazing yield for a 40 cm pot! Did you plant whole potatoes or pieces, and how many per pot?

    • Liz says:

      I planted whole potatoes and 3 per pot but I would say I got much the same number last year from the same size pot only planting one tuber so i think they kind of fill the space and then stop. They are Kipflers so pretty small – the weight wasn’t nearly as impressive as the number but it was still enough for a lovely meal at Christmas.

  5. Kirsty says:

    Once you plant kipflers inthe garden they always seem to come back – hard to find all those skinny fellas. Wondering how your Peter Cundall potatos are going, we’ve bandicooted a few of ours, none seemed very big so a bit longer to go yet. I got a great deal on some old mouldy peas straw $60 for ten bales so have given them some more mulch. Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year

    • Liz says:

      The Peter Cundall potatoes are threatening to take over the garden but still look about a month away from being ready (although the hot weather might cause some to die down a bit). I have been very restrained (largely because we’ve been away) and haven’t looked under the straw yet. $60 for 10 bales of straw is good – I hope they appreciated it.

  6. G says:

    I’ve been growing spuds for about 10yrs in various back garden beds with patchy results. Water resistant soil has always been a problem not matter what i used.
    Last year, i splurged and topped up the “raised” garden bed with 2 bags of bio-char….
    in addition to the usual “turn over” mix of compost, sheep manure, worm castings, luppin mulch, blood and bone, dynamic lifter and what ever was lying about the yard.
    Now i have kipfler growing well, sending new shoots up everywhere. Lots of flowers. The ruby lo variety is stronger than i’ve ever seen, nearly 2′ tall, and flower buds everywhere. Whats the difference from previous years… the soil stays damp and moist now…. all the way down to the tubers. ….. must be the bio-char as all the usual suspects have been used in the past. Anyone else tried it?

    • Liz says:

      I haven’t used bio-char personally but given the current lack of rain its water retention capabilities sound hugely useful. I would love to hear how your harvest goes. Where do you garden?

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