I planted a few Kipfler potatoes this week. I think they are my favourite potato variety to grow (although Dutch Cream comes a very close second). The reasons I love Kipfler are three fold.
- They are quick – they mature in about 3 – 4 months depending on the season they are grown in.
- They are relatively prolific
- They taste absolutely delicious.
Kipflers are quite an interesting potato as in some growing conditions they are significantly larger than in others. For me they are usually small, salad sized potatoes which boil, smash and sautee really well. However I have seem much bigger tubers which you could use for baking and roasting.
Kipflers can be grown in Melbourne year round however I find I only really get useful yields growing them in late Winter and Spring. (For more observations on growing potatoes year round in Melbourne click here. ) This year I am experimenting with a May sowing to see what happens.
I don’t always chit my potatoes prior to sowing, especially when they are Kipflers, as I find the variety shoots really easily. In fact some of the tubers will often start reshooting if you wait until the whole plant dies down before harvesting. As a result I usually harvest my Kipflers as soon as they leaves start to yellow or look tatty. This means that I end up with a mix of new and slightly older potatoes, but given I don’t need to store them for long periods this is not really an issue.
I grow Kipfler potatoes both in pots and in the ground and have tried a variety of methods of growing them. (For a post my experiences with Peter Cundall’s potato growing methods click here.) The potatoes I have just sown I am growing in pots. I have half filled 50cm diameter tubs with potting mix and submerged the shooting seed potatoes half way down into the potting mix. I will loosely cover the potting mix with a thick layer of straw which is covered with composted manure. This manure should help feed the potatoes throughout their life-cycle although I have also put slow release fertiliser in the potting mix and will give the plants the occasional drink of fish emulsion. I find potatoes are generally quite heavy feeders.
This sowing should hopefully be ready for harvest in September.
Do you grow potatoes? Do you have a favourite variety?
Saturday Spotlight is a series of posts highlighting particular varieties of edible plants. If you have a favourite, or even a less than successful variety of a plant and would like to include it in the series then please leave a comment with a link below. I have created a page (above, just below the header) with an Index of all the Spotlights to date. I will add links to any new posts below and in next weeks post as well as ensuring they appear in the Index.
New Spotlights last week were:
Radishes – City Garden, Country Garden
Beetroot – Home Sweet Kitchen & Garden
and from this week:
Extra Precoce Violetto Fava Beans – From Seed to Table
Apache Blackberry – Our Happy Acres
Capsicums – Home Sweet Kitchen Garden