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
Quick, prolific, and delicious – that’s a winning combination in my garden. I see you have included my post about favas already! Those are a quick (relatively), prolific, and delicious selection also.
I keep thinking that I should try growing potatoes again, just to prove to myself that I can do it. Perhaps if I have some spare room in the garden I’ll give it a go. Or maybe I’ll try your container method with the straw and manure layers.
I think potatoes are my favourite (or one of my favourite) things to grow. Its all the excitement of digging a harvest I guess.
NOt a variety I have heard of but it sounds to be very versatile. Favourite variety of potato is a difficult one and depends what criteria I am using to judge.
I don’t remember them in the UK I have to say, although my potato book suggests they are Dutch originally so you would think they would be available in the UK.
We are now into our 4th year of growing potatoes. We came to gardening quite late in life (after we retired!) but are now enjoying the challenge. We have grown them in large tubs, feed bags, no dig gardens and just straight in the soil. We have just picked up our seed potatoes at the weekend. We looked for Dutch Cream at the garden centre, but none to be found, they are the all time fav spud. Instead we bought some Sebago and King Edward’s. All the other veg planting is my domain, but I now leave the potatoes to him as basically I rarely eat them nowadays and anyway I feel he has to have something to fuss over in the veg plot……
Sad that they didn’t have any Dutch Cream – I adore them too.
My favourite is probably Pink Fir Apple – ugly, knobbly, but very tasty. It is an early maincrop, but I treat it as an Early because there is no way I am going to have the willpower to store it. Best eaten as a salad potato. Nice at room temperature – about 15 mins after cooking!
love the sound of these, I haven’t tried them.
I think the flavour of Pink Fir Apple and Kipfler is really close but Kipfler are quicker so I tend to grow them instead. Mine don’t last long either….
I love the purple congos, they make the best purple mashed potato and look amazing in a salad. Digging them up is hilarious, they’re so kooky. They are super tough, seem to cope better with dry conditions and keep well. I also love the King Edwards for their abundance and taste and the pretty pink blush they get. Kipflers are delicious and prolific but I try not to grow too many as I have found they don’t keep terribly well.
I grew them last year and did enjoy them. I found them quite difficult to locate in the soil at times – same colour, or at least close enough that they camouflaged easily.
I have grown these before and they were delicious (as well as all home grown potatoes, there is just something extra special when they have just been dug up!) I will try and grow some more this year but will probably wait until after winter to sow (I didn’t have great success last year sowing them early)
This is my post on Capsicums: http://homesweetkitchengarden.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/all-about-capsicumpeppers.html
Thanks Nat – I will add the link.
This post has inspired me to experiment – I just pulled a sprouting spud from my organic veggie box and stuck it in a nice big pot with a bit of potting mix and a lot of straw. I’m intrigued by the prospect of growing spuds over winter in Melbourne!
I hope it does really well for you. I find the yield better in Spring but you should still get some, and a delicious some at that.
You gave me a fright to see you were planting potatoes! I looked back and I didn’t plant mine until July last year so I’m not so panicked now. Don’t do that to me, Liz, my heart can’t take it! I’m always sooo behind with my planning.
I absolutely love Kipflers but I’ve only planted them in a wire cage but will try them in the ground this year (if I get around to it).
I’ve not grown potatoes much but over the last few years, apart from Kipfler, I’ve tried Coliban, Sebago, Desiree and Ruby Lou (I really like those). They are all taste great, as Nat says. Let’s face it, home-grown anything, tastes fantastic!
I find July is a great time to plant so panic not. As for planning, that’s a good idea, I might have to try it some time….
I’m not familiar with the Kipfler, though I do remember seeing them in the farmer’s markets we visited. I do like Russian Banana, and I’m growing the Russian Fingerling this year. Fingerling potatoes as delicious in so many dishes.
I’m thinking a fingerling is probably fairly similar to Kipflers….perhaps. I haven’t seem them sold here.
I am new to potatoes planting. I wish to know how or where do I get Kipflers seed to start.
I live in Armidale and we may not have many nurseries or potatoes varieties here; although we have Bunnings.
Alicia, I have got some online from Green Harvest previously, not sure if they will have some this year. Try: http://www.greenharvest.com.au
Planting potatoes is a magnificently compensating past time and something which youngsters love to be associated with, especially with regards to collecting. Do you plant old grew potatoes?
Hi Liz, quick question regarding growing kipfler in pots. This is my first season growing spuds, and I’m a bit confused in relation to the whole “determinate vs indeterminate” issue.
I know indeterminate need to be covered as they grow, and determinate just grow at one level…So, should I just plant my kipfler seed potatoes at one depth and let them do their thing, or keep covering as the plant appears?
I know this is an old thread but it might help you or somebody else.
Kipfler is a determinate type. You can put your medium in a pot in the bottom 4 – 6″, depending on its size. Add the amendments and always give it a good stir. Place your seed potatoes on that level, with chits facing up, if they have them and cover with another 6″ of medium and amendments. Stir carefully again.
On that level, add some more seed potatoes in the gaps between the previous ones so they aren’t going to be on top of each other as they grow. Fill to within an inch of the top with more medium and amendments, stir well and gently tap the soil down with your hand, water and wait.
The number of seed potatoes you add to each level depends on the pot size.
If the chits have formed, only allow two or three to remain otherwise the tubers will be quite small. Also giving them enough space between each seed potato will allow them to grow larger.
I will never grow them in the ground again, but pots instead. You can never seem to eradicate all the little strays, and I would rather have total control of the harvest.
why don’t the producers label them either Determinate or Indeterminate? It is a disgrace
So simple, so easy but they don’t put it on the label
Nor is there a list anywhere – showing all the potatoes we grow in Australia – nobody seems to know or CARE
Time for the Seed Potato people to wake up and include on the label
Oh Robert! how right you are!
Knowing which growth habit to expect means so much in terms of preparation and growing maintenance . . . .not to mention saving on frustration when our indeterminate spud turns out to be a determinate type, after all. . .
The US pages seem full of lists of varieties I’ve never heard of, much less hope to find as seed spuds, but nowhere have I found a list of the ‘usual suspects’ for Australian backyard growers . . . of course, some of the varieties grown in the 2 countries coincide, but – again, naturally! – they aren’t the ones I want to know about. Julie [above] has skittled my hopes with Kipflers, saying they are a determinate variety, when I was sooo hoping they weren’t. My Dutch Creams – being so similar in texture – are probably also determinate growers. . . . can anyone confirm this for me before I plant them next week.