Purple potatoes will add color to your menu while also diversifying your garden. Learn all you need to know about growing these potatoes.
Cultivating purple potatoes (Solanum tuberosum, sometimes Solanum tuberosum andigenum) is similar to growing most other types of potatoes, despite their unique appearance.
What are Purple Potatoes?
Purple potatoes, sometimes known as blue potatoes, are a species of potato that is native to the continent of South America.
These potatoes have gorgeous purple skin and flesh, which is extremely comparable to their white grocery store counterparts.
Purple potato types, both heirloom and hybrid, come in a variety of colors, ranging from pure purple to a mix of purple and white.
How do you grow purple potatoes?
- Preparing Potatoes
Potatoes develop from complete little tubers or fragments of tubers called seed potatoes, rather than from seeds. There are a few purple potato kinds to choose from.
Because purple potatoes aren’t extensively grown, it could be difficult to find seed potatoes for them. Instead, plant the seed potatoes whole if they are about the size of a hen’s egg.
Cut them into pieces with a clean, sharp knife coated in rubbing alcohol before starting and between each potato you cut if they’re larger. There should be one to three eyeballs on each component.
Put the cut pieces in a cold, dry location until the cut surface is hard and dry to prevent disease.
- Planting and Spacing
Potatoes are a robust growth that requires both above-ground and below-ground space. Place the seed potatoes in a trench 8 to 12 inches deep and cover them with 2 to 4 inches of soil, skin side up, 9 to 18 inches apart.
Trenches should be spaced 2 to 4 feet apart for many rows. Allow the potato sprouts to grow to a height of approximately 6 inches and fill the trench with about 3 inches of soil when they poke through the soil.
Continue to fill the trench until it’s full. Vines thrive best in cool spring temperatures and longer days, so plant after the final danger of frost has passed. New sprouts can be killed by late frosts, although they normally re-grow.
- Growing Conditions
Purple potatoes grow well in a wide range of soils, but they thrive in loose, well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter.
If your soil is clay-like, add a 2- to 3-inch layer of compost dug into the top 6 inches of soil before planting, or consider putting up a raised bed.
To establish excellent roots and tubers, potato plants require around 12 inches of soil depth. Full sun is required for purple potatoes. Once the roots are set, the vines grow swiftly and require a lot of water, usually 1 to 2 inches each week.
Drip irrigation saves water and prevents disease caused by overly damp soil. Once a month, apply 1 tablespoon of fertilizer per gallon of water used, or an organic fertilizer such as 5-1-1 fish emulsion.
Soak the dirt all the way around the plants. It’s best not to use manure as a fertilizer because it can spread scab disease.
How long does it take to grow purple potatoes?
Planting purple potatoes can be difficult since they require a long growing season (about 120 days) and consistent hot weather.
Are purple potatoes early or late?
The majority of purple potato cultivars are available in early, mid-season, and late-season types. Early kinds, such as “Caribe,” take 70 to 90 days to mature fully. Late-season types like “AC Domino” require 110 to 130 days to attain maturity from planting.
How do you know when purple potatoes are ready to harvest?
Small, “new” purple potatoes can be harvested three months after planting, while larger, mature tubers should be harvested when the plants have turned yellow, or after the mature plants have been cut down and the tubers have been dug. To avoid cuts and bruises, dig lightly and brush off the soil rather than washing it.