Whenever a newbie gardener asks me what they should plant in their first garden, I always recommend planting potatoes.
Dig a hole, toss in a seed potato, give it a little water, and come fall you’ll have 5 to 10 more than you planted. Growing potatoes is really that simple.
Choosing which variety of potatoes to grow is something else entirely.
So, what kind of potatoes should you plant?
Most people go the traditional route and grow russet potatoes (insert big yawn here) which are most commonly used for baked and mashed potatoes. That’s fine, but you can buy a sack of russet potatoes at the grocery store, so why on earth would you waste your valuable garden space on something you can buy for ultra cheap at your local market?
What you can’t find everyday at the store are the heirloom and fingerling potato varieties such as the Russian Banana I’m holding above, the Red Finn Apple or All-Blue potatoes.
Did you know that blue potatoes stay blue when you cook them? Blue mashed potatoes? What five year old wouldn’t love to eat blue potatoes?
Heirloom and fingerling seed potatoes may cost a wee bit more to plant, but trust me, they are totally worth it. Their delicate buttery flavor and knobby shapes are worth the few extra bucks you’ll have to shell out at planting time.
And let’s not forget the cool factor. Heirloom and fingerling potatoes, are definitely the trendy newcomer to the hipster garden patch.
Keep calm and garden on,
All photos courtesy of Mavis Butterfield