Fingerling potatoes are heritage potatoes. If you could only grow one potato this is the one to grow. The name ‘heritage’ refers to potato varieties between the 19th and mid-20th centuries and they are only available like the Vandalia onion is, through selected suppliers.
Fingerlings are a gourmet treat the taste is sweeter and the little tiny potatoes are meatier. They are quick to fix after work and so delicious. They don’t need peeling and the cook time is shorter than their bigger counterparts. The fingerlings are easy to grow and can be grown in any type of container if you don’t have the space for a garden. If you want tasty potatoes then you want quality soil.
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In the garden you can plant them directly into the ground. If you are using a container you want to select a place in full sun and get them growing now or soon because they like the cool of early spring to get started. A fingerling potato doesn’t need to be cut to grow, but if you have done this before knowing where to cut the seed potato for more plants in half or even thirds will work. For less disease problems with your potatoes you want to use soil that has not been used before in your containers. The soil needs to be light because a heavy clay soil will not allow the potatoes the free growth they need to survive. Lay the mini-tuber in the container so they will be 4-5 inches deep and 6 inches apart. You can apply a light fertilizer on the soil on the bottom of the trench with the eyes up and cover with 2-3 inches of soil.
Keep your soil well-watered but do not saturate your plants. Potatoes like 1-2 inches of water per week but all of that depends on how much sun and how hot it is in the spot you put them. Drying out during the time that the potatoes are forming will cause the potatoes to crack or to even be hollow. You can buy rain gauges to place in your containers to be sure of the amount of water the plants are getting. You want the foliage to be dry in the night time. This can mean watering early in the day so the foliage has time to dry or at least watering carefully so as not to wet the foliage for night fall.
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Your plants should come up in 4-6 weeks. You can apply more soil as if you were hilling every couple of weeks to keep the tubers growing in the dark and in the cool. Allow two inches of the plant to stay above the soil. You don’t want the potatoes to form near the top of the soil where they will form green potatoes and can be toxic.
Harvesting your fingerling potatoes. As soon as the plants begin to flower you can check the potatoes and see how they are doing. If the potatoes are fully formed you can begin picking and eating them. Eating them as soon as you pick them will give you the best flavor and vitamin content. The potatoes will mature in about 90 days and the plants will be as big as 18-24 inches. The fingerling potatoes will be 3-5 inches. Enjoy.
Warning potato plants can be harmful to pets.