Potatoes are one of the popular plants that gardeners love to grow. Not only are they in demand, but they also provide a lot of health benefits. Besides, potatoes offer exciting and delicious recipes that anyone would love. From mashed potatoes to French fries, there are many recipes you can make out of this vegetable. And if you love French fries, you can grow your potatoes even if you don’t have enough space. In this article, learn one of its varieties, the purple potatoes, and some growing purple potatoes tips for gardeners and beginners.
What are Purple Potatoes?
Purple potatoes are commonly called blue potatoes. They are a type of potato which are native to South America. Unlike the typical potatoes you know, these potatoes exhibit beautiful purple-colored skin and flesh. Their heirloom and hybrid purple potato varieties range from solid purple to a mixture of purple and white. Aside from the unique color, purple potatoes also come with several health benefits. Among the benefits that you can get is the valuable antioxidant called anthocyanin, responsible for the plants’ vibrant purple color. When growing purple potatoes, know that you can plant the following varieties:
- Purple Majesty – the darkest purple variety.
- Purple Peruvian – purple throughout and produces well late in the season. It is a mid-season specialty potato that retains its color when cooked.
- Purple Viking – has glowing purple skin together with pink-red splashes and snow-white flesh, which gets sweeter during storage.
Tips When Growing Purple Potatoes
Are you now excited to have purple potatoes in your backyard? Here are some growing tips you need to know:
- Choose a well-draining container. After picking a suitable container, give it a good clean and add any extra holes when needed.
- Plant using seed potatoes. You can plant many potato varieties, and if you choose purple potatoes, make sure to find the seeds to start growing them. Try to buy them at the local nursery, gardening places, or organic gardening places. If you can order online, then that would be more convenient.
- Put the potato seeds in an egg carton or paper bag for some days. You can also plant the potatoes whole or cut them up, but it is recommended to cut them in half. Ensure each potato has at least one eye, then leave it overnight for the cuts to heal.
- Use cultivars to keep the potatoes disease-free.
- When growing purple potatoes, fill your container with a few inches of soil and then compost. Once done, place the potato pieces on top of the soil. You have to cover them with another six inches of soil. After that, you can water them but make sure not to overdo it.
- Water and add more soil to make purple potatoes proliferate. Make sure to keep an eye on them as they grow. You may add more soil around the plants like for instance, if you observe six inches or more growth every two weeks, adding a shovel full of oil is recommended. Keep the soil moist, and don’t allow it to drain out by making a drainage system. Remember that good drainage is very important as it keeps the moil optimum.
The Health Benefits of Growing Purple Potatoes
Now that you have learned some of the purple potato varieties and how you can keep them growing, it’s time to know some of their benefits. The following are some of the advantages you can get once you decide to grow purple potatoes:
- Delicious potatoes – Like the typical potatoes, you can make any recipe out of purple potatoes. When cooked, they are dense with a pronounced earthy, sweet, and nutty flavor. Since they are available throughout the year, you can have them anytime you want to eat them.
- A good source of vitamins – Purple potatoes are an excellent source of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and many more. They are valued in South America for a long time and have been considered “food of gods” for centuries.
- Highly recommended – Purple potatoes are found in restaurants and advised to be served at homes because they promote healthy home cooking to create delicious dishes.
Like potatoes, purple potatoes offer exciting health benefits. From being an excellent source of several vitamins to promoting healthy home cooking, there are so many reasons to have purple potatoes in your backyard. Worry not if you are a beginner in gardening because the tips listed here will surely help you grow purple potatoes.