Chitting Potatoes

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

I grew this potato variety, ‘Purple Peruvian’ in a big trash can out on the roof last year. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until spring 2010 to see a picture of that… or read about it for that matter.

Anybookpublishingtakestoolong, it’s a pretty little fingerling variety with purple flowers that grows well in containers. I can only guess that this is because it is small to begin with and it is difficult to grow anything much larger than new potatoes in containers. In short, if you’re looking for a variety to grow, try this one. I like that it’s purple inside as well as out and makes purplish mashed potatoes.

I fully intended to grow a different variety this year, but then these sprouted and I was left without a choice. Well, I suppose there is always a choice, but this year’s roof garden is taking form primarily by happenstance and a general going with the flow. I guess you could say that my newly evolving garden kung-fu style is all about being like water, or Bruce Lee, or whatever.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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7 thoughts on “Chitting Potatoes

  1. One of my childhood memories is of my parents prepping potatoes to be planted in the garden. They’d section them so that each piece would have an eye, then leave the cut spuds to cure or dry before planting.

    The idea that potatoes had eyes was magical to a kid who didn’t know yet that words had many faces. Happy planting. Perhaps I’ll try spuds in buckets in the micorgarden this year, too.

  2. I’d be interested to hear where people are getting their seed potatoes from. I’m in London, Ontario and most places around only sell them by the bag and I’d like to buy them individually if that’s possible. And there are no interesting varieties to be found… Am I best to shop online?

  3. I have a similar garden philosophy. Coincidentally, I also tried purple potatoes this year, my first time with spuds. I put them in the leftover bags from mulch and potting soil, not sure how that will work but it was free! I love the purple spouts these ones made, so alien looking.

  4. Jennifer: I have a similar problem. Seed potatoes often come in quantities far larger than I require. I suggest sharing a bag with someone else or do what I often do — buy a couple of potatoes from an organic market… those potatoes won’t have been treated with anything to prevent sprouting.

    Seed Savers has some really good varieties.

  5. When you grow in a trash can, what do you cover the growing plants with? Straw? Will leaves work? Soil mixed with peat moss to make it very light?

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