When to harvest red potatoes? Well, before hitting that main topic, let’s first talk a bit about potato in general.
A potato is a root vegetable with the scientific name Solanum tuberosum. Additionally, it’s an edible tuber plant with a distinct starch content. For this reason, the potato got its reputation as the vegetable that people need to have a moderate intake of. Also, this vegetable is often a major ingredient of many unhealthy foods.
On the other hand, this vegetable that is native from the Americas is indeed high in many nutrients too. The said nutrients though do vary depending on the specific type of potato. However, potatoes in general have a good amount of carbohydrates, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, as well as manganese. Furthermore, how it’s cooked also tells about what and how much nutrients can a person take from eating it. For example, frying a potato will definitely increase its fat as well as calorie content. Conversely, this doesn’t happen if the method of cooking utilized is either baking or boiling.
Moreover, this blog post centers on one particular kind of potato which is the red potato. More specifically, this article will focus on when to harvest red potatoes to help amateur farmers and basic crop growers.
WHAT ARE RED POTATOES?
Potato, the starchy tuber, actually has around 4,000 varieties wherein each has its own specific agricultural as well as culinary attributes. The red potato is one of those main varieties. Before diving into the main topic which is when to harvest red potatoes, let’s first talk about this distinct variation of the potato vegetable.
The red potato is a small potato with thin, edible red skin as well as its white flesh which add up to its color, nutrients, and fiber content as well as its earthy flavor. Many people like this potato because it doesn’t require peeling that is certainly a time-saving quality. Moreover, this and its further varieties are the most common potatoes which undergo boiling as well as steaming. It’s also the best kind of potato for roasting as well as skillet cooking.
Additionally, it’s high in moisture and holds its shape well after cooking. It also absorbs liquids well which makes it easy to fill them with extra flavor. Furthermore, this potato contains fewer calories, carbohydrates, and fiber as well as more vitamin K and niacin as compared to the Russet potatoes or the ones known for their rough brown skin.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF RED POTATOES?
There is a wide variety of red potatoes that you can choose from.
- Red Bliss
This red potato has a red skin with a creamy white flesh inside. Additionally, it has a firm, moist, as well as waxy texture. It’s also a bit bitter. Furthermore, it’s actually the best red potato for soups, stews, boiling, roasting, and potato salad and casseroles. On the other hand, it’s the worst red potato for mashing.
- Red Gold
This red potato has a red skin with a yellow flesh inside. Additionally, it’s medium in size and has a mid-season maturity. Furthermore, it’s often a home remedy for hemorrhoid relief wherein it’s cut into a wedge and put near the affected area.
This red potato has a red skin with a white flesh inside. Additionally, this large potato of oval or oblong shape has an early to mid-season maturity. Furthermore, it’s good for boiling, chipping at harvest, as well as making French fries.
This red potato has a bright red skin and a waxy texture. Additionally, this potato certainly stores well.
This red potato has a dark red skin, which holds its color well in storage, as well as a white flesh inside. Additionally, this oval shaped potato with a mid-season maturity has baking, boiling, as well as microwaving properties.
This red potato has a smooth red skin, which it has the tendency to loose during maturity and storage, with a white flesh inside. Additionally, this medium sized and oblong shaped potato has an early to mid-season maturity. Furthermore, this potato is often an ingredient in salads. It’s also good for boiling as well as making French fries and potato chips. On the other hand, it isn’t that good for baking.
- Red La Soda
This red potato has a red and slightly netted skin with white flesh inside. Additionally, this potato has an early to mid-season maturity.
- Red Pontiac
This red potato has a thin, deep red skin and shallow eyes with crisp white flesh inside. Additionally, it’s the easiest as well as the most adaptable red potato to grow. Furthermore, it’s also one of the top potato contenders for fresh eating and indeed has a consistent flavor. Moreover, this red potato is very well suitable for mashing, performs really well in heavy soils, and certainly has a long-lasting quality.
This red potato has a smooth, thick, red skin, shallow and evenly distributed eyes, and with a white flesh inside. Additionally, this round or oval shaped potato stores well, maintains its color, bulks up quickly, and has a certainly good boiling and baking qualities.
This Purple Viking potato has a bright purple to salmon-pink mottled skin. It also has a creamy white flesh inside that definitely has an excellent flavor of sweetness and buttery. Moreover, it has an early season maturity. Additionally, this large potato is good for many types of cooking but absolutely excels in mashing as well as baking.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN RED AND WHITE POTATOES?
The red potato, also known as red bliss potato, and the white potato, also known as brown russet potato or Idaho, are arguably the most popular kinds of potatoes out there. What are the similarities and more importantly the differences between the two kinds?
The red potato and white potato are alike in that they are both starchy vegetables, edible tubers, as well as contain carbohydrates, fiber, and proteins. They both have no fats too. On the other hand, they certainly differ in many factors such as the color of the skin, size, inside features, cooking techniques, as well as where they are actually used.
First and obviously, red potatoes generally have a light red skin color while white potatoes have a brown skin color. The insides of red potatoes are white flesh while the white potatoes can either have white or tan flesh inside. Second, red potatoes are generally medium in size while white potatoes absolutely range from small to large. Moreover, red potatoes are waxy, less starchy, and more sugary while the white potatoes are starchy inside and slightly dense too. Furthermore, red potatoes are generally cooked with the skin while the white potatoes are cooked either with or without the skin.
Also, the red potatoes are the best potatoes in terms of oiling, pan frying, grilling, scalloping, and steaming. However, in terms of frying, baking, mashing, and roasting, the white potatoes are more superior. Lastly, red potatoes are often an ingredient in salads, soups, chowders, as well as fried potato dishes. On the other hand, white potatoes are the ones behind the famous and all-time favorite snack French fries.
HOW TO CULTIVATE RED POTATOES?
The cultivation or growing of red potatoes rely on the specific kind of potato that is being talked about. Since every kind of red potato or just potato in general has their own maturing period, so is the same with how they are to be cultivated.
Generally speaking, cultivating red potatoes is making sure that the basic requirements for the vegetable to grow are present such as the seven to eight hours of sunshine, moist soil, good fertility, and good weather when it’s cool but there is absolutely no threat of a freeze.
Moreover, the cultivating actually starts with cutting the seed potatoes into much smaller pieces wherein each will have one or two small eyes or leaf buds. Next, plant about three inches deep and then each has to be a foot apart in either rows, hills, raised beds, or any other container. Take note though that the fertilizer should be applied before the planting and also about a month after the vegetable starts growing.
Additionally, red potatoes need a lot of water and they must receive it weekly and more importantly during hot or dry weather days. The secret lies to maintaining the moist in the soil. On the other hand, here are the specific cultivating requirements of some of the main kinds of red potatoes:
This red potato will definitely thrive if you won’t plant directly from cold storage. Also, make sure that the crops will be in direct sunlight and be in mineral soil which is the best for it. In addition to this, opt for compost and well-rotted manure to promote development. Moreover, always look out for the soil’s moisture that must be maintained all throughout its cultivation period.
- Red La Soda
This red potato will certainly thrive if the seed piece is about 2 ½ to 3 oz. Additionally, the seeds should be planted at three to four inches depth where there is a 40 inches distance between rows and eight inches distance between the plants themselves.
- Red Pontiac
This red potato will definitely thrive by following certain measures before the planting such as slicing the larger seeds into two seeds, a day or two before the actual sowing. Take note that each seed should be at least 1 ½ inches in size and contains at least one eye or bud. Additionally, use a standard fertilizer into the soil’s surface before the planting. On the other hand, the smaller potatoes may be planted whole.
Moreover, the sowing must be done when the soil is especially moist. Remember also that the seeds should be planted at four inches depth with the eye facing up. Then after six weeks from the day of the sowing, side dress the crops with the same fertilizer but only half of what you put before. Lastly, watering the said crops should amount to around one to two inches per week.
This red potato will certainly thrive by considering an adequate warming of the seeds prior to the planting to be able to obtain uniform emergence. The said warming can take around seven to 10 days at 65ºF. Moreover, see to it that there is a close seed spacing to be able to optimize both the yield and tuber size of the crop. Furthermore, the seeds should be planted at a two to four inches depth with a good hill cover.
This red potato will definitely thrive in loose, deep, and well-drained soil on the acidic side. Furthermore, the seeds should be planted at a three to six inches depth. Also, the plant spacing should be 12 inches while the row spacing should be around 30 to 36 inches.
Moreover, sowing of small potatoes can be on whole while the sowing of the large potatoes can be done by cutting the seeds into pieces first. Take note that each piece of the tuber should have at least one eye which is also called as the dormant bud. Remember to cut the tubers a day early of the planting so that the skin will be able to dry.
WHEN TO HARVEST RED POTATOES?
The exact time on when to harvest red potatoes rely on the specific kind of potato that is being talked about. Since every kind of red potato or just potato in general has their own requirements to be cultivated, so is the same with how they are to be harvested.
Generally speaking, to harvest red potatoes is to wait until most of the potato vine has certainly died already. That usually takes from around 100 to 110 days after the planting of the vegetable. The plant has also begin to turn yellow. However, harvesting can also happen around 90 days earlier to produce smaller and extra tender potatoes known as new potatoes.
Moreover, the digging of the potatoes should be done precisely because the potatoes’ skin is very delicate and may be cut or bruised along the process. On the other hand, here are the specific harvesting requirements of some of the main kinds of red potatoes:
This red potato can be dug up if the tubers are finally of usable or marketable size which happens at around two to five weeks after the flowering occurs.
- Red La Soda
This red potato should be checked regularly along the end of its maturing season to see if the tuber size is of marketable size. At the same time, the moisture of the soil should be managed late in the season too in order to avoid lenticels that are too large as well as delayed skin set.
- Red Pontiac
This red potato should be dug up on a dry day. Then, next thing to do is to cure them by putting them in a cool, dark place for two weeks. Once cured, don’t store them near apples because this fruit makes potatoes bad.
This red potato will have its entire patch mature at the same time. When it’s finally time to harvest red potatoes, you can wait for the foliage to wilt or stop the growth by breaking the stems above the ground. After that, leave the harvest in the soil for another two weeks to cure them. Then you store them in a cool, dark place afterwards.
This red potato can definitely be harvested around seven to eight weeks after planting. After that, put the harvest in a dry dark box or crate that is also moist at 38 to 40ºF.
All the necessary information about red potatoes like its overall appearance, its benefits and/or nutrients, its different variations, its similarities and differences with the other main kind of potato, its cultivation, and its harvesting are all discussed in this blog post.
Moreover, the question “when to harvest red potatoes?” comes when all the necessary work has already been done to raise a potato vegetable or plant. On the other hand, that will only be possible if, as an amateur farmer or basic crop grower, you have the knowledge on what to do to raise this crop. When you have certainly done all the things that you need to do, to harvest red potatoes will surely be a fulfilling moment for you.
But regardless of what you are trying to raise and/or grow, happy gardening and absolutely have a bountiful harvest!