This is a blog post on growing and harvesting purple potatoes. Yes, purple potato, it is unusual then again I am one of those that love to try them. As I love to experiment with flavors and try new things. I got to know about them by chance while doing food shopping at a local grocer in the North of Italy. Some call it Ormea potatoes but I found out that it is actually called Vitelotte potatoes. They are drier and denser than ordinary potatoes. However, they are full of flavour more nutty compare to ordinary potatoes. Their yield is much less and is smaller than potatoes.
They are recognisable from their dark greenish purplish foliage compare to ordinary potatoes. They are best roasted and sauteed. I have made gnocchi out them and they taste ever so yummy.
Growing and harvesting purple Vitelotte potatoes.
To grow purple vitelotte potatoes is to get hold of the potato seeds. They available from here to buy from here. Natoora the online and grocer also do sell them on their app. It is possible to grow them from specialist shops as long as they are treated with chemicals. This is to prevent potato shots from growing while being stored. If the purple Vitelotte potato has got shots it is a good sign that means one is able to grow from them.
Grow them like how you would do with normally potatoes this is from March when the last sign of frost is over. I always say frost yes it is as not many plants can survive frosts. If they do survive they need to be established plants, not most young seedlings. I like to grow my potatoes in an old compost bag or raised bed as I know exactly where they are and can dig them up easily. Also, the potato plant will produce small seeds and will start growing from them so it is best to keep them together.
I like to grow them in loose well drained compostrather than clay soil as it just makes harvesting much easier. That is why most home growers tend to grow potatoes in grow bags.
As time goes by when the potato plant foliage starts to grow big. It will grow to a point where the potato foliage will start to die back. This is when the potato seeds start to form. Let them die back completely this is so to let the potatoes to swell. I have let mine to grow on their own for 2 years harvesting this is to allow the seeds to establish themselves first.