Do you love a perfect mash? Well, I’ve never met a potato I didn’t like.

I get all sorts of excited when it comes time to start digging pounds of them out of the garden and piling them up. If you have never tried it… I highly recommend it. There is something about the gift the plant keeps giving as you are digging out all the beautiful potatoes one plant created.  

We love fresh potatoes. We usually grow 4-5 different varieties each year.  I order my potatoes through Sow True Seed, Johnny’s Seeds, or Jungs.  I have had great success with all the companies. Our current favorites are:

  • Yukon Gold
  • Red Pontiac
  • Australian Crescent
  • Purple Majesty
  • All Blue

We are trying two new varieties this year Huckleberry Gold & Spartan Splash.  I’ll keep you updated on the final verdict of these two varieties

Our potato harvest lasts us typically through January and there’s nothing like a fresh potato out of the garden in the deep of winter.   

Unfortunately, we aren’t the only ones who find them delicious. The potato bug aka Colorado Potato Beetle is a well-known pest for potato plants. The beetles are bright orange and yellow with stripes and you can’t miss them feeding on the plants.  We’ve learned the hard way that they can decimate a crop so we have become diligent about crop rotation.

Despite the fact, we rotate our crops and utilize raised beds in the rotation from the vegetable patch. The potatoes made their way back to the vegetable patch after two years and the beetles still made an appearance this spring  UGH!! You just can’t escape them…

But don’t worry, there is good news! Here is the new approach we’re taking this year on tackling those pests. We powdered the plants with food-grade diatomaceous earth. The bag comes with a tool to blow it on the leaves.  It’s recommended to do this after a dewy morning or rain so it sticks to the leaves. 

The bugs do not like crawling on this powder. Thus it’s been very successful so far! It looks like fresh, powdery snow.

Diatomaceous earth is great for organic growers as it’s non-toxic and effective.  We haven’t had to apply it very often due to the lack of rain and it’s been a very economically effective approach to save our potato plants.  In the past, we have used neem oil along with other organic methods but this method is my first choice this year!

The other option is to simply pick off the bugs and disposed of them.  We have 100-row feet of potato plants and I do not have the time to utilize that method right now but it’s always the cheapest option!

If you talk potato growing to the older generations, My grandmother often tells me that she hated picking off the potato bugs as a child. It was a chore they always tried to shirk.

Lastly, the potato tends to get a bad rap sometimes with low-carb diets.  I am a firm believer in eating real food and more plants.  While smothering it with sour cream, cheddar, and bacon every night is not a healthy option. We love to roast them with an organic olive or avocado oil topped with fresh herbs and mixed with other veggies. 

Quick input on the potatoes vs sweet potato debate.  I know the trend was to hop on the sweet potato bandwagon for a low-carb option  (I do love them too). However, a small sweet potato has 20g of carbohydrates while a small white potato has 21g.  They are also similar in dietary fiber. They both offer great nutritional values and flavor to your plate.     

Oh … and I do love a little organic butter!

If you haven’t had the opportunity to enjoy a freshly dug potato, head to the farmers market and add them to your planting plan next year.