What Are Fingerling Potatoes: Tips For Growing Fingerling Potatoes


Have you noticed that potatoes have moved beyond baked, split, and buttered? For some time now, potatoes have taken on a kaleidoscope of colors, shapes, and sizes. Many have them have always been around but just fell out of favor. What are fingerling potatoes? What are fingerling potato uses? Read on to find out how to grow fingerling potatoes and other fingerling potato info.

What are Fingerling Potatoes?

Fingerlings, like most potatoes, originated in South America and were brought to Europe. European immigrants brought them to North America. They are heirloom potatoes with long, knobby finger-like shapes. Some say they look like adorable, chubby baby fingers, but some of them more resemble the gnarled fingers of a Disney witch. To each their own.

Regardless of how you view them, the fact is that these spuds are delicious and are featured more often with restaurant cuisine, but they may be found at the local grocers too. They are naturally small when mature with a thin skin and smooth, moist texture.

Fingerling Potato Info

Fingerling potatoes often come in colors such as yellow, red, and even purple. Scientists have shown that these colors are more than just pleasing to the eye. Brightly colored crops have more nutrients than their drab counterparts, so eating fingerlings will provide you with an extra helping of phytonutrients, the natural compounds found in fruits and vegetables that promote good health.

Yellow fingerlings produce carotenoids or pro-vitamin A and the red and purple varieties produce anthocyanins, which act as antioxidants and fight free radicals that, in turn, may offer anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer benefits.

Fingerling Potato Uses

Because of their thin skins, fingerlings do not need to be peeled. They work well in any way a potato can be used, from roasted, baked, broiled, and grilled to steamed, sautéed, and boiled. They complement salads, purees, soups, and sauces.

How to Grow Fingerling Potatoes

If you’ve seen fingerlings at the grocers or the farmer’s market, then you know that they cost more than the basic baking potato. This is no doubt because the thin skins make them less storable than other types of potatoes. No worries, you can easily grow your own. It’s no different than growing any other potato.

Some gardeners begin growing fingerling potatoes in summer for a fall harvest that can be kept throughout the winter months. This works well for folks that live in warmer regions, but for those in colder areas, plant them in early spring. They take 120 days from planting to harvest. Select disease free certified seed potatoes. There are many varieties to choose from including:

  • Russian Banana
  • Purple Peruvian
  • Rose Finn Apple
  • Swedish Peanut
  • All Blue
  • Princess La Ratte

Prepare a bed for your spuds that is deeply dug and free of large debris. It should be moderately fertile with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. Plant the seed potatoes two weeks after the last frost free date for your area. Plant them 2-4 inches (5-10 cm.) deep and a foot (30.5 cm.) apart in rows that are about 30 inches (76 cm.) apart.

As the plants grow, hill up around them with soil to keep the spuds from getting green. Potatoes do best in cool, moist soil, so mulch the hills with hay or straw to keep them cool and retain moisture.


Fingerling Potato 'Banana'

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Solanum (so-LAN-num) (Info)
Species: tuberosum (too-ber-OH-sum) (Info)
Cultivar: Banana
Additional cultivar information:(aka Yellow Banana, Russian Banana, Straight Banana)
» View all varieties of Potatoes

Category:

Spacing:

Tuber Type:

Sun Exposure:

Days to Maturity:

Bloom Color:

Skin Color:

Skin Texture:

Flesh Color:

Tuber Shape:

Tuber Size:

Typical Yield:

Texture:

Foliage Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Water Requirements:

Where to Grow:

Regional

This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Gardeners' Notes:

On Aug 4, 2010, demirjan from Stuart, VA wrote:

I planted Russian Banana 2 years in a raised bed. Very meagre harvest, although plants looked healthy and normal. A number of very small potatoes and very few medium to large. I used organic root vegetable fertilizer at planting and reapplied once. Soil in bed is fairly good I have added compost and other organic matter over past 4 years. Summers here are hot. Any thoughts on why this plant isn't working for me?

On Dec 23, 2008, curzio from Kenosha, WI wrote:

Straight Banana is a fingerling type tuber selected by Evelyne Smetaniuk of Fort St. John, British Columbia by replanting the straightest tubers over a ten year time period.

Russian Banana is great for both soups, as cut pieces hold well the shape after boiling, and potato salads. Note on the comment posted from Madison: try to plant fingerlings closer togheter. I have tested 6" spacing vs. 12" spacing with Ozette and found that the half spacing yielded almost double the quantity with smaller tubers. You really don't want very large tubers in the fingerling shape. Google Kenosha Potato Project for more recipes that match specific cultivars. Grown in 2009 (3 seed pieces produced 9 pounds 14 oz, medium fingerlings)

I grow the strains Russian Banana and Str. read more aight Banana. Russian Banana produces large crops. Straight Banana I've just received from AgriCanada as an in-vitro seedling and I'm not able to determine yield production. "Straight" is a project started in Canada by only "saving" straight tubers for seed purpose . in time you should end up with more "straight" bananas. It's an ongoing project . as the seed I have still produces "regular" bananas (LOL).

I'm very positive with Russian Banana . which grows very tall vines and is likely to produce great yields in a built-up container. Google Kenosha Potato Project - 99 pounds harvest in 3 x 3 for more info.

On Oct 4, 2006, rebecca101 from Madison, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

For some reason my yields of this one were much smaller than for other potatoes (Caribe, yukon gold). but maybe I did something wrong. It's a nice buttery textured fingerling which is great baked.

On Feb 16, 2006, Farmerdill from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Developed in the Baltic Region of Europe/Asia. Yellow, banana-shaped, waxy-type tubers with firm texture that have wonderful flavor. Produces heavy yields of medium sized tubers and has shown excellent field resistance to disease. Late variety.

According to the Canadien Food Inspection Agency, "Yellow fleshed fingerling type potato with a high tuber set of 15 to 20 small tubers per plant. Low yielding variety medium dormancy period good storability medium specific gravity."


Russian Banana

Fingerling Potatoes are small, finger shaped potatoes which grow small and narrow. They vary in skin color from yellow to orange to purple. They are primarily known for their roasting qualities.

Basics

Potatoes are native to tropical mountains and prefer fairly cool (below 70˚ F), dry weather. They can't stand any frost and don't like cold weather.

Potatoes are native to tropical mountains and are easiest to grow in cool (below 70˚ F) dry weather. They can't stand any frost and don't like cold weather. They are grown in mild winter areas, with few frosts, in late fall or early spring.

Potatoes don't do well in hot weather either. Soil temperatures above 70˚ F inhibit tuber formation and it stops altogether at 85˚ F. In hot summer areas, they are usually grown as a spring or fall crop.

A temperature of 60 to 65˚ F is said to be optimal for tuber formation, which slows down at temperatures above 70˚ F.

It is important to keep the soil evenly moist (but not wet) for best growth, as lack of water results in smaller tubers. It is also important to water uniformly, making sure it penetrates through the dense foliage and down to the full root depth (or at least the top 12 inches where the greatest proportion of roots are found).

Potatoes can grow in most soils, but will be more productive in a sandy loamy soil that is moisture retentive and fertile. Although nitrogen is important, too much can cause abundant top growth (leaves) and fewer tubers. Potatoes need a good supply of phosphorous, from bone meal or colloidal phosphate. The most important primary nutrient for potatoes is potassium, which will increase yield, improve quality and hasten maturation. It is especially important during the time when the tubers are forming.

High quality, aerobic compost, low in wood or rice byproducts, is preferable to manure as a fertilizer. If you must fertilize with manure, be sure it is well-aged and that it is incorporated shallowly into the soil at least 3 to 4 weeks before planting, otherwise the process of soil digestion will deprive the germinating potatoes of vital nutrients and water. Do not fertilize with fresh manure, as this can cause scab. One of the best ways to prepare the ground for potatoes is to cover crop. Cover crops or green manure greatly improve the soil's tilth, organic matter, microbial activity, and water holding capacity, and significantly increases nutrient availability for the next crop.

Using wood ashes with potatoes is somewhat controversial because it can raise the pH (potatoes have less problem with scab disease when growing in acid soil). At the same time it can raise yields significantly, as this study shows.

Potatoes have been grown in a wide variety of containers, from half wine barrels to plastic bags.

Stack of tires: Start with one tire filled with soil/compost mix and as the plant grows add more tires and mix. The advantage of this method is that the plant gets maximum light at all times and is never growing in the bottom of a can. The disadvantage is that you don't really know if anything leaches out of the tires, and root crops are the most vulnerable.

Plastic bag: Put some holes in the bottom of a plastic bag (for drainage) and half fill it with a mix of 1/3 compost, 1/3 good garden soil and 1/3 sand (or 1/2 sandy soil and 1/2 compost). Then plant two sprouted potatoes in the bag, and add water. As the plants grow you fill the bag with more soil / compost mix.

Most favorite fingerling with consistent savory flavor and firm texture.

Tricia shows you two of the many ways to plant and grow potatoes. Learn how to plant potatoes in containers and in the garden soil.

Hugelkultur is a german permaculture method that is great for growing squash, melons, and potatoes and other heavy feeders. Tricia shows an adapted method for growing potatoes.

Copyright © 2019 Green Living Solution, Inc. Smart Gardener ® is a registered trademark of Green Living Solution, Inc. All rights reserved.


Red Thumb

Fingerling Potatoes are small, finger shaped potatoes which grow small and narrow. They vary in skin color from yellow to orange to purple. They are primarily known for their roasting qualities.

Basics

Potatoes are native to tropical mountains and prefer fairly cool (below 70˚ F), dry weather. They can't stand any frost and don't like cold weather.

Potatoes are native to tropical mountains and are easiest to grow in cool (below 70˚ F) dry weather. They can't stand any frost and don't like cold weather. They are grown in mild winter areas, with few frosts, in late fall or early spring.

Potatoes don't do well in hot weather either. Soil temperatures above 70˚ F inhibit tuber formation and it stops altogether at 85˚ F. In hot summer areas, they are usually grown as a spring or fall crop.

A temperature of 60 to 65˚ F is said to be optimal for tuber formation, which slows down at temperatures above 70˚ F.

It is important to keep the soil evenly moist (but not wet) for best growth, as lack of water results in smaller tubers. It is also important to water uniformly, making sure it penetrates through the dense foliage and down to the full root depth (or at least the top 12 inches where the greatest proportion of roots are found).

Potatoes can grow in most soils, but will be more productive in a sandy loamy soil that is moisture retentive and fertile. Although nitrogen is important, too much can cause abundant top growth (leaves) and fewer tubers. Potatoes need a good supply of phosphorous, from bone meal or colloidal phosphate. The most important primary nutrient for potatoes is potassium, which will increase yield, improve quality and hasten maturation. It is especially important during the time when the tubers are forming.

High quality, aerobic compost, low in wood or rice byproducts, is preferable to manure as a fertilizer. If you must fertilize with manure, be sure it is well-aged and that it is incorporated shallowly into the soil at least 3 to 4 weeks before planting, otherwise the process of soil digestion will deprive the germinating potatoes of vital nutrients and water. Do not fertilize with fresh manure, as this can cause scab. One of the best ways to prepare the ground for potatoes is to cover crop. Cover crops or green manure greatly improve the soil's tilth, organic matter, microbial activity, and water holding capacity, and significantly increases nutrient availability for the next crop.

Using wood ashes with potatoes is somewhat controversial because it can raise the pH (potatoes have less problem with scab disease when growing in acid soil). At the same time it can raise yields significantly, as this study shows.

Potatoes have been grown in a wide variety of containers, from half wine barrels to plastic bags.

Garbage can or half wine barrel: Obtain a large garbage can, put drainage holes in the bottom and fill it with a foot of really good compost. Plant one large seed potato in the soil. As the plant grows, slowly fill the can with more fine compost. The most important thing is to water carefully too much or too little water will cause problems. With a little luck the end result will be one very large plant, completely filling the whole can with tubers. When the plant dies back, empty out the can and collect the tubers.

Plastic bag: Put some holes in the bottom of a plastic bag (for drainage) and half fill it with a mix of 1/3 compost, 1/3 good garden soil and 1/3 sand (or 1/2 sandy soil and 1/2 compost). Then plant two sprouted potatoes in the bag, and add water. As the plants grow you fill the bag with more soil / compost mix.

Great potato flavor when roasted or braised. Also excellent in potato salad.

Tricia shows you two of the many ways to plant and grow potatoes. Learn how to plant potatoes in containers and in the garden soil.

Hugelkultur is a german permaculture method that is great for growing squash, melons, and potatoes and other heavy feeders. Tricia shows an adapted method for growing potatoes.

Copyright © 2019 Green Living Solution, Inc. Smart Gardener ® is a registered trademark of Green Living Solution, Inc. All rights reserved.


Watch the video: Planting Russian Banana Fingerling Potatoes


Previous Article

Information About Bog Rosemary

Next Article

What fertilizers need to be applied when planting potatoes