Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Late Winter Gardening. Potatoes and Onion Sets. 2.18.14

Today I looked at Fred Meyer for seed potatoes.  They had 2 types.

Seed Potatoes.  Pontiac and White Superior

Onion Sets Red Baron

I think these are standard varieties.  Nothing exotic.  They will make good new potatoes and potato salad.  I will keep them in a cool room for a couple of weeks.  That will move us closer to a good planting time. They will go into raised bed/containers.
Onion Raised Bed

These are Pontiac - red skin, and White Superior - white skin.

From the "Vegetables of Interest" website"  "Pontiac potato was developed in the late 1930s as a cross between an old English potato named “Triumph” and a Maine potato called  “Katahdin.” .... The “Red Pontiac” selection with its bright red skin came out as a mutation found in Southern field tests in the early 1940s.
...In particular, I like its imperfections.  If grown to maturity the tubers vary in size and shape.  They are mostly round but oblong ones show up too.  The surface of the spud is dotted with shallow eyes and subtle nobs that don’t quite become noses.  In short, these potatoes look like they have character in comparison to the perfectly shaped, winkle-free Burbank bakers.

From tuckertaters.com, White Superior:After wide commercial production for more than 50 years, Superior is still a highly regarded variety with well-known performance. It is sometimes used as the standard for early-season white potatoes  "Culinary Characteristics
  • Taste/flavor: Good.
  • Texture after cooking: Fairly firm, dry. Moist when baked and french fried.
  • Uses: Superior mashed. Excellent for potato salads. Good for chipping.

They had some onion sets so I bought a bag  I don't know how the winter onions will do.  We buy a lot of onions.  I think we will eat all that we grow.  A lot will go for scallions.  It was a bit of a waste.  A lot of the sets were moldy or dried out.  These are "Red Baron".

These went into the same bed as I had onions and garlic, then melons, last year.  Better to rotate for nutrition and disease reduction.  With the intervening melon crop I think it's OK.  Plus last fall, I topped the bed with a big dose of soil/compost mix.  I will also give them nitrogen boost when growing.  At the moment it's raining and raining and raining, so any nitrogen boost today would be wasted via washing away.

Red Baron sounds like a good variety.  Long day onion, so good for NW setting.  From organic seeds website:  Dual purpose onion for medium sized bulb onions or purple skinned bunching onions. Deep red outer skin and beautiful inner rings of royal purple with good color throughout. For bunching, harvest at 12-15” tall just before the bulb begins to swell, or harvest for fresh eating bulbs. Long day onion.

The ground is very wet and soft.  If not for the raised beds I could not have planted these onion sets.  The photo shows them before I covered them with soil.

So I got some gardening done today.

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