SOLANUM tuberosum 'Adirondack Blue'
Plant Common Name
Adirondack Blue Potato, Blue Potato, Early Potato, Potato
Don't let the name 'Adirondack Blue' fool you. This flavorful, award-winning potato is purple inside and out. The pleasing color comes from high levels of anthocyanins, which are high in antioxidants, and is maintained even when the potatoes are cooked. This vigorous hybrid potato was bred at Cornell University by Robert Plaisted, Ken Paddock and Walter De Jong and first released in 2003. It is a medium early potato that was developed primarily as a table and French fry potato. The plants of this variety tend to spread and tubers are ready for harvest 70 to 90 days after planting.
Potatoes are tender perennials widely cultivated as seasonal annual crops. They are bushy and have crinkled compound green foliage. Their small, star-shaped flowers bloom in late spring or summer and often lack fertile male pollen. Those of 'Adirondack Blue' are pure white, surprisingly. Bees pollinate the fertile blooms and small, round, seed-filled fruits follow that are greenish yellow.
The starchy potato tubers develop from underground stems. The skin of 'Adirondack Blue' tubers is purplish brown with purple ringed flesh. The small, shallow, pinkish eyes on each tuber are leaf buds that can sprout to form new plants. All green parts of a potato plant are poisonous.
Grow potatoes in full sun and fertile, rich, loamy soil that’s evenly moist but well-drained. Plant seed potatoes deep along berms to increase productivity and make harvest easier. Drought stress and high heat will reduce productivity significantly. The potato is a cool season crop typically grown when conditions are moderately warm and pleasant. In frost-free, subtropical areas they are grown in winter or spring when conditions are more favorable.
Potato beetles are the chief pest and must be regularly removed or they will completely defoliate a plant in no time. Fungal blights also destroy crops. Regular rotation of potato crops will reduce the instances of re-infection with soil-borne fungal diseases.
Potatoes are rarely propagated by seed. Instead, whole small tubers or chunks of tubers with eyes are planted. These are called "seed potatoes" and produce exact clones of parent plants. In temperate regions potatoes should be planted one to three weeks before the last frost date. Though susceptible to frost, they are slow to emerge from the soil. The new shoots can be protected from late frosts with frost cloth. As plants emerge, the soil can be mounded even higher around them to build the hill. Any exposed tubers should be immediately covered because sunlight causes them to turn green and green potatoes are inedible.
After flowering, the plants start to develop their tubers. Once the foliage begins to turn yellow, the tubers may be dug up and eaten, though it is common to raid potato mounds early for new potatoes. The tubers should be stored in a cool, dry, dark location where they can last for months. Never chill potatoes as this will cause them to become sweet and unpalatable.