Ask G

Ask us: Thick-skinned potatoes

We answer your questions on the best varieties of lovely, thick-skinned potatoes to buy or grow at home.

The ‘In season’ article on potatoes in your Feb/March ‘13 issue reminded me that it is many years since I could buy those lovely, thick-skinned old potatoes for baked jacket potatoes. So can you tell me, are their particular varieties that are good for this, and would I be able to grow them myself? And how long do I need to store potatoes to get that nice thick skin?
– Janet Russell, Country N.S.W.

online-grown-potatoes

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We're so glad you were inspired by this article here that you would consider growing your own potatoes! So, we want your growing experience to be a good one.

We suggest for an easy-to-grow bumper crop of potatoes to try Bintje Seed Potatoes or Russet potatoes that have a thick skin and creamy flesh - perfect for baking. While varieties such as King Edward or Cara are more commonly used in jacket potato recipes, these can have lower yields, but it depends on the region you live in.

To find the potato variety you are looking for you may have to try some of the heirloom seed companies, such as The Diggers Club and Greenpatch Seeds. Another option is to ask around at your local farmers market, which you can find in your area at www.farmersmarkets.org.au.

Once you've found a suitable variety, you can eat some, but save a couple to put in the ground - they are so easy to grow and will multiply like magic into delicious home-grown potatoes! Remember to wait until the right time to plant them, which is usually from August to November.

A potato’s skin thickens during maturation in the ground, so it’s not likely that the storage time would affect the skin thickness.

For storage, remember not to store potatoes and onions near each other, or the potatoes will be likely to rot much faster.