Part of Rose Finn Apple's great appeal comes from its looks. The skin is thin and pale pink, and the flesh a creamy yellow that promises to be rich and moist. Much smaller than traditional Potatoes, these fingerlings are gourmet treats that are every bit as easy to grow as big ole plain brown types!
The plant reaches just 12 to 18 inches tall but spreads up to 4 feet wide, and each 1-pound bag of tubers will sow up to 25 feet of row and yield 20 to 30 pounds of potatoes.
Like all Potatoes, Rose Finn Apple fares best in sandy, enriched soil, but if you have heavy or clay soil, just used a raised bed or plant the tubers more shallowly, mulching them well with straw. Here's how to grow them:
If your soil is normal to sandy, work in some gypsum and Epsom salts before planting, then set the tubers 3 or 4 inches deep and about a foot apart. (If your soil is heavier, plant more shallowly and rely on mulch rather than soil for coverage.) Potato tubers should be planted in early spring, at the same time as you sow your green peas. If a late frost threatens, just toss a few inches of straw or other mulch over the young plants, and chances are they'll be fine. When the shoots emerge, you may want to sow some bush beans alongside the young plants -- they'll keep the bugs down! Basil and Summer Savory are also fine companions that keep insects at bay --We usually just wait to see which Potatoes didn't sprout, and fill in the gaps with these helpful herbs! (Of course, Marigold, friend to all vegetables for its ability to destroy more nematodes than commercial repellents, is always a beautiful choice too!)
Potatoes tend to grow their fruit right under the soil, and over time the tubers may stick out above the soil line. This can cause greening, which ruins the flavor (and adds toxins to the Potato), so watch your plants and add more soil, straw, or peat moss as necessary to keep the taters under wraps! The plants may also bloom, and small, hard green fruits will appear when the flowers pass. Don't be tempted to harvest them -- they're toxic!
When it's time to harvest, begin at the outer edges of each plant and work your way in. You want to gently turn over the soil using a garden fork or blunt-edged spade, to avoid cutting into the potatoes. Store the spuds, unwashed and not touching one another, in a totally dark, cool place, where they'll last for several weeks. (You can eat them after they've sprouted; just cut away the inedible sprout and its eye.) Once you've harvested the crop from end to end, begin in a new spot and work your way through it from a different direction. You'll be amazed at how many spuds you missed the first time!
If you love Potatoes of all types, take a look at German Butterball. We've also got an exotic blue-skinned variety, the all-purpose Caribe.