By Jennifer Poindexter
Potatoes are one of the most versatile crops around. They come in different colors, sizes, and even have different textures.
There are ten different categories of potatoes that you might want to consider when selecting varieties for your home garden.
Some potato varieties overlap in these categories, but it’s important to think about what you want from the crops you grow.
We’ll discuss the different purposes for each style of potato, and you’ll also be provided with a few examples of each type of potato.
I’ll also share the different vitamins and nutrients found within each type of potato. Whether growing potatoes for culinary purposes or for adding more nutrients to your diet, there are plenty of options to choose from.
Here are the different types of potatoes you should consider growing:
1. White Potatoes
White potatoes are one of the most common types of potatoes grown around the world. It’s a staple in many cultures.
These potatoes are a great source for Vitamin C and potassium. Plus, they contain fiber as well. White potatoes have a thin skin and are great for boiling, baking, mashing, roasting, or grilling.
A few examples of white potatoes include Kennebeck, White Rose, Cleopatra, and Lady Rosetta. If you’d like a versatile potato variety, white potatoes could be for you.
2. Red Potatoes
Red potatoes are great if you’d like to add a little color to your food. Though the red color fades with most types of cooking, you can still have some hint of it when dining.
Many people grow red potatoes due to their thin skin. You don’t even need to peel them in most cases as the skin creates a crispy coating or some texture if mashed.
You may use red potatoes for boiling, mashing, or roasting. This type of potato is not only an excellent source of potassium and Vitamin C, but also a great source for Vitamin B6.
Some varieties to choose from, should you wish to grow red potatoes, include Red LaSoda, Ricarda, and Carolina.
3. Yellow Potatoes
Yellow potatoes add a nice golden color to your dishes. In some cases, you can even get away with adding less butter to recipes because the potatoes possess a natural buttery texture.
Should you grow yellow potatoes, understand that they’re an excellent source of Vitamin C, potassium, and Vitamin B6.
These potatoes are excellent for mashing, boiling, frying, or baking. Some of the varieties available include Almera, Corinna, Jelly, and Malou.
4. Purple or Blue Potatoes
Growing purple or blue potatoes is fun. Not only do you get a different variety of potato, but they add quite a splash to your recipes.
When growing purple or blue potatoes, you’re adding a variety of nutrients to your diet. Purple potatoes are a good source of manganese, potassium, and Vitamin C.
Should you grow this potato, some options are All Blue, Magic Molly, or Purple Majesty. This type of potato has an earthy flavor and is commonly used in salads to maintain the rich coloring. However, you may also bake or boil them, though the color may fade.
5. Black Potatoes
Black potatoes contain many of the same health benefits as purple potatoes. They’re thought to be a lower-glycemic index food which is good for stabilizing your blood sugar.
However, black potatoes have a slightly different taste than purple potatoes. They do have an earthy flavor, but it’s paired with a sweeter flavor as well.
One of the most popular varieties of black potatoes is Black Shetland potatoes. They’re best when boiled or roasted since this is a smaller potato variety.
6. Russet Potatoes
Russet potatoes are what many people think of when they think of potatoes. They make excellent baked or mashed potatoes. Plus, they make great fries as well.
If you need a reason to grow and eat more russet potatoes, this vegetable is a good source of protein, fiber, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin C.
Some of the more popular varieties of russet potatoes are Russet Burbank, Frontier Russet, Alturas Russet, but there are many more options as well.
7. Petite Potatoes
This is where some of the potato varieties may overlap. Any type of potato can technically be a petite potato if they don’t reach their full potential.
Therefore, petite potatoes can come in many colors and are known for packing a concentrated flavor of their larger counterparts.
Petite potatoes are excellent sources of potassium and Vitamin C. They’re also a great way to control your calorie intake and take less time to prepare.
Should you utilize petite potatoes around your kitchen, they’re a great option for baking or roasting as they look beautiful when plated.
8. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are different from other types of potatoes. They grow during warmer times of the year and have thin skin.
However, their flesh is bright, sweet, and tender. Sweet potatoes are a good source of fiber, potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Iron, and Magnesium. These potatoes are great for baking, mashing, or roasting.
Some people use sweet potatoes as part of a savory dinner or sweeten them up as a dessert. No matter which way you go, there are many varieties to choose from. Consider growing Heart of Gold, Georgia Jet, or Jewel sweet potatoes in your home garden.
9. Fingerling Potatoes
Fingerling potatoes are a fun type of potato. They’re smaller than many other potatoes and have a unique shape which slightly resembles the shape of a finger.
This type of potato is a great way to control your calorie-intake while also obtaining potassium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6.
Fingerling potatoes are most commonly used for roasting. Some varieties to choose from include Russian Banana, Purple Peruvian, or Swedish Peanut Fingerling.
10. Starchy, Waxy, or All-Purpose Potatoes
Our final category includes all of the other potatoes mentioned here in one form or another. However, this category should be mentioned in case you have a specific purpose for growing potatoes.
Should you wish to grow potatoes that are higher in starch and lower in moisture, you’ll need a starchy potato. This style of potato is great for mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, and fries.
If you need a potato that’s higher in starch, consider growing Russet, Idaho, or Yukon Gold potatoes.
Waxy potatoes are those which have less starch and more moisture. These potatoes have thin skin and smoother consistency. This style of potato is generally used for roasting, baking, or boiling.
Many fingerling potatoes are considered waxy including Russian Banana and French Fingerling.
Finally, potatoes which are considered all-purpose are used for all things involving potatoes. They have a good balance between starch and moisture.
Most white, purple, or black potatoes are a good all-purpose option for what you need when creating delicious potato recipes.
You now have ten different categories for potatoes to grow around your home garden. If you’re growing by texture, size, or color, there’s a category for this.
Yet, if you’re growing potatoes based upon culinary uses alone, there’s a category for this as well. Consider why you’re growing potatoes to better understand which category (and the types of potatoes within the category) most deserves your attention.