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Salad Blue

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  • Salad Blue

    Grew these in 2020 and this season. They're a second-early blue from the 1800s, often said to have floury flesh and therefore unsuitable for salads.
    Last year I mistakenly harvested as a maincrop and they were floury; completely disintegrated when boiled and only suitable for roasting and baking. This skins were also quite scabby, which I believe was worsened by the extremely dry summer.

    This season I planted seed tubers saved from last year's crop into a new no-dig bed. This was an extremely late event on the 18th May. Two months later after abuntant rainfall I harvested the plants, though they could have done with another month to develop some of the tiniest baby tubers. Nevertheless, there were some big potatoes in there and a fair few at perfect 'salad' size. And there's no scab.

    The transformation is incredible, they're like a completely different variety. Sweet, smooth and buttery flesh. Truly delicious. We're even favouring these over the Charlottes.
    To the surprise of no one, growing conditions and time of harvest make all the difference in vegetable quality. But it is something to bear in mind with this particular variety, especially as I've seen the name be ridiculed as wishful thinking, and seed companies claim it is floury. It is, if it is left in the ground too long and/or not watered enough. Give it the conditions the original breeder intended, and it's a perfect waxy salad potato.

  • #2
    This is very interesting. I’m also growing Salad Blue and have found it rather floury.

    The main factor in my case is that it succumbed to blight rather early. It was planted on 27th March and was showing signs of blight by late June. The foliage quickly became blackened and skeletal. So it
    had about three months growing. I have saved some for seed and if the tubers don’t develop blight, hope to grow it again next year and I shall certainly take note of what you have discovered and hope to enjoy ot in its waxier state.

    A number of varieties grown in that particular area have developed fully fledged blight whereas I have none in my other growing area. A very striking difference. But Salad Blue was certainly amongst the earliest to be afflicted so from my experience does seem to be rather blight susceptible.

    It would perhaps be better described as a first early.


    • #3
      Sorry about the blight, early for it to have put a stop to your potatoes in June. Quite surprisingly I haven't seen it at the allotments. I recall other tenants had potatoes growing well into October last year.

      I agree that growing it as a first early is probably a good idea, as in my recent experience its culinary quality is better when harvested too early rather than later, and worth the diminished yield.

      They are difficult to find in the soil, so growing in containers may be a beneficial option.


      • #4
        Another attribute of Salad Blue is that it produces a lot of berries, more perhaps than I've seen in any other variety. In my case these weren't mature when I harvested the tubers and if harvested as earlies as you suggest, Triffid, then they wouldn't be mature either. Still worth noting though, I think.


        • Galina
          Galina commented
          Editing a comment
          Not necessarily. Firstly sorry about the early blight. But Jayb taught me to keep potato fruits alive by putting the stems in a vase. Even only a couple of weeks make a difference. And I have certainly harvested half size fruit and left them on the windowsill for as long as possible and had viable seeds from them. If the fruits themselves get blighted, however, it is too late unfortunately.

          I confirm they are floury despite their name. I take on board what you say about growing conditions Triffid.
          Last edited by Galina; 01-08-2021, 10:22.

        • Jang
          Jang commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks. I haven’t quite weighed up,what a ripe fruit looks like. Last year I rescued some which were green, left them a while before extracting the seed, and they germinated well.
          Somehow as they were so green and quite firm, they didn’t look ready, but actually were.

        • triffid
          triffid commented
          Editing a comment
          You're right, they're very fertile. Last year they were dripping with berries. I left them in the shed to ripen up and the scent was quite similar to physalis. A mousey agreed with me and ate the lot.