Richard J. Hebda July 2016
I have always enjoyed the versatile yellow-fleshed Sieglinde. This year I tried an experiment with tubers overwintered in the ground. The winter was mild in Saanich, BC and tubers began to sprout in February. I dug them out, rinsed them clean, and replanted whole in well-drained raised beds, covered in horticultural fleece. The results were astounding!!
The spring continued the winter-warm trend and the tubers grew into robust plants. New tubers began setting by late April on long stolons and we began removing young delicious potatoes by mid May, with out digging the plants. I continued light watering in the well-drained friable soil and plants began to yellow in June. At the end of the month I started harvesting and to my surprise found masses of fully formed and sized smooth-skinned beauties. Even though spaced 25 cm apart, a typical plant yielded 2.6 kg of excellent quality potatoes. In a 2.5 by 1 m (8 x 3.5 foot) space I estimate the yield was 20-25 kg! These yields match the best in any of our project trials of heritage potato varieties.
The bed was prepared with organic debris at 25 cm (10”) depth including small branches, and the overlying soil was lightly fertilized with moderately-aged horse manure. As might be expected in rich soil there was a trace of scabbing on a few tubers.
As a bonus, under the mild climate of Vancouver Island Sieglinde overwinters well in the soil and remains edible even in February.
Plant as early as you dare, the tubers will time their own emergence. Cover with row cloth to protect against late winter ground frosts. Ensure good drainage but do not be afraid to include organic matter even a bit of manure for this variety. Tubers take a bit of time to form but they size up quickly. Sieglinde is super potato !!