Growing Fingerling Potatoes

A fingerling potato is grown to maturity like most other potatoes but comes from a special variety known to produce unusual tubers that are shaped much like fingers.

Fingerling Potatoes

Fingerling Potatoes

Photo by: Shutterstock/marekuliasz


A fingerling potato comes from a special variety known to produce unusual tubers which are small, long, and narrow, shaped much like fingers. Unlike young or new potatoes, they are fully mature when harvested, in spite of their small size and thin skins.

Fingerling potato tubers range from creamy white to rich purple, and can be starchy or waxy, but most varieties are very complex in flavor. The nutritious, flavorful heritage potatoes are cooked very much like white or yellow potatoes, but because of their small, interesting shapes and sizes they are commonly cooked whole and used in side dishes or in salads. Due to their thin, tender skin, they must be brushed gently with a soft bristle under cold running water to get rid of any dirt.

Selected Varieties

Some of the best fingerling potato varieties include Rose Finn with rosy colored skin and deep yellow flesh; Peanut with a crescent teardrop shape, light brown with yellow flesh, and Ozette,  one of the tastiest of all fingerlings with pale gold skin and yellow flesh.

La Ratte has a rich nutty flavor long favored by chefs. Purple Peruvian is a hugely popular heirloom variety with purple flesh and skin, and is superb when fried or roasted. Anya is long and knobby, somewhat oval, with pinkish skin and white flesh.

Russian Banana is an outstanding, easy-to-grow fingerling potato with yellow skin and smooth, waxy, golden flesh and sweet flavor.

How to Grow Potatoes 05:02

Joe Lamp'l shows how to plant, grow and harvest potatoes.

Grow Fingerling Potatoes

Plant fingerling varieties during cool weather, avoiding hard freezes and hot temperatures that remain above the mid-80s. They require at least six or eight hours of direct sunshine and a moist, fertile, well-drained soil.

Fingerling potatoes can be planted whole or cut into smaller pieces, each with one or two stem bud eyes. If cut up, allow the seed pieces to dry two or three days to heal over before planting in cool, wet soils. Plant two or three inches deep, a foot or so apart in rows, hills, raised beds, or containers.

Because tubers form on short stems called stolons, which grow off the lower part of the plants, it is very important to cover the lower stems as the plants grow. This helps them produce better, and also avoids sunscald and greening, which causes to potatoes to taste bitter and can indicate high levels of the poisonous plant alkaloid called solanine. Mound soil, hay or other mulch up on the lower stems as the young plants grow, and repeat as needed weekly until at least six or eight inches are completely buried.

Like most other potatoes, fingerling potatoes take three to four months from planting to harvest. During this time, water as needed, especially during hot or dry weather and in the last month or so before harvest.

Harvesting Fingerling Potatoes

Fingerling potatoes tend to have very thin skin, easy to cut or bruise; harvest gently by carefully lifting entire plants to expose the tubers. Do not wash after harvest or risk mold or rot. Store the tubers in a cool, dry place, where they can last for months as long as the area is well ventilated and protected from sunlight.

Next Up

Growing Blue Potatoes

Blue potatoes are not just fun-to-grow, interestingly-colored for cooking, but also often have subtle flavors and are very high in antioxidants, making them extra nutritious.

Growing Purple Potatoes

What are purple potatoes? They are natural varieties with deep purple skins and flesh, high in antioxidants which makes them extra healthful to eat.

Growing Heirloom Potatoes

Heirloom potatoes have been passed down, year after year, for many decades, and offer unique shapes, colors, and cooking qualities worth trying in the home garden.

Growing Red Potatoes

Red potatoes are generally easy-to-grow small potatoes with thin, edible red skins and white flesh, and are the most common potatoes used for boiling and steaming.

Growing Russet Potatoes

Russet potatoes are classic big, brown cut-and-fry or baking potatoes – large, uniform, and dependable producers in the home garden.

Growing Yellow Potatoes

Easy-to-grow yellow flesh potatoes are a bit sweeter and have more antioxidants than America’s more popular white fleshed potatoes.

Growing Small Potatoes

Many gardeners love hand-harvesting small, immature potato tubers early in the season from beneath still-growing plants. They tend to be extra sweet and tender.

Growing White Potatoes

White potatoes are classics with light tan skin and pure white flesh, and are indispensable for using in nearly any recipe but are superb when boiled or fried.

Growing New Potatoes

Many gardeners harvest a few small, immature potato tubers early in the season, because they are extra tender and sweet.

Growing Waxy Potatoes

Waxy potatoes can be any shape, size, or color, but tend to be relatively low in starch, which causes them to retain their shape when cooked, making them ideal for boiling and chopping, not for mashing or baking.


7am | 6c
7:30am | 6:30c
8am | 7c
8:30am | 7:30c

This Old House

9:30am | 8:30c
1pm | 12c
1:30pm | 12:30c
2pm | 1c
2:30pm | 1:30c
3pm | 2c
3:30pm | 2:30c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Fixer Upper

5pm | 4c

Fixer Upper

6pm | 5c

Fixer Upper

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Fixer Upper

8pm | 7c

Fixer Upper

9pm | 8c

Fixer Upper

10pm | 9c

Fixer Upper

11pm | 10c

Fixer Upper

12am | 11c

Fixer Upper

1am | 12c

Fixer Upper

2am | 1c

Fixer Upper

3am | 2c

Salvage Dawgs

4:30am | 3:30c

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Consult Our A-Z Guide

Everything You Need to Know

Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths.  

How-To Advice and Videos

Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more.

Watch DIY Downloads Now

Watch DIY Network LIVE

Don't miss your favorite shows in real time online.