Following my last post on potatoes, I have now started to plant some of my seeds. On Saturday morning I was watching the news on BBC1 and there was a special gardening interview with the Blue Peter gardener saying that potato varieties such as Rocket grow very quickly (one of the earliest varieties) which prompted me to go ahead and plant my spuds.
It is a bit early in my opinion since we still run a chance of having some frost which will hinder growth but looking at last year’s potato planting date it was actually 3rd March when I planted my tubers (of a different variety called Lady Christl) and I remember that we had some snow for Easter but my potatoes did grow fine and the harvest was good.
At the moment I am also chitting a potato called Ratte, which is a French variety I believe and is said to have a great flavour. For maincrop I am reverting back to the desiree variety since it is one of the best potatoes I have even grown and it is disease resistant. I will plant these later this month if the weather allows it.
Over the last 4 years I have tried quite a few varieties and so far these are my favourites:
Early potato variety: Accent – tastes great as a roasted potato! Good cropper too.
Maincrop variety: Desiree – a delicious red skin potato of versatile use.
I have tried other varieties such Maris piper, Lady Christl, and Sante – a maincrop potato variety which is particularly resistant to diseases such as blight, but I am not so keen on these. May be my plot is not so suitable to these types. There are so many varieties of potatoes available for so many uses (chips, new potatoes, salad, baked…) that surely there is one to everyone’s tastes.
My top tip: I personally like to include some grass cutting and newspaper in the trench where I am planting my potato seeds. I remember reading that doing so helps retain moisture in the soil which potatoes need to grow well. This year I have not yet been able to cut the lawn but I have some compost which is a bit rough so I shall incorporate some of this as well as some chicken manure pellet fertilizer when I plant my potatoes.