Sunday, January 8

Spud-u-like?

We order our seed potatoes from Alan Romans and have done for a few years now.
Even if you don't want to buy your seed potatoes form here the website is worth a browse. He offers over 120 different varieties of potatoes and this year he has started  selling seed potatoes by the number of tubers in a bag (10, 20 or 60) which is really useful when trying to decide how many to buy.

Also there is a page for each variety with information and cooking properties which certainly helps make an informed choice.
The downside is that potatoes are heavy so post and packaging does add a considerable amount to the cost £7.30 for up to 24kg. If you only want a few tubers then it does make them expensive but if you join up with a friend like we do it does cut the cost.

So which varieties have we chosen? We always have a range of varieties as this way whether it is too hot, dry, cold or wet something usually comes through for us. This year despite the really dry conditions and hardly any top growth out potatoes produced a really remarkable crop. We are more or less sticking to the same varieties but as always adding some newbies.

Sothe list is as follows:
  • Two all time favourites Charlotte (second early) & Nicola (early maincrop).
  • Juliette (early maincrop) which we have grown most years but not last year.
  • We tried Winston (first early) for the first time last year and it performed well both in bags and outside so shall get the same treatment again.
  • New for this year is Swift (first early) which will be mainly grown in bags -  it's claimed to be one of the best varieties for growing in pots
  • Premiere (first early)another new variety for us which is supposed to have some blight resistance
As usual we only grow early varieties as then if blight strikes the tubers have usually still put on enough growth to produce a decent crop. That's what has happened in the past but this year - well who know?

18 comments:

  1. Good selection Sue. What did you think of the taste of Winston? It's the top show variety for white spuds winning everything in that class but everyone says the taste is awful so I've never grown it.

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  2. Most years (this one included) I buy the Salad potato collection from T&M. As you know, I grow my potatoes in pots, so I only need a few. Most places sell in too big quantities for me. Must follow Damo's advice one year and go to the Whitchurch Potato Day, where you casn buy individual tubers.

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  3. Isn't that interesting - hardly any of those varieties are available in Australia. We have Nicola and possibly Charlotte (it sounds familiar but maybe I know it from the UK) but not the others as far as I know. We are harvesting pot grown potatoes most weeks at the moment (staggered plantings and different varieties) but I'm still awaiting the main bed - I find them so exciting to grow. I don't think I'll ever get sick of digging potatoes.

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  4. We grew Winston for the first time last year, Damo as a friend really liked the taste and recommended them and we are growing them again this year as we agreed. They were really versatile too good for chipping, mashing and roasting. They were good croppers too giving the best yield. I know the taste of potatoes does very depending on soil, etc. ours is heavy clay. For instance our crop of International Kidney which are really Jersey Royals didn't taste good.

    That is true, Mark we were going to go to a Potato Day near to us last year but didn't get there. WE could buy from local nurseries maybe a bit more cheaply but we like to get the varieties ordered as we have known some to sell out if we wait too long.

    I wonder whether some varieties go by different names Liz as mots of varieties of vegetables named by Bloggers in other countries are new to me. Or maybe the varieties on offer are more suitable for each of our conditions and climates.

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  5. I've been to Swillington today, Sue. Only one variety bought, so I'll save it for my blog, but it's no huge surprise. I did see the seed left out for Rocky Robin, I looked especially after you mentioned it.

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  6. Romans have an exc dellent reputation, looks like you've got a lovely selection there.

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  7. They were telling me that Rocky hasn't shown his beak yet this year Jo. It's the first year for ages.

    We've always been happy with Romans BW and they don't send tubers out if the weather is poor they held them back last year - either way they never send out toil January.

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  8. I have only got Charlotte so far - I grew Kestrel last year but the yield wasn't very good. At Homebase you can get a bag of just five tubers of different varieties that is just the right amount for me. Hope you get on well with your selection.

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  9. Hope you have more luck with Swift than I did last year, Sue. (Low yield due to the conditions.) I had thought that any Jack Dunnet spud was infallible until then!

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  10. We grow quite a lot of potatoes Elaine but as you say the packs supplied can be too big - I know if you go to one of the potato days you can even buy single tubers. Must admit our Homebase has really gone down hill and I rarely go there now.

    Let's hope Swift doesn't turn out to be a damp squib Mal. It's one reasons we grow different varieties as some suit certain weather conditions more than others.

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  11. I should really try earlies this year. I haven't even thought about potatoes yet.

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  12. I noticed the garden centres have their seed potatoes in now too Kelli. Another thing about earlies is you can have them up before they have suffered too much from slug damage.

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  13. what a great selection of potaotes there, will have to keep an eye on your blog to see the results, I am growing a few unusual varietys this year becasue the Chef in me just cant help myself! GREAT blog!
    http://plotnumber58.blogspot.com/

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  14. Hi Stacy - thanks for joining in the comments - you have some varieties of potatoes listed on your blog that sound intriguing.

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  15. Thanks Sue I'll give Winston a try and see what they taste like.

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  16. Very interesting! We don't have all the varieties here though. Yummy potatoes!

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  17. I grow Charlottes as a first early and then I like to grow King Edwards as my main crop. The last two years I have also grown Desiree as a main crop but not sure I will grow two varities this year ...over the 4 years I have had my allotment i have never suffered from blight and I keep my fingers crossed that I will have the same luck this year...I will definitely check out the site you have mentioned although I do like to browse The British Potato Variety Database (http://varieties.potato.org.uk/menu.php) from time to time and have found it very informative.

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  18. I hope you like it Damo as many seem to criticise it. It's just so difficult when soil and climate can affect the taste so much.

    I wonder if we actually have different varieties or whether they just have different names Malar

    I've browsed he database too Tanya and it does give good information

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