Potatoes are a staple food in many households, and growing your own can be a rewarding experience. Not only does it offer a chance to enjoy a fresh and natural product, but it also provides an opportunity to experiment with varieties that may not be readily available in stores. Here are the top three potato varieties that you can consider for your garden in the UK.
King Edward Potatoes
King Edward is a classic British potato, loved for over a century since its introduction in 1902. It’s a maincrop potato, which means it’s planted in the spring and harvested in the late summer or early autumn. King Edwards are famous for their creamy coloured flesh and light, floury texture. This variety is especially good for roasting and baking.
King Edwards Growing Tip: King Edward potatoes require a longer growing season. Plant them early in a sunny, well-drained position and water regularly.
Maris Piper Potatoes
Maris Piper is another favourite in the UK; there’s a good reason. Introduced in the 1960s, Maris Piper quickly became the UK’s most widely grown potato variety. It’s incredibly versatile and excellent for chips, roast potatoes, and mash – all the foods us Brits are actually good and making! Maris Piper has golden skin and creamy white flesh, which holds together well when cooked.
Maris piper Growing Tip: Plant Maris Piper in a sunny, sheltered spot for the best yield. Regular watering is required during dry periods.
If you’re looking for a potato to use in salads, look no further than Charlotte. This potato is harvested while the skins are still thin and the flavour is at its peak. Charlotte potatoes have a slightly waxy texture, making them perfect for salads and boiling. Their yellow flesh has a wonderful buttery flavour that’s hard to beat.
Charlotte Growing Tip: Charlotte potatoes are prone to waterlogging, so ensure good drainage when planting. These potatoes also do well in containers if space is limited.
If you are looking for even more varieties, here are a few more popular tats to grow.
|King Edward||Requires a longer growing season; plant early.|
|Maris Piper||Plant in a sunny, sheltered spot for best yield.|
|Charlotte||Ensure good drainage as Charlotte is prone to waterlogging.|
|Desiree||Good for heavy soils; add compost for best results.|
|Maris Peer||Regular watering is required during dry periods.|
|Pentland Javelin||Ensure soil is well-prepared and weed-free before planting.|
|Anya||Plant in deep, fertile soil for best tuber formation.|
|Arran Pilot||Plant early in a frost-free spot; cover if late frost is forecast.|
|Pink Fir Apple||Harvest late and allow tubers to mature to develop flavor.|
|Cara||Highly resistant to pests and diseases, making it easy to grow.|
|Vivaldi||Requires regular watering and well-drained soil.|
|Kestrel||Beneficial to chit before planting out.|
|Rocket||Plant in early spring for a quick harvest.|
|Jersey Royal||Needs a light, well-drained soil; add sand if necessary.|
|Lady Christl||Water well in dry periods to prevent scab.|
|Estima||Responds well to a high-potassium fertilizer.|
|Wilja||Plant in well-prepared, well-drained soil.|
|Sarpo Mira||Plant in a sunny spot; resistant to most diseases.|
|Rooster||Does well in fertile, well-drained soil.|
|Nicola||Requires a sunny spot with good moisture retention.|
Potatoe Variety FAQs
What is the easiest potato to grow in the UK?
The ‘Maris Piper’ is often considered the easiest potato to grow in the UK. It’s a highly adaptable variety that can thrive in a range of soil types and weather conditions. ‘Maris Piper’ is also resistant to a number of common potato diseases, which makes it a good choice for novice gardeners.
What is the fastest-growing potato variety?
The ‘Rocket’ variety is known for its fast growth rate. It can be ready for harvest in as little as ten weeks after planting. ‘Rocket’ is also highly resistant to diseases and pests, making it a good choice for those seeking a quick and relatively low-maintenance potato crop.
What is the most hardy potato?
‘Sarpo Mira’ is considered one of the most hardy potato varieties. This potato is resistant to many common diseases, including blight, and it is able to tolerate a range of weather conditions. Its robustness makes it a reliable choice for gardeners who are facing unpredictable or harsh growing conditions.
What is the best all-round potato?
‘Desiree’ is a good all-round potato. It’s a red-skinned, yellow-fleshed variety that is versatile in the kitchen – good for boiling, mashing, roasting, and even making chips. It’s also quite resistant to drought and diseases, which makes it a reliable choice for most growers.
What are the best potatoes to grow in pots?
For growing in pots, early varieties such as ‘Arran Pilot’ and ‘Swift’ are often recommended. These potatoes mature quickly, do not need a lot of space to grow, and they’re also delicious. ‘Charlotte’ is a great choice if you’re after a salad potato, while ‘Vivaldi’ is well-suited to pot cultivation and offers a high yield.
How many potatoes do you get from one plant?
The number of potatoes you get from one plant can vary depending on the variety, the growing conditions, and the care taken in cultivation. However, on average, you can expect to get about 10 to 15 potatoes from each plant. Some high-yielding varieties may produce up to 20 potatoes per plant.
Can you grow potatoes from any potato?
Technically, you can grow potatoes from any potato that has “eyes” or buds. However, it’s best to grow potatoes from seed potatoes, which are potatoes specifically cultivated to be disease-free and to produce a high yield. Ordinary store-bought potatoes can carry diseases that could affect your crop, and some may have been treated with sprout inhibitors to prevent them from growing.
Brian Sheridan has an allotment in Edgbaston and is a competitive grower. Brian is also a keen photographer and loves cooking. Brian and his wife Mary will also be running a stall at Edgebaston artisan market this year, selling products made from the allotment, including his award-winning relish!