We recently purchased our potatoes for the year and they arrived a few days ago in plastic bags. We concentrated more on main crop varieties this year; the decision being made either after fantastic results from last years crop or from recommendations from others. We have Melody, Desiree and Sarpo Mira.
The Desiree are a red main crop and we had fantastic results from these last year. They were a good all-rounder and produced the smoothest mash and the crispest roasts.
We haven’t grown Sarpo Mira before and is a recommendation from Dan at Allotment Diary . He had great success with these last year. They have the added benefit of yielding vast amounts of tubers and also being resistant to blight which in our climate is a brilliant addition to their quality. They are a floury variety but also have the reputation of being a great all-rounder. I’ll let you know how they fare later on in the year.
Melody are an oval shape and are great for mashing. We grew these too last year and I loved the versatility of them too.
They are all chitting away nicely now in mushroom crates on the floor in my kitchen to develop strong , short, stubby shoots. More information of the chitting process can be found on my previous post shown here.
I too have bought my seed potatoes – do I need to start chitting them now? when do I plant them? They are main crop too. We grew one lot of potatoes last year and they were delish, so we have got two different varieties this year.
You can chit your potatoes from now. Ideally you can plant them towards the end of March weather permitting. The type of potato that you have would determine how long they will be before harvest. First earlies and second earlies will mature a good few weeks earlier than maincrop that they can all be planted roundabout the end of March. Have you thought about maybe keeping a couple of tubers free and growing these in buckets or old compost bags undercover for a quicker crop?
I was wondering about when to chit too! Last year this was a mad time at work and the potatoes chitted for nearly two months before planting in May. The crop was good but a bit tasteless and floury (king Edwards) Not sure if it was timing or soil, but I have a bag of Desirees this year and some earlies so hoping for tasty spuds.
You won’t be disappointed with the taste or yield from Desiree.
I am growing sarpo mira again this year. I am very impressed with them. They grew really well, produced loads of potatoes, tasted good and we are still using them from storage and only just showing signs of potentially, maybe starting to chit.
I shall be putting some earlies in the polytunnel (rocket) and have started a couple of buckets of them in the greenhouse. Divine.
Sounds like you have a great plan. It’s good to know that the Sarpo variety of potatoes are a good cropper and thanks for reminding me; I also need to get some rocket potatoes for my poly tunnel too.
They are also supposed to be one of the most blight resistant potatoes too. However last year, for the first year in ages, we had no blight so couldn’t test them out.
That was one of the reasons why I was recommended to grow this variety. I didn’t know at the time though that they were a floury variety. Not too keen on the texture of these but I can get over it if I get a good crop.
FYI You can use your potatoes from last years crop for planting this year. We bought a couple of varities of seed potatoes the first year. We had a good crop, but I preferr King Edward potatoes. I guess our being thrifty drove my attempts to then use a bag of King Edward potatoes from the store that started chitting in my kitchen cabinett. I told my husband why not try planting them instead of buying more expensive seed potatoes from the store this year. We haven’t bought seed potatoes since. This year I plan to gather seeds from this years vegetables to use for planting next year instead of buying seeds every year. I saved a few peas seed from last year and plan to experiment to see if I can grow them successfully. It saves money and demands very little time to dry them to use for later.
Thanks for that frugal tip. May have to give that one a go. FYI peas and beans grown from your own crops are also very sucessful, as are chillies, tomatoes, peppers and squash/pumpkins.
Thanks for the tip on the other vegetables, but I already knew that. What I don’t know is how I should dry the seeds. I dried peas last year and plan to plant them this year. I am hoping that I am successful. I had planned to go up on the net and research the subject. I have dried seeds from flowers and they have been successful. I figured it would be the same process as vegetables. Any tips would be gratefully apreciated.
To be honest, all I do to dry my seeds is to place them in a dry place, like a shelf in my greenhouse then place them in paper envelopes or bags till ready for planting next year. I’ve had good success with them so far.