Seed Potatoes

The Allotment Shop sells seed potatoes either singly (so you can try a few of a variety you don't know) or in bulk. For example, one plot holder buys a 25 kg sack of his favourite variety every year! They are available from mid-February.

For several years, we have also organised a Potato Day in February at which there will be people on hand who can tell you about the different varieties, how to grow them, entertain children, while our Cafe produces potato-themed lunches.

You may also be able to pre-order in late-summer. Your choice of varieties is much greater then. Depending on variety, there may be a minimum quantity for pre-order of a 2.5 kg net. Delivery would be in February 2015. These orders must be pre-paid.

Peter
Manager, the Allotment Shop at Ally Pally

NB As a guide, 1 kg of seed potatoes will give you 10-12 potatoes, and should be enough for a 3 - 4 metre (12 foot) row. Main crop potatoes need a little more room than earlies. Plant early potatoes about 30 cm apart (1 foot), and main crop about 35 cm apart (14 inches). Rows of earlies should be about 60 cm apart (2 feet) while rows of mains should be about 75 cm apart (2.5 feet).

Notes on some well-known and not so well-known varieties

1st earlies

Accent: High yielding, short oval pale yellow
Arran Pilot: white skin colour, very early, good flavour
Casablanca: white skin and flesh
Duke of York: yellow flesh, roasts well, tasty, old fashioned flavour
Epicure: High yielding with deep eyes. Floury and tasty. White skin (£3.65)
Foremost: russet skin, good scab resistance
Lady Christl: waxy yellow tubers, good scab resistance
Homeguard: very early, good boiler, good scab resistance
Maris Bard: high yield, white skin
Pentland Javelin: eelworm and scab resistant, good boiler
Red Duke of York: deep red, vigorous grower
Rocket: Boiling, salads and chipping
Swift: very early
Vanessa: early red
Winston: early, good drought resistance

2nd earlies

Brtish Queen: Britain’s most popular 2nd early
Catriona: blue/purple eye splashes
Estima: big yields of large yellow, waxy tubers
Marfona: high yielding, waxy baker, stores well
Maris Peer: popular, firm texture, lots of round white tubers
Nadine: Good disease resistance, big crops that store well, white, waxy
Spunta: original Cyprus potato, good for salads, drought resistant (£3.65)
Wilja: High yield of uniform white tubers

Main crop

Cara: Red eyes with high yields, disease resistant
Desiree: popular red, vigorous, fairly waxy
King Edward: In spite of its ready availability commercially, still one of the best all-rounders
Keers Pink: fine grained, pink
Maris Piper: good chipper
Majestic: stores well
Picasso: massive yields, good keeper
Pentland Crown: robust, drought resistant, disease resistant
Romano: Good disease resistance, high yield, uniform red tubers
Rudolph – ORGANIC ; red skin, high yield (£3.65)
Organic Sarpo Mira: high resistance to foliar blight (3.65)

Salad

Charlotte: reliable, high yielding, waxy light yellow tubers
Anya: A cross between Desiree and Pink Fir Apple (2kg net)
Pink Fir Apple: long, knobbly pink tubers (£3.65)
Nicola: yellow, waxy
International kidney: also known as ‘the Jersey Royals’ (when grown in Jersey)