It’s that time of year again for a good ‘chit’ chat about spuds!
How do you like your potatoes? I particularly love mine mashed with a dollop of butter or roasted until crispy on the outside but soft and fluffy on the inside.
Yesterday I spent my lunch break down at my local market seed potato shopping, its only at this time of year you realise there is so many different wonderful varieties. The big brands are great but I do love to support small or local businesses when I can. You can get a lot more one-to-one advice and they really appreciate your business.
Last year, I shared how I had chosen Charlotte variety as they are a very popular choice and Sarpo Mira as one of the most blight resistant maincrop for my first ever attempt at growing my own. I wanted to give myself the best chance I could for success and they certainly did reward me.
Read my previous blog here for tips on how to ‘chit’ your spuds and give them the best start.
I decided to go for two different varieties this year; Annabelle and King Edward.
I’m sure I don’t need to explain why I chose ‘Annabelle’ variety. I wish I could say it was because they produce a great yield and are a delicious salad potato, but although those facts are true it was purely down to the name.
They are a first early variety producing small long oval tubers with a buttery yellow flesh and waxy texture. I will be growing them predominately in the ground but thanks to their compact tidy growth habit they are also a fantastic choice for containers and sacks.
Plant in March – April, mound up the soil and they will be ready for harvesting between June – July.
Everybody has heard of King Edward variety, they are a firm favourite for roasting and regularly appeared on the potato tasting chart I had on the fridge as a child. Yes, I went through a phrase where I used to rate potatoes I had for dinner by their taste, texture and look. Odd I know! Maybe this is one of the reasons I caused such a giggle on my radio show last year when I said that they were the vegetable I was most looking forward to harvesting. It’s also the excitement and anticipation of knowing what’s hidng under the soil, just like a treasure hunt.
King Edward spuds have a creamy white flesh and light, floury texture. As a late main crop they can be planted from late March and will be ready for harvesting in September – November.
It may not be in the form of a paper chart on my fridge but I will keep you updated on their progress. What varieties have you chosen?
If you are still to choose your 2017 potatoes of choice then don’t worry because now is season for Potato Days and Seed Fairs across the country. Events costs from as little as 50p – to £2 to enter, some even FREE.
One of the most popular and in its 19th year is the Hampshire Potato Day which is taking place this weekend, 28th – 29th January in Whitchurch. Over 110 varieties available as individual tubers, all priced as low as 17p per tuber (7 for £1) or in competitively priced 2.5kg nets – the list of varieties they hope to have this year, with the prices per net, is here.
Don’t think its all just about potatoes either, there is children’s activities, seed sales, talks, homemade preserves, unusual edible plants and lots of tea and cake.
An extensive list of events can be found here. Would love to know if you attend any and your experiences.
It’s certainly not going to be ‘roasting’ this weekend so be sure to keep your ‘jacket’ on and have a great one.
Sorry, couldn’t help myself…I’m a chip off the old block……
13 thoughts on “A peeling potato talk”
I had no intention of growing potatoes, this but ended up with the salad potatoes, Nicola. For the same reason you chose Annabelle!
Yay, it has to be done! Have you grown them before? Was nearly tempted by Inca Bella and Blue Belle too haha.
Never, this will be my first full season and I only have half a plot so potatoes didn’t seem like a good use of the space! At least you have some other types to try next year!
How exciting! I’m really looking forward to my second year. They do take up quite a bit of space but worth it and can always try them in containers too to save space. Yes, exactly, the list is endless so I will never get bored of trying new types. x
A most enjoyable post. I like mashed potatoes too. I’m not surprised that you’ve chosen Annabelle. I’d like to grow King Edwards but on my site they tend to get badly slugged unfortunately. They’re very good prices.
My blog post last Sunday was about what varieties, mainly Charlottes, I’m growing this year. xx
Thank you! I have to try Annabelle variety don’t I 🙂 Compared to the big brands they are much cheaper and more quantity. I was very happy with my Charlotte’s last year. All the best x
I usually go to the Potato Day as part of the RHS early spring show in Westminster. Pennard’s have a humongous choice of potatoes – almost too many to choose from! I’ve had purple potatoes in the past but they disintegrated on cooking so it’s really important to get information about the potatoes you choose. After reading about potatoes in this month’s RHS mag, I quite fancy Jazzy from T&M – supposed to have outstanding flavour for a salad potato – yum!!
I’ll be looking for a potato day round my way next year after seeing this. I must admit I was lazy this year getting them from B&Q. Maybe next year some heritage types.
I’m glad, I’m going to my local one at the end of this month. Great to meet other people too and usually always a good cuppa and cake. What varieties have you gone for?
Did you go to the Hampshire Potato Day event then? (Those signs look familiar.). I suppose Whitchurch is not very far from you really…. I always find it hard to “stick to the plan” with potatoes, and the temptation to buy too many is very strong!
No, but I think the garden centre who are at my market were going to be there so was probably the same. It’s about 50 mins, was hoping to do go but uni had to take priority. I know what you mean about temptation, think I would be in trouble if I could buy them as singles.
Love King Edwards, did some last year in a grow bag and although not as successful as I’d have hoped they were still beautifully melt in the mouth creamy. This year I’ve ordered Maris Piper, King Edwards and a new one for me, ‘ Mayan Gold ‘ ( I liked the name) . storing them in a box in the shed for now till I’m ready to chit them. Also made the mistake of ordering online and then seeing them nearly 5 times cheaper in the shops – even seen some Maris Piper seed potatoes of the same weight in the pound shop! Oh well. 😊