Choosing potato varieties is so difficult

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AnneB

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Choosing potato varieties is so difficult
« on: February 03, 2019, 21:57 »
It is our potato day on Saturday.  38 varieties to choose from.  I have my favourites that I have grown before but I am always keen to try new ones.   I am paralysed by choice though.  If I look at on line resources they often disagree - one site says Vivaldi is great for roasts - another says it is no good at all.  Where to begin?

I will be planting 4 rows of potatoes and 5 bags from Wilko.  I have had about 10 different plans, but this is now what I intend to plant.  We have a slightly acidic clay soil that has been improved over the years, but a tendency to waterlogging in wet weather.  At the moment I have decided on:

4 rows:     Red Due of York.   Jazzy.   Kestrel.   British Queen.

5 bags:     Sharpe's Express.   Vivaldi.   Pink Gypsy.    Sarpo Shona.    Carolus

I have grown all 4 of the row ones before and they are favourites, as are Sharpe's Express.   I have tried Vivaldi before and they didn't do well at all due to early blight.  Giving them another go as they are supposed to be good for roasts.  The others are trials to see if I like them.

Does anyone else have all these issues deciding?

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DHM

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Re: Choosing potato varieties is so difficult
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2019, 07:32 »
Oh yes, there is so much choice and I've had to compromise on mine to save waste and money. I wanted to grow jazzy but yesterday I foumf the only supplier of them near me and they were in 2kg bags, no pick your own of these ones. Sharing a row with Pink Firapple, I only needed 5 seed potatoes so a 2kg bag would not have been worth it, and ended up picking some Nicola instead.

I also haven't been able to find Cara this year so have gone with King Edward as my maincrop.

Otherwise kestrel and Red Duke of York as these are my favourites. Got all 4 varieties for 4x11ft rows for 7.50.

So to add to the difficult choice with regards to use, blight resistance and soil type, I also have issues with availability!

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DHM

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Re: Choosing potato varieties is so difficult
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2019, 08:46 »
Just to add to my last comment, I don't think you could ever have a definitive guide to usage (roasting, chipping etc) because as with all things growing related, there as many opinions as there are growers though some varieties are standout in certain categories it would appear... minefield really.

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Goosegirl

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Re: Choosing potato varieties is so difficult
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2019, 12:15 »
It does take a few years to decide what varieties grow best for you and how they perform in the kitchen. On our heavy soil in a raised bed we've ended up with Charlotte because you can harvest them when small but those that are left can sometimes grow to quite a size. Our later cropping ones are Elfe which are good for mash and roasting as opposed to Charlotte which we use for boiled pots. Both of these have a good taste as well.
To fail is a step up on the ladder of wisdom.

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rowlandwells

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Re: Choosing potato varieties is so difficult
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2019, 19:00 »
I think your replies  tend to represent what we all try to achieve a good quality potato for both early  midseason and late together for its cooking. size and taste the latter being my priority


 I've proved from experience that your ground plays an important part in growing all those things mentioned our ground seems to favour red varieties for some reason reds crop  quite well we have been growing Desiree and Cara and international kidney for some time now they have been the best coming second would be charlotte we are also to trial Albert Bartlett rooster  together with  5 other varieties  this season to see how they crop

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greenjay

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Re: Choosing potato varieties is so difficult
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2019, 20:01 »
charlotte first choice but I always like to try a few new varieties. I just make sure I make a note In my journal as to how they perform for me, crop, slug damage, blight, taste and cooking properties.
have fancied some of the blight resistant sapro varieties.

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jaydig

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Re: Choosing potato varieties is so difficult
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2019, 20:01 »
I'm lucky in that one of our local nurseries sells their potatoes individually by weight, so I usually grow two or three rows of my favourites, and then just one thirty foot row with lots of different ones, perhaps just two or three tubers to each variety.  This way I can see how they grow on my soil, and if I like the taste, because taste is so subjective, and what one person loves another may not.  A winner for me last year was Manitou, a red potato that far surpasses Desire in size, volume of crop and flavour. I was also impressed with Pink Gypsy. At least with only growing a few of each if you don't like them, or they don't thrive, you haven't wasted a whole row.

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Debz

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Re: Choosing potato varieties is so difficult
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2019, 11:25 »
A couple of years ago I put 10 different varieties in my Brother-in-laws raised beds so we could try and work out what was good, grew well, tasted nice etc.  The hens pulled the labels and he ate them all without paying any attention to what he was digging up.  Verdict - they were all good but that didn't help me with my little experiment.  He doesn't care as long as he has some growing. 

Now I've got a half plot of my own, I let the kids choose a variety each, we always have Charlotte and we'll see what else we can fit in.  Last year we grew King Edwards but they boil mush really quickly so won't grow them again. 

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Yorkie

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Re: Choosing potato varieties is so difficult
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2019, 19:01 »
I always agonise, and then end up just buying Charlotte  ::) :lol:
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days all attack me at once...

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Flowertot

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Re: Choosing potato varieties is so difficult
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2019, 15:31 »
I always agonise too Yorkie - and then end up getting Charlotte!  :D  ::) I am also trying Kestrel this year because it is always recommended on this forum and we didnt like the Nicola we tried last year.

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Yorkshire Lass

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Re: Choosing potato varieties is so difficult
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2019, 18:21 »
I too am sticking to Charlotte, however as I have a new growing space a bag of Maris Piper fell into my basket at Wilko's.  :blush: :blush: :blush:

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Grubbypaws

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Re: Choosing potato varieties is so difficult
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2019, 10:41 »
For me the best roast potatoes are Setanta. I have not got Vivaldi this year as last year they were devasted by black leg. Instead I am getting more Jazzy. I have been very impressed with them. They are incredibly versatile (salads, boiled, roasted whole or even crushed) and crop for ages. If not picked as a second early they effectively become maincrop. What is not to like  :D

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mumofstig

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Re: Choosing potato varieties is so difficult
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2019, 11:37 »
Funny how much results must be effected by the soil, Jazzy were next to useless here - so tiny they were hardly worth digging up, despite some watering.... I did dig them as didn't want too many volunteers this year, but I bet I've missed lots of tiddlers  ::)

Arran pilots for my early ones this ear, as they did very well on the next plot, so fingers crossed for those. Also growing 10 each of Mayan Gold (also new to me), Charlotte and Sarpo Mira.
Lesley x
I'm not good, I'm not bad - I'm just me, and sometimes I have to apologise for that ;)

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greenjay

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Re: Choosing potato varieties is so difficult
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2019, 20:29 »
The last sack of potatoes I bought were jazzy.
nice taste and boil and chip well.
 they are on the small side.
I could be tempted to try!

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AnneB

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Re: Choosing potato varieties is so difficult
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2019, 20:40 »
The last sack of potatoes I bought were jazzy.
nice taste and boil and chip well.
 they are on the small side.
I could be tempted to try!
I grew Jazzy last year and they were excellent for me.  They tasted good too.  We have a clay soil that is prone to waterlogging mostly, but I had to water them last summer.



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