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Potato Varieties - Which To Choose?

There are several thousand varieties worldwide and about 450+ occasionally grown in the UK. Of these, about 80 are widely grown as commercial crops.

A bewildering surfeit of choice you may think, but don’t be intimidated. If you are an old hand at potato growing you will, no doubt, have your favourites and numerous varieties are available from both specialist suppliers and from general garden suppliers alike. If you're a novice at potato growing - don't worry - there is a lot of fun to be had experimenting and learning.

Why all this choice of potatoes?
One good reason, apart from growing habits and disease resistance is, of course, taste. Different potatoes taste differently. The supermarkets may offer you a choice beyond the simple ‘White or Red’ nowadays but the home grower has a range of flavours far beyond that available in the shops.

The taste of the potato is not just a product of the variety; the type of soil and growing conditions will have an effect. I may enjoy one variety but it can taste quite different when grown in your soil.

Because of the water content and flesh structure, different potatoes cook differently. Some fry well, making great chips (or crisps – Golden Wonder is a potato variety) some boil well and some mash well. Waxy potatoes are better for salads than floury potatoes. However to help and to make things a bit easier we have selected nine of our favourites and easiest to grow varieties which all crop excellently in our climatic conditions.

Our Selection
The list below identifies what potatoes to use for any situation.

Pentland Javelin Seed Potato Tubers
Pentland Javelin
Maturity: First Early
Crop yield: Heavy
Shape: Short Oval
Skin colour: White
Texture: Soft and Waxy
Culinary uses: Boiling, Chipping, Salad
Good Scab Resistance
Good Slug Resistance

Rocket Seed Potato Tubers
Rocket
Maturity: First Early
Crop yield: Large
Shape: Round
Skin colour: White
Texture: Firm and Waxy
Culinary uses: Boiling, Salad
Good Slug Resistance
Tip: Lifting potatoes before full maturity to prevent the tubers from cracking.

Charlotte Seed Potato Tubers
Charlotte
Maturity: Second Early
Shape: Long oval
Skin colour: Yellow
Texture: Firm and Waxy
Culinary uses: Roasting, Boiling, Mashing, Salad
Blight Resistance

Wilja Seed Potato Tubers
Wilja
Maturity: Second Early
Shape: Oval
Skin colour: Light Yellow
Texture: Firm, Waxy and Floury
Culinary uses: Roasting, Boiling, Mashing, Baking, Chipping
Good Scab Resistance
Large crops in shorter amount of time.

Estima Seed Potato Tubers
Estima
Maturity: Second Early
Shape: Large Oval
Skin colour: Light Yellow
Texture: Floury
Culinary uses: Baking, Boiling, Mashing, Wedges
Good Scab Resistance
Good Slug Resistance
Common choice of most supermarkets for baking potatoes

Maris Piper Seed Potato Tubers
Maris Piper
Maturity: Maincrop
Shape: Oval
Skin colour: White
Texture: Floury
Culinary uses: Roasting, Boiling, Mashing, Baking, Chipping, Wedges
Chip shop favourite

King Edward Seed Potato Tubers
King Edward
Maturity: Maincrop
Shape: Oval
Skin colour: White with Pink colouration
Texture: Floury
Culinary uses: Roasting, Boiling, Mashing, Baking, Chipping, Dauphinoise
Good Scab Resistance
Excellent all rounder.

Desiree Seed Potato Tubers
Desiree
Maturity: Maincrop
Shape: Oval
Skin colour: Red
Texture: Floury
Culinary uses: Roasting, Baking, Chipping, Boiling, Wedges, Mashing
Good Scab Resistance
Good Slug Resistance

Pentland Dell Seed Potato Tubers
Pentland Squire
Maturity: Maincrop
Shape: Large Oval
Skin colour: White
Texture: Floury
Culinary uses: Roasting, Baking, Chipping
Good Scab Resistance
Good Slug Resistance