Home brewing antics can now be found at my other blog; http://gettinggrist.blogspot.com/

Friday, 24 January 2014

Potatoes 2014

I mentioned in an earlier post that the local 'Potato Day' had managed to pass me by all these years. The opportunity to peruse over 80 varieties of seed potato and to purchase, by the individual tuber if required, is a great initiative and I understand these events happen up and down the country at this time of the year.

And I only obtained the information from a bedfellow at the local hospital (they say every cloud has a silver lining) during an unplanned stay last year. Without it, I doubt I would have been any the wiser, as their marketing is hardly state-of-the-art;

You'll need to click  this to see

In my quest to find the perfect jacket spud, I selected the varieties listed below. And, as mentioned in last year's post on the great jacket potato quest, it's not just general size and fluffiness I'm after. They need to perform well on my particular plot, in terms of resistance to disease and pests. I'm fed up of lifting nice big spuds, only to find the calling card of slugs and wireworms all over them.

1. Cara (1976) - the benchmark by which all others will be judged. We've had cracking results from Cara in the past, although the most recent harvest did also succumb to the wireworm holes. But in every other respect, they perform.

2. Picasso (1992) - Bred from Cara, but matures a few weeks earlier. This means the tubers aren't in the ground for quite so long, which to my way of thinking, gives the pests less time to cause damage. The description given by the wholesaler also suggests they grow 'over large' if left in too long. How could I resist?

3. Kerr's Pink (1917) - I thought I'd give an old variety a go. A late maincrop variety, with floury flesh and a good flavour according to the marketing blurb.

4. Setanta (1992) - An early maincrop, apparently one of the most blight-resistant varieties in the UK. It's also a red-skinned variety. It may be coincidence, but in my previous trials, the red potatoes have always succumbed to the least damage by slugs and wireworms, so I'll be very interested to see how these fare.

5. Rudloph (2000) - Early maincrop, which was bred to be so fluffy it needs no fat added when used as a baker. I have seen some reports that tubers can be a shade small for decent jacket spuds, but we'll see. And it's another red variety.

6. Ramos -  I purchased these tubers online. I couldn't find out too much about this variety, but I included it as I had a few from the supermarket the other day and they were outstanding. Whether they will grow well for me, though, is another matter. A white, early maincrop.

The other advantages of buying the seed on Potato Day, is that you get to select the tubers yourself, so you have no one else to blame in terms of size and quality.

Potato Day!

And at 22p a tuber, they're very cost effective. Hit the link to the Kerrs Pink with Thompson & Morgan and you'll see they want £5.49 for 10 tubers, plus £4.95 P&P. As they say, you do the math.

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