This is the time of year when many of us order our seed potatoes for delivery in the new year but which varieties to choose?
First earlies, second earlies and maincrop are the main categories, but within each there is a huge range of varieties to choose from.
Deciding which is best for you is often a matter of personal preference based on familiarity. After all everyone sees King Edwards and Rooster in all the supermarkets so they must be good mustn’t they?
Well, these are commercial varieties, commercially grown using fertilizers and pesticides for maximum yield rather than maximum taste.
That’s not to say that they aren’t suitable for growing on the allotment, but better alternatives that suit our conditions may be available.
But how to decide?
The AHDB Database provides data on GB-certified potato varieties that have undergone independent resistance testing for key pests and diseases and allows anyone to check out what are the pros and cons for each variety.
Before you order a particular variety it is worth checking out whether really is the right choice for you.
After all, the descriptions in catalogues do not mention that Maris Piper is susceptible to scab.
I had to find that out the hard way.