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The first of our 2021 selection of Seed Potatoes have arrived and we have a splendid selection to choose from.
We anticipate that our full range will be available from mid-late January 2021. We advise that you call us on 01727 822255 or email email@example.com to check availability if you would like particular varieties, as some arrive with us later than others.
The majority of our seed potatoes are sold ‘loose’ so you can ‘fill-a-bag’ with your chosen varieties. A small number of our varieties are available as pre-packs. Many of our customers choose to fill-a-bag with 2 or 3 potato varieties – a great way to try something new and maximise your growing space with a selection of different varieties!
First Early Varieties
ACCORD – A high yielding variety producing tasty cream and bright skinned tubers. Disease resistant.
ARRAN PILOT – An old favourite. Kidney shaped tubers with white flesh and skin. Matures early and rapidly with waxy texture and a good flavour. Moderate resistance to disease.
CASABLANCA – A modern high yielding variety with clean smooth white oval tubers with shallow eyes. Good flavour. Ideal for chipping, baking and boiling.
DUKE OF YORK –Long oval shaped potato with pale whitish-yellow skin, and a light yellow flesh. Best eaten when young when it has a rich sweet flavour. An old variety that is amongst the first of the earlies.
FOREMOST – Oval shaped; white flesh and skin. This cultivar has an excellent reputation for high yields with a good flavour and slightly waxy texture. It is ideal for boiling and mashing.
HOME GUARD – A World War II favourite that remains popular with gardeners today due to its early cropping. It produces round to oval white skinned tubers with creamy white flesh.
LADY CHRISTL – A gardeners favourite due to high early yields. Produces smooth, pale yellow skinned tubers. Easy to grow and well suited to growing in containers and potato bags, Good for boiling, steaming and sautéing.
MARIS BARD – Oval shaped; white skin and white to cream flesh, soft yet waxy with an earthy taste. One of the most widely grown earlies, producing heavy crops of well-flavoured tubers. Suitable for boiling and most other methods.
PENTLAND JAVELIN – Medium sized oval, with a white skin and white flesh. It has a soft waxy texture. A good new potato, but also bakes well later in the season.
RED DUKE OF YORK – Large tasty oval tubers, deep red skin with pale yellow flesh. Great flavour, suitable for chipping, roasting, or makes an excellent summer baker.
ROCKET – Uniformly round; white-skinned, white flesh. It is firm, waxy and well-flavoured. One of the earliest croppers. Ideal for baking, boiling, chipping, mashing, roasting and for use in salads.
SHARPES EXPRESS – Oval with white skin and creamy flesh. A good flavoured potato that needs care when boiling. This cultivar is later than most, but tubers store well. A good choice for heavy soils.
SWIFT – Earliest potato to crop. Oval shaped tubers with pale yellow skin and creamy white flesh. Produces small tops making it an excellent choice for planting in containers. For an even earlier crop try planting under polythene or cloches. Excellent for boiling or using as a salad potato.
WINSTON –Smoothed skinned Oval shaped tubers with cream colour flesh. Excellent for boiling and using in salads. Disease resistant. A very popular successful showbench variety.
Second Early Varieties
BRITISH QUEEN – white skins and white flesh and a great flavour. Floury texture, making it ideal for boiling. This variety has a Royal Horticultural Award of Garden Merit.
CHARLOTTE – High yielding waxy salad potato. Oval-shaped with pale yellow flesh, excellent flavour that has good cooking qualities.
ESTIMA – Large uniform oval shaped tubers with light yellow skin and firm flesh. It has a moist texture and mild flavour. A heavy cropper with an exceptionally long season. Ideal for baking, boiling and chipping.
INTERNATIONAL KIDNEY – technically a main crop potato that most people think of as an early. It has oval shaped tubers, with white/yellow skin and firm white flesh. Famous for being waxy with a delicious buttery flavour. Excellent for boiling and salads.
KESTREL – Long oval shaped; white/blue skin, pale yellow flesh and purple eyes. A modern Scottish variety with an excellent flavour. A popular showbench variety with medium sized tubers. Ideal for baking, roasting and especially for chipping.
MARFONA – Oval shaped; yellow skin; pale yellow waxy flesh. A high yielding variety which produces large uniform tubers which has good drought resistance. Ideal for boiling, baking, mashing and roasting.
MARIS PEER – oval-shaped, white skinned with creamy flesh. Good texture ideal to use as new potatoes – they do not break up. Attractive scented purple flowers. Best planted close and kept earthed up.
NICOLA– Oval to long oval-shaped tubers. Smooth yellow skin and deep yellow flesh. Shallow eyes. The texture is waxy with an excellent buttery taste. Good resistance to scab. A very popular salad potato
RATTE – Second Early. Long oval shaped tubers with yellow skin and cream flesh. Very like the better-known Pink Fir Apple but earlier. Great hot or cold. Good for boiling, steaming and sautéing.
SARPO UNA – Red skinned salad, delicate taste with pure white flesh. Perfect for container growing, harvest early as a waxy salad or leave longer in the ground for a heavy crop of baking potatoes.
WILJA – Oval shaped; pale yellow flesh. It is a very popular cultivar due to its excellent flavour, cooking qualities, high yields and reliability. Ideal for boiling, baking and chipping.
ACOUSTIC – New variety, great all-rounder, easy-to-grow and excellent blight resistance. Round potatoes with a pale-yellow flesh and delicious taste. If lifted early the texture is waxier and the potatoes are good for salad and boiling. If lifted later the texture becomes floury making the potatoes good for chips, mashing and roasting.
BELLE DE FONTENAY – Early Maincrop. Long slightly bent shaped tubers with pale yellow skins. Yellow flesh which is firm and waxy with an excellent buttery flavour that Improves with storage. Suitable for boiling, mashing and for use in salads.
BLUE DANUBE –Early main crop. Bright white flesh and blue skin. Excellent for roast potatoes. Blight resistant. Developed by the Sarvari research trust and is the first variety without the Sarpo prefix
CARA – Round or oval shape; white skin with pink eyes and creamy flesh. Mild flavour and moist waxy texture. High yielding late maincrop cultivar that is disease resistant. Best used for roasting, baking or for wedges.
DÉSIREE – Smooth red skin, and pale creamy yellow flesh. A very popular cultivar due to its heavy cropping, consistent performance, and success in most soil types. It is tolerant of dry conditions and the firm textured tubers have an excellent flavour. Good all-round cooking qualities – holds its shape well when cooked. Said to be the world’s most popular red potato.
GOLDEN WONDER –A late maincrop variety Very tasty floury flesh that improves with storage. Long oval shaped tubers with a russet skin. Suitable for baking, frying and roasting.
KING EDWARD – Oval shaped tubers with attractive red splashes over the eyes. Cream to pale yellow flesh and a floury texture. One of the best-known potatoes. A moderate yielding cultivar with excellent cooking qualities, especially for mashing, roasting and baking.
MARIS PIPER – Slightly oval shaped with cream skin and flesh, Pleasant floury texture and taste. This cultivar produces an excellent yield, and its cooking qualities are rated very highly making it excellent for baking, boiling and roasting. It is especially popular for chipping PENTLAND CROWN – Oval tubers with white skin and creamy white flesh. This late maincrop is claimed to produce higher yields than other popular cultivars. Ideal for baking, boiling or roasting.
PICASSO – Oval-round-shaped tubers with striking red eyes and white waxy flesh. Very high yielding variety with a good resistance to disease. Great many cooking uses suitable for boiling / salads.
PINK FIR APPLE – Long knobbly, misshapen potatoes with a pink blush on white skins and creamy yellow flesh. Firm and waxy with a delicious nutty flavour. This unusual cultivar is over a century old and is worth trying. They are delicious boiled as new potatoes or used cold in salads.
SARPO AXONA – A pink skinned main crop variety with creamy white flesh. Related to Sarpo Mira. Outstanding blight resistance. Heavy yields of large tubers so it makes them ideal as a baked potato.
SARPO KIFLI – A high yielding salad potato and can be kept until Spring. Long shape with creamy white flesh. Good all-round disease tolerance. Ideal for growing in raised beds and containers. SARPO MIRA – Late main crop. Long oval tubers with red skins and shallow eyes. Cream flesh. A vigorous variety capable of growing in a wide range of conditions. The first of the Sarpo varieties developed by the Hungarian Sarvari family, very disease (blight) resistant.
SARPO SHONA – White skinned, floury tubers which store well. Strong blight and disease tolerance. Matures early with large yields, good for small gardens and container growing. Great multi-use potato.
SETANTA – Almost completely resistant to foliar blight. Has a red skin with contrasting yellow flesh. Produces large oval tubers with a good flavour. With a high dry matter, they make a great all-round potato. Great for mashing, roasting, chipping and boiling.
Smaller packs of Potatoes are available in the following varieties.
These are not included in our ‘fill-a-bag’ section.
ALOUETTE – Second Early
ANYA – Second Early
BLUE DANUBE – Early Maincrop
BLUE CONGO – Maincrop
BONNIE – Second Early
CAESAR – Maincrop
CARLINGFORD – Second Early
CAROLUS – Maincrop
GEMSON – Second Early
HARRY – Early Maincrop
MARY’S ROSE – Early Maincrop
MAYAN ROSE – Maincrop
MCCAIN PREMIERE – Maincrop
MCCAIN ROYAL – Maincrop
MCCAIN SHEPODY – Early Maincrop
PREMIERE – First Early
ROOSTER – Maincrop
VIVALDI – Second Early
Planning the Crop
Potato cultivars fall into three main categories, First Early, Second Early and Maincrop. First Earlies form potatoes and bulk up very early, and are usually harvested in June, July and August, when the haulm is still green. Maincrop cultivars are lifted in the autumn when the haulm has died down. It is the Maincrop cultivars that are long keeping, and are relied upon for winter storage.
Potatoes grow best in an open position, which must not be a frost pocket. If grown in shade, the haulm, or green top, becomes lank and spindly as it reaches upwards for light.
Potatoes grow reasonably well in most soils, but the best results are obtained from land that has been well manured. Dig the ground in autumn or winter, working in compost or well-rotted manure at the rate of a bucketful to the square yard.
A fortnight before planting, dress the ground with a mixture of 2 parts superphosphate, 1 part sulphate of ammonia and 1 part sulphate of potash, using the mixture at the rate of 4oz per square yard (120g per square metre). Alternatively, apply a general fertiliser Such as Fish, Blood and Bone at 2-3 oz per square yard (60-90 g. per square metre).
When choosing potato “seed”, it is important that “Certified Seed” is planted. Such seed has been inspected and grown under rigid conditions, so that it is certified virus-free. All seed potatoes sold at Aylett Nurseries are certified.
Preparing Seed Potatoes for Planting
Having bought your seed potatoes take them from their bags and put in a cool, well-ventilated room. Set them in seed trays with their ‘eyes’ uppermost. It is from here that the sprouts will grow, this is known as “chitting”. Chitting is vital for earlies and is useful for maincrop up until early March.
Place the trays in a cool room or greenhouse. In four or five weeks the sprouts should be sturdy and ideally, ½ -1” (12-25mm) long. Sprouted in this way, the potatoes have a longer growing season and produce a heavier crop.
Plant First Early potatoes between mid-March and early April. Plant Second Earlies in early April and Maincrop cultivars towards the end of the month. Use a draw hoe to make drills 4” deep and set the potatoes at the bottom of the drills so that the sprouts are uppermost. Plant First Earlies 12” apart and 2ft between the rows. Main crops will need more room to develop – 15” between the tubers, and 36” between the rows. If some of the tubers are on the large side, they can be cut in half providing there are two or three healthy shoots on each half. The ideal size of a seed potato is about the size of a hen’s egg.
When the first shoots appear draw soil over them with a hoe, increasing the height of the ridge, as protection from late frosts. Earth up the plants again when they are about 9” (230mm) high, and again a fortnight or so after that. Continue earthing at intervals until the foliage meets between the rows.
Early Potatoes may be grown in containers, large pots or tubs that are at least 40cm deep are ideal. Rest two chitted tubers on 10-13cm of compost in your chosen container, and then cover with 10cm of compost. Water them in and stand in a light sheltered spot. When the stems are 15cm tall add a further 10cm of compost, repeat until the plants have grown to 5cm over the top of the container.
Pests & Diseases
Many diseases, pests and disorders can attack potatoes and reduce yields, but only 4 are likely to be a serious threat: potato cyst eelworm, slugs, wireworm and blight.
An attack of potato cyst eelworm will make the plants appear weak and stunted. Lower leaves wither away; upper leaves are pale green and wilt during the day. Haulm dies down prematurely. Marble-sized tubers are produced.
Prevention: Practice crop rotation, especially in light soils. Do not grow potatoes or tomatoes on infected land for at least 6 years.
Slug attacks occur in damp conditions – slugs can ruin maincrop potatoes grown in heavy soil. Prevention: Avoid over-manuring. Apply a slug control in July. Lift the crop as soon as the tubers are mature.
Blight is the most serious potato disease, capable of destroying all the foliage during August in a wet season. The first signs are brown patches on the leaves. Look on the underside of the leaflets – each blight spot has a white mould fringe in damp weather.
Always read the label! When using Fungicides, Pesticides and Fertilisers always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Harvesting & Storage
Potato-lifting time varies considerably from one part of the country to another, depending on prevailing climatic conditions. As a rough guide, you should be able to gather a few new potatoes when about 12-14 weeks have elapsed since planting.
To gather a few early potatoes before the crop as a whole is ready for digging, brush away a little soil from the sides of a ridge and remove any potatoes that have grown to the size of a hen’s egg. Replace the soil over the smaller tubers and leave them to grow. They should at least double in size during the next two or three weeks, after which the crop can be lifted as required.
When lifting potatoes, insert the fork at least 6” (150mm) away from the stems to avoid impaling the tubers. Push it well into the side of the ridge so that the plant can be lifted and thrown between the rows in a single action.
Maincrop potatoes take at least 20 weeks to come to full maturity – that is, to be ready for storing. Some may be dug a few weeks earlier, but they will have to be used immediately since the skins will not yet have set.
Before lifting the entire crop, test one or two potatoes by rubbing the skin with your thumb. If the skin of the tuber does not rub off, the crop is ready for storing. Store potatoes in a dry, cool, but frost-free place. Place them in lightproof but ventilated containers such as boxes or hessian sacks, or pile them on a dry floor and cover with straw.
Even though the potato was being grown in England at the time of the Armada it was not until the Irish and Scottish famines of the 18th century when the potatoes true value was realised. Since then it had become the 2nd most important food crop in Britain. Home-grown potatoes have unequalled flavour, not to mention the satisfaction of eating your own produce!
Today there are numerous varieties from which to choose, to match variables such as soil type, required harvesting time, pest and disease infestations and your preference of flavour, texture and cooking use.
Onion & Shallot Sets
There are several advantages in using sets rather than seed when growing onions and shallots. Firstly, they are quick maturing and secondly, less skill and less soil fertilising is required.
Plant onion sets 4” apart in mid March – mid April, in rows 9” apart. Shallots require more space and should be planted 6” apart in mid February – mid March.
CENTURION – AGM – Good flavoured round onion with very early high yield. Medium term storage. A very popular variety.
HERCULES – AGM – Mid season yellow / brown round bulbs. Strong flavour.
KARMEN – Provides a heavy crop of attractive red-skinned, flattened-globe-shaped onions.
PINK PANTHER – A flat shaped pink skinned set with good yield and keeping qualities. Plant early.
RED BARON – AGM – Very dark coloured flat-round onion with rings right to the centre. Best planted late 3cm deep 13cm apart. Sunny site. Good soil. Improved form of Comred.
SNOWBALL – Deep round bulbs with white skins and flesh. Excellent storing potential.
STUR – Slow to sprout giving a long storage life.
STURON – AGM – Excellent rounded shape. It is a much higher yielding cultivar than Stuttgarter. Very good skin quality. Early to mid season maturing.
STUTTGARTER GIANT – A straw-yellow flat cultivar with good yield and keeping qualities. It has a very early maturing so plant early. An old favourite.
BIZTRO – Red shallot which produces round red/brown coloured skin, pale red inside. Plant early, in mid-February if possible, prefers full sun. Allow room for the shallots to splay out and produce clusters of bulbs. Bolt resistant. Spicy mild flavour and therefore is ideal for pickling
GOLDEN GOURMET – AGM – This improved yellow shallot can be planted in very early spring. Its mild taste makes it excellent for pickling. Particularly well suited for environment friendly cultivation due to the very low susceptibility to fungus diseases. It has a yield greater than most other yellow shallots in cultivation. Have a very long shelf life when stored in a dry and cool place.
RED SUN – This mild shallot is round in shape and recognised for its good storage characteristics. Perfect for salads.
YELLOW MOON – A good, round shallot with an attractive yellow colour. Produces a very healthy and uniform crop with good skin quality. High resistance to bolting and disease.
French Shallots (Pre-Packed)
HERMINE – Mild, gentle flavour. Stores well. White skinned and white fleshed.
LONGOR – AGM – Very long bulbs, highly praised for their robust flavour. Good storage potential.
MELOINE – Subtle sweet flavour. Stores well.
VIGARMOR – Grey skin with pink flesh.
MARCO – Distinctive strong flavour.
SOLENT WIGHT – AGM – Strong flavour with large cloves – stores well.
French Garlic (Pre-Packed)
ARNO – AGM – A softneck garlic with ivory-white skins containing attractive pink cloves with a medium garlic flavour.
CRISTO – AGM – Round bulbs with white skin and pink cloves.
EDENROSE – A high yielding hardneck variety. Rosy skinned cloves with a strong flavour.
FLAVOR – Each bulb contains 9-16 pink cloves. These will store for a long time once ripened.