Multi-coloured potatoes

Best Potato Varieties To Grow In The Vegetable Garden

Choose the right potato variety with our easy to follow guide

There are absolutely masses of potato varieties and not all of them are suitable for all the different types of cooking so it pays to do a bit of research first before you get planting; it’s no good buying small salad potatoes if you mainly eat them baked. First Earlies, or New Potatoes don’t generally give as big a crop as maincrop and most of them are suitable for salads. If space is restricted it makes sense to plant these as they are usually fairly expensive in the supermarket. They can be grown in bags and containers and if planted in the ground they are harvested early enough for you to grow another crop where they have been. Plant them in March and harvest around June/July, Swift can be harvested about 60 days from planting if growing conditions are favourable. First Earlies benefit from being ‘chitted’ (click here to read how to do this) as it is thought that this produces a bigger crop and it also reduces the time they spend in the ground.

Second Earlies are planted in March to May and harvested in July/August, they don’t usually give as heavy a crop as maincrop but they can also benefit from being ‘chitted’.

Maincrop tubers can be planted from March to May and harvested from early August to the end of September, these give the heaviest crop and some varieties are suitable for storing. Unfortunately the maincrop varieties are more susceptible to blight but there are resistant varieties being brought out all the time.

Best for chipping

Arran Pilot (1st Early); Cara (main); Duke of York (1st Early); Harlequin (main); Home Guard (1st Early); Kestrel (2nd Early); Kerr’s Pink (main); Maris Piper (main); Orla (main); Pink Fir Apple (main); Red Duke of York (1st Early); Saxon (2nd Early); Sharpe’s Express (1st Early); Swift (1st Early)

Best for roasting

Cara (main); Desiree (main); Harlequin (main); Home Guard (1st Early); Kestrel (2nd Early); Kerr’s Pink (main); Nadine (2nd Early); Orla (main); Red Duke of York (1st Early); Saxon (2nd Early); Sharpe’s Express (1st Early); Swift (1st Early)

Roast potatoes

Best for mash

Desiree (main); Epicure (1st Early); Harlequin (main); Harmony (main); Kestrel (2nd Early); Kerr’s Pink (main); Maris Piper (main); Nadine (2nd Early); Nicola (2nd Early); Orla (main)

Best for baking

Cara (main); Duke of York (1st Early); Foremost (1st Early); Harmony (main); Home Guard (1st Early); Kestrel (2nd Early); Maris Bard (1st Early); Maris Piper (main); Nadine (2nd Early); Orla (main); Pink Fir Apple (main); Red Duke of York (1st Early); Saxon (2nd Early); Swift (1st Early)

Best for boiling

Arran Pilot (1st Early); Desiree (main); Duke of York (1st Early); Epicure (1st Early); Foremost (1st Early); Harlequin (main); Harmony (main); Home Guard (1st Early); International Kidney (1st Early; known as Jersey Royals when grown on Jersey); Kestrel (2nd Early); Kerr’s Pink (main); Maris Bard (1st Early); Maris Piper (main); Nadine (2nd Early); Nicola (2nd Early); Orla (main); Pentland Javelin (1st Early); Pink Fir Apple (main); Red Duke of York (1st Early); Saxon (2nd Early); Sharpe’s Express (1st Early); Swift (1st Early)

Best for salad

Charlotte (2nd Early); Duke of York (1st Early); Epicure (1st Early); Foremost (1st Early); Harlequin (main); International Kidney (1st Early; known as Jersey Royals when grown on Jersey); Maris Bard (1st Early); Nicola (2nd Early); Pentland Javelin (1st Early); Pink Fir Apple (main); Swift (1st Early)

Blight resistant

Cara (main); Carolus (main); Orla (main); Sarpo Mira (main); Valour (main)

Best all-round

King Edward (main); Majestic (main)

For more information, hints and tips on growing potatoes just get in touch with our gardening team in the Outdoor Plant department here in store.

Angela Slater
Daughter of a farmer and market gardener so have always had a connection with the outdoors, whether it was keeping animals or producing fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. Along with my work at Hayes Garden World I also have a smallholding, mainly breeding rare breed pigs. I gained an HND and BSc in Conservation and Environmental Land Management, as a result I am an ardent environmentalist and have a keen interest in environmentally friendly gardening. In my time at Hayes I worked for several years in the Outdoor Plant and Houseplant areas