Potatoes are a staple of many a meal. They go well with everything from meat to fish to other vegetables, and they’re a great source of potassium, iron and vitamins. They can be boiled, mashed, baked, roasted, made into chips… the list is endless!
And if you’re mad about mash or fond of fries, what could be more satisfying than growing potatoes with your very own fair hands? You just need to think about what you want to use them for – take a look at our handy guide so you know exactly what to plant and when.
February-April is the time to be thinking about planting first early varieties.
In March-May, you should think about planting your second early and main crop varieties.
How to grow your own potatoes – First early
Here’s when to start growing potatoes. First early potatoes are the earliest to mature, and should be planted between February and April. They’ll be ready to harvest from May to August, so perfect for those early summer garden parties and picnics. Here are the most common first early varieties:
Pentland Javelin seed potatoes produce a white-skinned potato with firm flesh. They’re ideal for steaming or boiling.
Arran Pilot seed potatoes produce firm potatoes with pale skins. They’re also good for steaming or boiling.
Rocket seed potatoes produce white-skinned potatoes with a waxy flesh. They’re great for boiling or for use in salads.
Second early potatoes mature slightly later than first early varieties, but they’re still ‘early’ potatoes. They generally have firm flesh, so are perfect for salads. Plant between March and May, and they’ll be ready to harvest between July and September.
Anya seed potatoes produce pale-pink-skinned potatoes with a long shape. Anya potatoes are great for boiling or steaming, or using in salads, and they’re a favourite with top chefs!
Kestrel seed potatoes produce oval-shaped white potatoes with blue eyes. Kestrels go well in salads and are tasty when boiled, steamed, mashed or baked.
Maris Peer seed potatoes produce white-skinned potatoes with firm, white flesh. Maris Peers are ideal for steaming, boiling or adding to a salad.
Main crop potatoes are those that you use and store over the winter, such as King Edwards and Maris Pipers. They can be used as new potatoes, but are better left to fully mature and be stored over the winter. Plant them in March-May, and they’ll be ready to harvest from September to October.
King Edward seed potatoes produce white potatoes with red eyes and an oval shape. King Edwards are a traditional favourite and make for fantastic roasties.
Maris Piper seed potatoes produce oval-shaped potatoes with white skin and a creamy, white flesh. Maris Pipers are great all-rounders, and make really good chips.
Desiree seed potatoes produce red-skinned potatoes with a firm, pale-yellow flesh. They’re good all-rounders, but especially tasty when mashed or roasted.
Rooster seed potatoes produce red, oval-shaped potatoes. They’re an extremely popular variety and a unique all-rounder.
Cara seed potatoes produce white potatoes with red eyes and a short, oval shape. Cara potatoes make tasty mash and are also ideal for baking. They store well too.
So there you have it, a guide to all the different types of seed potatoes you can find online at wilko.com, or in your nearest store. And once you’ve chosen your potatoes to grow, check out our guide to growing potatoes.