Potato, Potato

Yeeha! My seed potatoes arrived last week. I ordered two varieties from the Organic Catalogue. The first is Maris Bard (early) and the second is Robinta (early maincrop) and I was quite happy with my small selection until I visited mtp. I bumped into Clive who assured me that he would be growing no less than nine varieties this year. One of which would be the superior Pink Fir Apple (very knobbly and difficult to peel, says Clive, but worth every minute). So, the next day I also bought a bag of Pink Fir Apple (salad) potatoes from the local garden centre. Now I have three varieties chitting happily in the dining room. The photo shows Robinta, which is the first to start sprouting, with Maris Bard not far behind. PFA is yet to show.

18 Comments on “Potato, Potato

  1. Hi, I really love your blog – I check it all the time. I especially love the fact that practically in every post you have an absolutely superb close-up/macro photo – your photography is amazing! I have an allotment blog of my own and I have included a link to your blog. I wonder if you’d consider adding my blog to your list of links?

    Thanks, Dave.

  2. Hi Dave, no problem, your site looks great. Nice to see someone recording their backbreaking efforts along with the rest of us :)
    Thanks for comments about my photos. I don’t have a macro lens (wish I did) so I just get as close as I can without blurring out the photo. Seems to work!

  3. Try British Queens, my Grandad used to grow them by the field when I was a nipper, the worlds most floury potato, big buggers too, lush……shame I haven’t been able to buy them over here, they seem to be a variety cultivated only in Northern Ireland.

  4. You may not get the PFA’s to sprout – they can be notoriously slow. If they don’t, don’t worry, just plant them as they are. I had some the year before last and I can’t remember whether they sprouted or not.

  5. Thanks Muppet – they have tiny sprouts on them now so I’ll wait a little longer before I plant. I went to mtp today and it was snowing – so too early for potatoes yet :)

  6. My pink fir apples are sprouting away merrily, but the info I can find is rather vague about the best time to plant them out – any ideas? I live in the south east, with nice, well-cultivated soil.


  7. Enjoyed reading through your Blog.
    My earlies, Maris piper, and Charlotte are chitting.
    Hope to have my greenhouse up soon.
    I placed link to your blog on mine.

  8. Charlie – do you know I’ve got no idea when to plant out the PFA! It wasn’t until you mentioned it that I realised I have no information on them. I know their a salad potato but does that mean planting early or late. I will post on A4A and report back!

  9. Mid April planting, then harvest in early October … for the Pink Fir Apple. So say the A4A crowd anyway.

  10. The new carrot idea is good: I tried something similar after numerous failures and it worked a treat. I did a slit trench with a spade though and filled it with compost, rather than individual dibber holes. Got lovely carrots for the very first time…

  11. Hi.
    Today I lifted some PFA from my allotment plot and was searching the web for a good recipe for a salad dressing for them. Google returned a link to your blog and I’ve found it very interesting to read the comments on the delightful Pink Fir Apple. I’d like to offer an alternative to growing PFA as a maincrop spud as I plant in mid may and lift mid august. You do not get the size or yield of a maincrop spud but you do get lots of 2 to 3 inch tender, thin skinned tubers that are the perfect size for spliting and tossing in butter. I think that grown like this they are the “baby sweetcorn” of the potato world.

  12. Hi Dave – yes I agree. I

    have been harvesting Pink Fir Apple now for about a month and the yeilds are significantly lower than other potatoes. For instance I might pull up one whole plant and only get three potatoes on it.

    But… I would say it’s still worth growing them if you have space because they’re just so cute..!

  13. I lifted my pink fir apples this weekend, September 16th. Yeild is good, as much as 3kg per plant. Interestingly some plants have 6 to 10 almost unifirm potatoes with few knobbly bits, typically 5 to 6″ long and about 1″ thick. Other plants have 1 or 2 “hands” of 5 or 6 joined potatoes with a total weight of 1kg or more.
    No disease, just wonderful salad potatoes that are great boiled, fried or best of all, cooked in butter and cream in the oven!

  14. This is fascinating. I have of late become more and more interested in the history of the potato. I’ve heard that former Education Secretary Kenneth Baker tried to get Potato Studies into the National Curriculum – is this true, and – if so – are there any extant text books or teaching materials on potatoes available? I’d love to get my son Maris, who is 10 years old, interested in the noble tuber.

  15. hi bought some PFA from a farmers market and loved em!! would now like to try and grow my own. i have this idea to grow them in pots ive seen new potatoes grown like this and very successfully the idea being is when you want em just select a pot and lift them. also good for staggered planting. will PFA lend themselves to this method?

    yours george probert

  16. hi there
    interesting comments re the pink fir…
    discovered this potato earlier in the year: delicious if just 3/4 blanched in salted water, sliced length ways, transfered into a roasting dish with olive oil and s’n’p, serve tossed with a squeeze of lemon juice over the top…wow! nutty, kinda creamy, and sensational -just like that
    i’m a balcony gardener, so after leaving a bag in the pantry too long, thought i’d plant the little fellas
    i got a cpl of big black plastic buckets, planted them about a hand’s depth, and they took off. i was staggered at how quickly they became big leafy plants.
    truth be told i couldnt tell you exactly how long they’ve been in the dirt, but as its just gone spring down here in new zealand, it wouldve been late winter. i am at pres wanting to dig em up and see how theyr doin, but having never grown spuds before…
    i’ve read that when they flower theyr ready…
    any feed back on this??

  17. ive just purchased 5 pfa in a packet i live in hull east yorks
    can i still plant them although no shoots on them ive grown other potatoes and got good yields could i grow them in big bins like i do with my other potatoes

  18. I have been growing Pink Fir Apple for at least 10 years and have saved my own seed after buying them in the first year. I find they never seem to chit (sprout) like other varieties, however early I start! It doesn’t seem to matter as they always grow without problems. Yields aren’t high but they are fine. I have to lift mine in September as we have so many slugs here that they ruin them if left any longer. They are a brilliant potato, though I seem to grow amazing shapes made of up to 10 tubers joined together -very rude in some cases!! They keep incredibly well – we were still eating ours in March this year. If you haven’t tried them you must…….