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best seed potatoes to grow

monty don asked on friday 20th programme what best varity of seed potatoes have viewers sown.and i think you cannot go wrong with charlotte and maris bar new potatoes.each year i grow them in potatoes bags and i get within 2to3 pounds of potatoes each bag and i have about 5 bags and sow 4or5 seed potatoes each bag.this year i sown ulster sceptre and they to tasted very nice.also i would like tips on reducing the amount of flies in the greenhouse i am worried they will do harm to my tomato plants.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,737

    Are you talking about fungus gnats in the greenhouse?  At this time of year I wouldn't do anything about them other than increase ventilation, keep the top of the compost a little drier and clear up any rotting leaves etc.

    Hopefully by now you have relatively well-grown tomato plants and it's unlikely that the gnats or their larvae are doing them any harm (it would have to be a huge infestation to damage the roots of decent sized tomato plants).

    You can use a pyrethroid-based insecticide spray earlier in the season, but at this time of year you need insects in your greenhouse to pollinate your tomatoes and any insecticide would kill off your pollinators!

    Also earlier in the year you could have treated the compost with an insecticide to kill off any larvae, but I wouldn't do it now.

    I've never worried about fungus gnats - I have found that good greenhouse hygiene and ventilation keeps on top of the situation and I've never found them causing a problem.

    As for potatoes, I don't often grow them as we have a commercial potato farmer in the family image, but as I had a new veg plot to get into condition I grew a few rows of Annabelle (1st Early) which has performed well in these conditions (the potato farmer was impressed) and the potatoes are a good texture and yellow and buttery in flavour.  I would grow them again.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    I always try to grow early potatoes that are not sold by the supermarket.  The same with tomatoes.  Certainly I see no point in growing Charlotte when there must be 100 different varieties to choose from.

  • LeggiLeggi Posts: 489

    *Rubbish new gardener question coming up*

    I quite like the idea of Christmas potatoes, and the idea of digging them up on Christmas Eve, but do I have to grow a certain variety for a late crop or will the plants just grow slower (in normal years) than the varieties sown earlier?

    I'd also be interested to hear which varieties make the best roasties?

  • SpottydogSpottydog Posts: 1

    I was surprised that Monty found "International Kidney" disappointing.  I have grown them in bags several times and have always been pleased with the yield and taste.  They also always hold their shape when cooking.  Just this afternoon, I emptied one bag and ended up with 3lb of potatoes (from 5 seed potatoes).  Looking forward to eating some this evening, simply boiled and tossed in butter!!

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267

    Leggi - It's best to plant 1st earlies for an xmas crop. These come to harvest quicker than 2nd earlies or main crop. Depending where you live I would advise to plant them no later than this month, they will die back at first frost which can be as early as October/November in the NW. Planting in bags/troughs give best results as these can be moved to a sheltered spot should a frost be forcast. When the foilage dies back leave in bags till xmas eve.

    This will be my 3rd year trying, I'll be throwing in the towel if I don't get any this time. Last year the bags froze and I couldn'tdig them out till after the New Year. 

  • LeggiLeggi Posts: 489

    Thanks Zoomer, I shall have a nose around t'internet and find out what varieties there are (and keep my fingers crossed).

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267

    Leggi - they are selling out fast. Try 'Simply Seed', they still have some left and the xmas collection has four varieties. 

  • Miss BecksMiss Becks Posts: 3,468

    Leggi, I have four seed potatoes left over outside from some I bought the other day. I've ran out of containers. I know it's not a lot, but I will quite happily post them to you, sealed and in a little box if you PM me your address. Not sure what variety they are, but I do know they are 1st earlies.They look a bit worse for wear to be honest!

    Of course, I understand if you don't want to share your details, but rest assured, I'm not a weirdo. Just got spuds to spare! image

  • LeggiLeggi Posts: 489

    Sorry Insomnia I'm away for a few days at the moment and hadn't been able to get online sooner to reply to you. Thank you for your very generous offer but I was visiting a garden today where they were selling seed potatoes to go in now (I went for Duke of York, Charlotte and Maris Pipers) so I am no longer in need.

    I can't get over how generous your offer to send me some was though and if you PM me your address there's a little something I'd like to send to you instead. image

  • Miss BecksMiss Becks Posts: 3,468

    Hey, no worries. Isn't that what it's all about. Sharing! image

    Well, if anyone else wants them, send me a PM by the weekend, or I'll find a space for them somewhere. Shame to waste them. The ones I planted are showing new growth through already, so although they looked worse for wear, they are very much alive!!

    Leggi, no need to send me anything, really, but I'll PM my details, as I do love surprises! image

    Let me know anybody, if you want the 4 spare seed potatoes (1st earlies).

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