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Top 10 Potato Varieties

Homegrown potatoes are far tastier than shop bought spuds - and they’re great fun to grow too! Even if you don’t have a large garden or allotment, you can still grow a decent crop in a container on your patio or balcony.

There are plenty of potato varieties from which to choose - everything from first earlies to late maincrops. Here are our customers’ top 10 potatoes - the most popular, tried and tested varieties that have earned a place on this list of all-time favourites...

Maris Piper Potatoes

1. Maris Piper - Maincrop

This well known variety is a chip shop favourite! A popular maincrop potato since the 1960s, Maris Piper is a purple flowered variety that produces good yields with a dry, floury texture. Because of their particularly high dry-matter content, these splendid spuds make excellent chips and the perfect roast potatoes - soft and fluffy inside with a beautifully crisp skin. 

Rooster Potatoes

2. Rooster - Late Maincrop

Rooster makes a great choice for your Christmas dinner. This versatile Irish potato has found its niche as a top quality late maincrop with a fabulous flavour. The red skinned tubers have pale yellow, floury flesh that won’t fall apart during cooking, making them ideal for crunchy roasties, fluffy mash or a buttery baked potato. Delicious, however you cook them. 

Arran Pilot Potato

3. Arran Pilot - First Early

A reliable old favourite that remains as popular as ever! This traditional, first early variety produces white tubers with firm, waxy flesh. Renowned for its deliciously earthy flavour, Arran Pilot should be cooked straight from the ground to be enjoyed at its best. Eat hot or cold as a new potato or as a fabulous salad variety.

Cara potato

4. Cara - Maincrop

Potato ‘Cara’ proves extremely reliable in almost any soil. This resilient maincrop copes well with drought and shows good resistance to eelworm and blight. No wonder it’s such a popular choice with allotment growers. The oval tubers are particularly uniform, with attractive red eyes and fluffy flesh that makes great jacket potatoes or chips.

Pink Fir Apple Potato

5. Pink Fir Apple - Late Maincrop

Pink Fir Apple is a heritage variety that dates back to 1850 and is simply unmatchable by modern spuds! The knobbly, pink skinned tubers have real character and make an attractive addition to your plate. Inside, the waxy flesh is buttery yellow with a distinctive ‘nutty flavour’ that really sets it apart. Boil or steam them whole and enjoy with late summer salads.

Sapro Mira Potato

6. Sarpo Mira - Late Maincrop

This late maincrop will store for months! Potato ‘Sarpo Mira’ has it all - incredible blight resistance, good slug resistance, and it grows in almost any soil. This reliable variety produces heavy crops of red-skinned tubers with a floury texture, making it one of our favourite ‘all rounders’ in the kitchen. For the best quality crops, leave the tubers in the ground for an extra 4 weeks after cutting back the foliage. This allows the skins to ‘set’ prior to lifting.

Charlotte - Second Cropping

7. Charlotte - Second Cropping

Held back for planting later in the season, second cropping potatoes are harvested from autumn to Christmas! Potato 'Charlotte' is a very popular variety producing pear shaped, yellow skinned, waxy tubers and creamy yellow flesh of first class flavour. Delicious hot or cold. 

Maris Peer Potato

8. Maris Peer - Second Early

This is a popular variety with restaurateurs for its excellent flavour and creamy yellow flesh that holds its shape during cooking. Maris Peer produces good yields of small, new or salad potatoes that can be enjoyed either hot or cold. This variety is particularly notable for its gently scented, purple flowers that make an attractive feature on the allotment or vegetable plot.

Setanta Potato

9. Setanta - Maincrop

This flavoursome potato was voted top of the red-skinned varieties in our own taste tests. Potato ‘Setanta’ is a great choice for making deliciously fluffy roasties with a lovely crunch on the outside. The buttery flesh makes excellent baked spuds and mash! It has a reputation for producing colossal yields, similar to ‘Rooster’, and shows good drought tolerance which makes it a useful allotment variety.

Abbot Potato

10. Abbot - First Early

A favourite with our customers and well worth a try! This first early variety is a heavy cropper producing high yields of small, oval tubers if lifted early - perfect for salads or enjoyed as a new potato. If Potato 'Abbot' is left in the ground the tubers will develop into larger, summer bakers or can be made into tasty chips.

If you’re new to growing potatoes then we have plenty of advice to get you started with our handy potato hub page. And if you’re still not sure which variety to try, our Potato Selector Guide is a helpful resource.

Sue Sanderson T&M horticulturalist

Written by: Sue Sanderson

Plants and gardens have always been a big part of my life. I can remember helping my Dad to prick out seedlings, even before I could see over the top of the potting bench. As an adult, I trained at Writtle College where I received my degree, BSc. (Hons) Horticulture. After working in a specialist plantsman's nursery, and later, as a consulting arboriculturalist, I joined Thompson & Morgan in 2008. Initially looking after the grounds and coordinating the plant trials, I now support the web team offering horticultural advice online.

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