Available in Shop Only (Non Members price may vary) Early maincrop. The world's most popular red potato, with pale yellow, firm waxy flesh. This well-loved maincrop potato has particularly good drought resistance. Potato 'Desiree' is versatile for all cooking purposes including roasting and baking. Height and spread: 60cm (24").
Desiree (Early Maincrop - Price per lb)
Plant early maincrop potatoes from March. Prior to planting, 'chit' the seed potatoes by setting them out in a cool, bright position (10C/ 50F) to allow them to sprout.
When growing early maincrop potatoes in the ground avoid planting in soil where potatoes have grown for two years in succession to reduce the risk of disease. Prepare the planting area in a sheltered position in full sun on moist well drained soil. Dig in plenty of well rotted manure. Plant potatoes in rows at a spacing of 45cm (18"). Rows should be set out 75cm (2', 6") apart. Place the seed potatoes into 10cm (4") deep trenches and backfill the soil to refill the trenches. When shoots reach 20cm (8"), mound up soil around the shoots leaving just a few cm showing. Repeat this process after a further 3 weeks.
Where space is limited, try growing potatoes in potato bags on the patio. Fill an 8 litre potato bag to just below the top of the bag with good quality compost mixed with some well rotted manure. Carefully plunge a single chitted potato tuber into the compost with the shoots pointing upwards at a depth of 12cm (5") from the soil surface. Place the bags in a sunny position and water regularly to keep the compost moist.
Weed between rows and keep potato plants well watered throughout the growing season. If the risk of frost threatens, draw some soil up around the stems to protect them, or move potato bags to a frost free position in a shed or greenhouse. Early maincrop varieties can be harvested approximately 15 weeks from planting when the foliage begins to turn yellow and die back.