SLUG AND BLIGHT RESISTANT POTATO VARIETIES
If you have never eaten home grown potatoes before then you may be in for a bit of a surprise. So familiar are we with the shop bought, and flavourless offerings that are produced by the commercial boys, the taste of home grown potatoes will not only bring back forgotten childhood memories when food actually tasted of something (if you are old enough that is), but eating potatoes that actually taste of potatoes can also be a bit of a revelation.
Unfortunately there are two problems that you are likely to come across when growing your own potatoes and that is the unsightly damage caused by slugs and late potato blight. However it also brings you two choices. You can either try to control these problems using either cultural or chemical methods, or you can choose your varieties wisely by growing ones which have been selected for their resistance to slug and blight damage. The important word here is 'resistant' and not slug or blight 'proof' - as yet there is still no such thing unless you are prepare to grow genetically modified produce.
For blight resistant varieties some of the best at the moment are Sante, Remarks, Valor and Robinta. Unfortunately you will be hard pressed to find these varieties at your average, local plant retailer.
However, for blight resistant first earlies that are easy to find, look for Arran Pilot, Epicure, Pentland Javelin, Rocket, and Swift.
For Second earlies try Estima, Kestrel (Very resistant to slug damage), Maris Peer, Nadine, and Romano (both slug and blight resistant).
For main crops choose from the following - Cara (unfortunately prone to slug damage), Desiree (drought and slug resistant), Golden Wonder, and Sarpo Mira (very good slug resistance and excellent blight resistance).
New blight resistant varieties that have have been testing very well are Sárpo Mira, Sárpo Axona and Sárpo Tominia. Keep an eye out for these as even though they are not available yet, they should be reaching plant retail outlets over the next couple of years.
For first earlies the best varieties to plant for resistance to damage from slugs is Arran Pilot and Swift.
For second earlies go for Kestrel, Estima, Epicure, Maris Peer or Nadine.
For maincrop choose from Golden Wonder and Romano.
It's worth mentioning those varieties which have a poor resistance to slug damage and should be avoided if you are already aware of a slug problem where you intent to grow you new potato crops. The varieties most susceptible to slug damage are Maris Piper, Cara and Rooster.
For related articles click onto the following links:
HOW CAN YOU TELL WHEN TO HARVEST POTATOES?
HOW TO CONTROL SLUG DAMAGE ON POTATO TUBERS
HOW TO GROW POTATOES
HOW TO GROW POTATOES IN A BAG
HOW TO GROW POTATOES IN POTS OR CONTAINERS
HOW TO RECOGNISE POTATO BLIGHT - Phytophthora infestans
ORGANIC AND CULTURAL CONTROL OF POTATO BLIGHT
SLUG RESISTANT BEDDING PLANTS
Slug resistant varieties
WHAT ARE THE SAFE ORGANIC ALTERNATIVES TO SLUG PELLETS
WHY AND HOW TO CHIT POTATOES