I have been finally getting the last of the early potatoes out of the ground. They need to be lifted because they are ready but also because I need to clear the ground to get the leeks in. I grew four ‘earlies’ this year: ‘British Queen’, the new ‘Colleen’, good old ‘Red Duke of York’ and ‘Lady Christl’. Being odd, and English, I prefer waxy spuds so I am not sure what all the fuss is about with ‘Queens’ but they were good enough. ‘Colleen’ was introduced in 1996 and has some resistance to blight. I thought it was a great spud with good crops of white tubers and it tasted good too. ‘Red Duke of York’ is an old variety with red skins and I really like it but, as usual, ‘Lady Christl’ has been my favourite. I must admit that some blight hit the foliage and a couple of tubers were damaged because of this. By last week all the foliage had died down. This was registered in 1985 and is of Dutch breeding. It has compact foliage and very few flowers and the tubers are pale with creamy, waxy flesh and I think they taste great. The crop was reasonable although the tuber size was very variable. Though this is bad for farmers it is good for home growers so you can choose what size you want according to how you will use them. The way texture makes this a good choice for potato salads but I think you could use it for anything.
The maincrops are still growing strong so they will not be lifted for at least another month, as long as blight stays away.