THE GOOD OUL POTATO- some info.

Who doesn't like potatoes.

 We call them spuds,tatties or bruisys depending what part of the world your from. They remain our basic vegetable the main partner for meat ,poultry and fish. You hear an odd time the comment " oh full of carbs, I cant eat them",but I'm sure you all agree its hard to beat a new potato boiled and served with a wee bit of butter and salt and a cold glass of milk-the simple pleasures are the best.
Anyway when I was growing up in Donegal and used to help my Father sow a few acres of spuds for our own use, it was as simple as taking the seed out of the bag and placing it in the drill and waiting for it to grow and then eating it. I didn't know about "Earlies or Maincrops" and that there were other potatoes besides Kerrs Pink and Pentland Dell.
So why dont I tell you a bit about them, and which are Earlies and which are Maincrop. Because it can be confusing when you go into a garden centre and see all these bags that look the same and have fancy names.
I am not going to give you the full list only maybe the basic ones to get you started. There is also First Earlies and Second Earlies an I will just mention the varieties  today.If this is new to you keep it simple.
Here Goes.
I will assume you already know how to plant a potato and all about earthing up as it really is a simple veg to grow.
So what varieties do you want and when.I will give you a few of each.
FIRST EARLIES-------- Plant in mid to late March--Harvest June or July
Duke of York--------Pentland Javelin---------Maris Bard--------Epicure

SECOND EARLIES------Plant in early to mid April--Harvest in July or August
Maris Peer---------Nadine-----------Marfona

MAINCROP--------Plant in mid to late April---Harvest some if required in August and for storage Sept/Oct
Kerrs Pink-----Maris Piper-----King Edward------Desiree----Golden Wonder-----Pentland Dell---

LOOKING AFTER THE POTATOES AS THEY GROW
If you think there will be frost when you see shoots emerging pull a little soil over them for protection.
When the green growth (haulm) is about 9in high hoe up some loose soil around this about 6in high.This will encourage more tubers to grow from the stem.
Water well in dry weather as the tubers as they form will require quite a bit.

HOW DO I KNOW WHEN TO HARVEST
With Earlies wait until the flowers open or the buds drop.Remove soil from the first part of the ridge and examine the tubers.If they are the size of a hens egg you can harvest as New potatoes.

With Maincrops for storage cut of the haulm once the foliage has turned brown and the stems have withered.Remove the cut haulm and wait ten days then lift the roots and let the spuds dry for a few hours.Place them in a wooden box or potato sack and store in a dark frost-free shed. they should keep until spring.
Enjoy.