'Orla' potato

The best potato varieties to grow

We highlight the best, most reliable varieties from recent BBC Gardeners' World Magazine trials.

Potatoes are easy to grow, either in the ground or in pots. There are many varieties to choose from, so to help you decide, BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine has put many popular varieties through their paces to find the very best.

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Potato varieties are grouped according to how long they take to mature. First earlies are quickest to mature, taking as little as 10 weeks. Second earlies take another 2-3 weeks. Earlies or new potatoes are delicious eaten straight away, but they don’t store well. ‘Salad’ potatoes are earlies that are particularly good when eaten cold. Maincrop and late-maincrop potatoes take 15-20 weeks and need the most room to grow, and produce large spuds that store well.

You can plant potatoes from late February (in mild areas) to the end of May, starting with first earlies.

More potato growing advice:

Here is our pick of the best, most reliable varieties from BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine trials.

There are many potato varieties to choose from, so to help you decide, BBC Gardeners' World Magazine has put many popular varieties through their paces.

‘Lady Christl’

Potato 'Lady Christl'
Potato ‘Lady Christl’

Type: First early.

Plant: Feb-March.

Harvest: May-June.

Gives a high yield of very tasty, pale yellow tubers. They can also be left to mature as a second early. Good disease resistance.


‘Rocket’

Potato 'Rocket'
Potato ‘Rocket’

Type: First early.

Plant: Feb-March.

Harvest: May-June.

Produces heavy crops of round, white, waxy tubers. Quick-maturing and can be harvested as ‘baby’ new potatoes, too.


‘Charlotte’

Potato 'Charlotte'
Potato ‘Charlotte’

Type: Second early.

Plant: March-April.

Harvest: July-August.

A high-yielding, waxy, flavoursome potato. A good all-rounder, it’s Monty Don’s favourite.


‘Vivaldi’

Potato 'Vivaldi'
Potato ‘Vivaldi’

Type: Second early

Plant: March-April

Harvest: July-September

A versatile spud, said to have fewer calories than other varieties. Harvest early or leave to mature as a maincrop.


‘Jazzy’

Potato 'Jazzy'
Potato ‘Jazzy’

Type: Second early

Plant: March-April

Harvest: July-August

Produces very generous crops of small tubers delivering a strong, sweet flavour. A versatile potato. Grows well in bags.


‘Orla’

Potato 'Orla'
Potato ‘Orla’

Type: First early/maincrop.

Plant: March-April.

Harvest: September-October.

A first early which can be left to bulk up as maincrop. Good blight and disease resistance, also tolerates drought.


‘Carolus’

Potato 'Carolus'
Potato ‘Carolus’

Type: Maincrop.

Plant: April.

Harvest: September-October.

Produces heavy crops and has good resistance to blight. Combines a slightly floury texture with full flavour.


‘Pink Fir Apple’

Potato 'Pink Fir Apple'. Photo: Getty Images.
Potato ‘Pink Fir Apple’. Photo: Getty Images.

Type: Maincrop.

Plant: April.

Harvest: September-October.

Heritage variety with long, knobbly, pink-skinned tubers. Gives a nutty flavour similar to a salad potato, but matures late.


‘Sarpo Mira’

Potato 'Sarpo Mira'
Potato ‘Sarpo Mira’

Type: Late maincrop.

Plant: April.

Harvest: October.

This pink-skinned variety is bred for excellent blight resistance and gives high yields of floury, tasty tubers that store well.


‘Cara’

Potato 'Cara'
Potato ‘Cara’

Type: Late maincrop.

Plant: April.

Harvest: October.

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Excellent resistance to disease, including blight. Copes well in drought. High yield of tubers, good for baking and chipping.