Last Updated on January 11, 2022 by Real Men Sow
Desiree Potatoes are one of the most popular potato varieties for home growers in England and Wales. Desiree potato is a variety of red-skinned potato (Solanum tuberosum) which was originally bred in the Netherlands in 1962. It is a variety of potatoes usually used for main-crop and is highly prized by gardeners and allotment holders.
Desiree potatoes are of medium height, and can sprawl a little later on. The flowers are reddish-violet, fading to white. The tubers themselves are fairly large if left to mature to full size as a maincrop potato. But they can also be harvested a little early for an early maincrop if desired.
Benefits of Growing Desiree Potatoes
Desiree potatoes have a very high resistance to drought and are also resistant to disease which makes it easier than growing sweet potatoes. This potato variety can also be used in areas where there is less water or it is difficult to provide adequate irrigation.
This variety is resistant to other problems, like potato warts or skin spots. It is also resistant to tuber late, PVY, and blackleg. It is also resistant to PVA, fusarium dry rot, and PVX.
People also love this potato variety because it is very waxy, which allows for a wide range of uses in the kitchen. You can use it for mashing, chipping, roasting and many other uses.
Where to Buy Desiree Potato Seeds?
You should not have any difficulty getting good-quality seed potatoes. Desiree potatoes variety is very popular and can be found in many garden centres as well as online. This variety can often be found in bargain supermarkets.
For best results, it is a good idea to look for seed suppliers that are certified and reputable. This will allow you to know where the seeds come from and ensure they are free of pests and diseases. A reputable supplier will guarantee that you receive between 10 and 11 good-sized seed potatoes per 1kg bag.
Where to Grow Desiree Potato?
Desiree potatoes are able to be grown in containers or the ground, just like other potatoes. They thrive in soil that is fertile, rich in organic matter, and has a moderately high level of drainage given that it is under full sunlight. Potatoes can be grown in soils with moderate pH but they do best in soils that are slightly acidic.
When to Plant Desiree Potatoes?
Desiree potatoes should be chitted in the second half February, and then transplanted less than one month before the last frost date in your region. The best time to plant outdoors is late March or early April for most people. Desiree potatoes can be chitted before planting. However, opinions vary on how much this will make a difference.
When to Harvest Desiree Potatoes?
Desiree potatoes can be harvested as soon as they are grown in the best conditions. These potatoes should be ready for harvest by the middle of July, the first week in August or slightly later. This can vary depending on the year’s conditions. To get the best out of your potatoes, make sure they are properly stored.
Desiree potatoes should not be the only option. There are many other varieties of potato that are interesting and versatile. However, Desiree is a great option for gardeners in England and Wales.
General Care for Desiree Potato Plants
Desiree potatoes are no different from other potatoes in terms of care. The plants should be watered only during dry periods, because this variety is quite drought-resistant.
It is important to ensure that your planting area is fertile and that you maintain the fertility of the soil over time. It is a smart idea to think about which potato varieties you will grow and which companion plants you will use with your potatoes.
Companion planting can be a great idea for organic gardens and can increase yields. You should consider growing horseradish, garlic and onions, or any other alliums, peas and beans for nitrogen fixation and parsley, thyme, sage and other aromatic herbs and flowers like marigolds and borage.
Best Practices for Potato Plants
It is recommended to use a no-dig gardening method and to mulch around your potato plants for the best yields. It is much easier to harvest potatoes from a garden without digging.
Mulch can be used in place of earthing potatoes in the traditional manner. For potato plants, comfrey leaves are a great mulch. It is also possible to use comfrey liquid food. Our research also shows that seaweed mulching yields great results. You should only use natural mulch materials that are easily available in your locality.
Drawbacks of Growing Desiree Potatoes
Although Desiree potatoes are generally more resistant to disease than other potato varieties, it is worth noting that they can still have problems. The tubers are usually resistant to late-blight, it is possible for the leaves to be affected. Leaf roll is also a potential problem.
This potato is not resistant to common skin scab so it may not be the best choice to grow if you have this problem. It is also susceptible to potato cyst nematodes and eelworms.
It is important to remember that this option can work well in Scotland, but it cannot be used in England or Wales. The tubers grown in Scotland can be bland and watery, and produce disappointing results. You will be better off choosing a different variety if you live in a more northern area or in a humid region.