Potatoes: how long to grow?

Different variants take different time

1 March 2010

NOW is the time of year to consider which seed potatoes to plant – and with more than 100 varieties available, it is important to know how long various types take to grow, their taste and best cooking uses for when they are ready.

It is tempting to harvest potatoes as soon as possible to enjoy them in meals but different varieties can take anything from 70 to 120 days to grow.

So, while the early-season potatoes will be ready to consume by the end of May or early June, others will need a bit more patience.

If you want to store some of your produce to eat in the winter, you will need to pick the late-harvesting type.

Because each potato has its best use, you should mark them well when planting, with a date so that you know when to harvest.

Here are 14 of the most common varieties - how long they need and how you can cook them once they are ready.


Sirtema: A good all-rounder for steaming or frying
Belle de Fontenay: Standard shape, firm, fast development (70 days).
Chérie: A pinkskinned long spud with an excellent taste.
Annabelle: Handsome oval shape, good for salad or steaming.
Amandine: More rounded, for all-round cooking. We have had great success with these in the past but not the last few years.


Mona Lisa: Well-known and reliable, big potatoes for roasting, au gratin, frying or mashed.
Bernadette: Very clean, medium size, for salad or steaming.
Rose of France: Beautiful, long, pink-skinned, for salad or steaming.
Charlotte: Long shape, good colour, for all sorts of cooking.


Caesar: Plentiful cropper, medium size, ideal for drying or roasting. Very resistant to diseases.
Bleue d’Artois: Purple-skinned, for mashing and steaming, this type keeps its colour after cooking.
Désirée: Pink-skinned and large, yellowcoloured flesh, tasty mashed or fried.
Vitelotte: Purple-skinned and fleshed, cooks well, tasty.
Corne de Gatte: Pink, slightly lumpy skin, pale yellow flesh, but particularly tasty hot or cold.

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