Haskins Garden Centres

The perfect Christmas dinner

Plan for the perfect Christmas dinner with tips from Haskins’ on growing tender potatoes
Haskins Garden Centres are encouraging those with ‘green fingers’ to get ahead and plan for a Christmas dinner with a difference – by planting and harvesting potatoes to enjoy during the festive period.

Alasdair Urquhart, plant advisor at Haskins Garden Centre, Ferndown, said: “To many, it is a delight to savour the fruits of your labour by tucking into delicious home-grown food.  It may still be the summer, but a potato planted in August into a frost free greenhouse, cool conservatory or bright porch can produce tasty ‘roasties’ for Christmas Day.”

Alasdair’s tips on growing potatoes are:

  • Always use fresh compost if growing in containers or in bags
  • Deter slugs and snails
  • Potatoes grown outside in autumn can be susceptible to ‘potato blight’, so consider using a cloche or growing tunnel to protect them. Indoor plants are rarely affected
  • Feed with a general purpose fertiliser
  • Check weather forecasts for early frosts in your area and protect your plants with fleece, a cloche or a growing tunnel

Different types of potato on offer at Haskins Garden Centres located in Ferndown in Dorset, West End in Southampton and Roundstone and Snowhill in West Sussex include:

Duke of York – a superb all-rounder that has a rich flavour. Suitable for roasting, boiling and steaming.

Maris Peer – ideal for container growing, these potatoes have a superb, light, fresh flavour. They are versatile too, as they don’t disintegrate whilst cooking. Suitable for boiling, roasting and steaming, they also make a great salad potato.

Pentland Javelin – with good disease resistance, this white fleshed potato has a soft, waxy texture once cooked. Suitable for boiling and as a salad potato.

Arran Pilot – a traditional favourite, Arran Pilot makes an ideal new or salad potato. It has a great flavour with a firm, waxy flesh. It also has good disease resistance and tastes best fresh from the earth.

Charlotte – an ideal salad potato for the Boxing Day cold platter. Produces pear shaped tubers with a creamy, white flesh that has an outstanding flavour either hot or cold.

Vanessa – With a beautiful red skin, Vanessa is suitable for boiling or baking. Its waxy flesh also lends itself to salads. It tastes similar to Desiree.