Introduced in the 1970s, ‘Maris Bard’ is an established favourite of the British kitchen – a traditional salad variety with a superb taste and texture. It can be planted from February to April and ready to harvest as ‘new’ potatoes from about 10 weeks after planting. Easy to grow, it is a reliable early cropper with good resistance to drought, pests and diseases – just some of the reasons this super variety has earned its RHS Award of Garden Merit.
Fast growing, ‘Maris Bard’ will produce plentiful crops of consistent size and quality, with a good oval shape and blemish-free, smooth, yellow-white skin with shallow eyes, and white flesh that remains firm during cooking. Its waxy texture is what makes it such a good choice for potato salad – but it also has a soft creaminess that means it is great for boiling, mashing or frying.
Plant in fertile, well-drained soil in a sunny, sheltered position, or in large containers or growbags. Water well in dry conditions for optimum cropping. These potatoes are best used fresh from the garden but will keep well for up to 5 days in a cool, dark and dry place.
Supplied as a 2.5kg pack of seed potatoes ready to prepare indoors for planting out from February to April. Early plantings will benefit from frost protection.
Supplied as a 2.5kg bag of seed potatoes containing approx. 30-35 tubers ready to prepare indoors for planting out from February to April.
Grows to 60cm (24in) height by 45cm (18in) spread.
Harvest from May to July.
Performance subject to growing conditions.
Seed potatoes are not for consumption.
How to grow ‘Maris Bard’ first early potatoes
Unpack your seed potatoes immediately on delivery.
They will need chitting prior to planting. Stand them rose end up (the end with the most small eyes in the skin) in an egg box or shallow tray in a cool but frost-free, light and well-ventilated room so they can begin chitting (shooting). A temperature of 10°C (50°F) is ideal.
Leave for 3-4 weeks, and short dark shoots (chits) will emerge from the rose end. They will be ready to plant when these shoots are about 3cm (1in) long. Rub off the weaker shoots, leaving about 4 per tuber. If you leave all the shoots on, you will get more potatoes but they will be smaller. Take care not to damage the shoots when handling or planting.
Soil should be fertile and well-draining. For optimum harvests, particularly if the soil is heavy, dig in some well-rotted manure into the soil in the autumn/winter before planting. For lighter soils, just add some well-rotted manure or compost to the trench at the time of planting.
Planting can be done from the end of February. Early plantings will benefit from fleece protection.
Dig a trench about 10cm (4in) deep and add some of our Organic Potato Fertiliser to the soil. Place the tubers in the trench, rose end up, about 10cm (4in) deep, 30cm (12in) apart, with 60cm (24in) between rows. Alternatively, plant to the same depth and distance apart in a large container or growing bag. Cover with soil and water in.
As soon as growth appears, protect the young shoots from frost by drawing up soil around them or moving pots or bags into a more sheltered position, such as a cool greenhouse. When the stems reach 23cm (9in), draw up more soil around them to prevent the tubers near the surface from turning green.
Keep weed-free and well watered through the growing season, particularly in warmer weather. Dry conditions will result in a reduced crop.
Top-dress with our Organic Potato Fertiliser every 4-6 weeks according to packet instructions, working it into the top inch or so of soil around the plants.
Harvest first early ‘new’ potatoes as required when the plants begin to flower, from about 10 weeks after planting. If not using immediately, brush the soil off the skins, allow to dry, and store for up to 5 days in a cool, dry and dark position.