KING EDWARD POTATO
King Edward is one of the oldest of the UK potato varieties dating back to its introduction in the UK during 1902. The reason that it still exists today is because of its excellent taste, good keeping properties and above average disease resistance. It's not one of the most productive maincrop varieties but this does not stop people growing it quite simply because it is one of the best tasting varieties of all time and it keeps well for a couple of months. Disease resistance is good with eelworm being the one weakness.
The parents of Kind Edwards are Magnum Bonam x Beauty of Hebron
APPEARANCE, TASTE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF KING EDWARD POTATO
This variety was introduced to the market in 1902 by John Butler in Lincolnshire. It was the same year as the coronation of King Edward VII, hence the name. It is widely sold in all the major supermarkets but because of its relatively high price it never outsells the more popular Maris Piper. This however, makes it very popular with the amateur gardener who appreciates flavour and quality over quantity.
The skin is very light brown with creamy-white flesh which stays white when cooked. The eyes are shallow with pinkish marking around them making this a good looking spud which is easy to peel. The average King Edward potato is slightly smaller than over varieties and normally oval.
For some reason gardeners don’t seem to give King Edward a thought when growing potatoes in containers but our experience is that they do very well.
POSITIVE POINTS FOR KING EDWARDS
As far as taste goes this is probably rated most highly not only by amateur cooks but professionals as well. Versatility must also be considered one of its top points being suitable for all uses except as a salad potato. As a roast, boiled or mashed potato it is at the top of tree as far as quality is concerned. Disease resistance is good with scab resistance being excellent. Resistance to blight is slightly below average.
NEGATIVE POINTS FOR KING EDWARDS
The key disadvantage to King Edward potatoes is that the crop is not one of the largest, although not one of the smallest either. Susceptibility to eelworm is poor.
BUYING KING EDWARD SEED POTATOES
King Edward seed potatoes are widely available online, from garden centres / diy stores. They are also sold by some of the discount supermarkets at low prices – most years they appear in Lidl, Aldi, Wilkinsons and even Poundland from the middle of February.
We recommend buying your seed potatoes from certified suppliers because those sold in supermarkets for consumption can be a source of disease and pest. We would avoid buying them from online general retailers such as as Amazon or E-bay unless you know exactly who is supplying the seed potatoes.
Buying seed potatoes from the discount store can be a good deal but it can also result in a sub-standard crop. The discount stores take the second quality seed potatoes whereas the more specialist suppliers take the best quality. Unfortunately you will only find this out after you have carefully tended your crop for several months.
Crocus (a GardenFocused approved supplier) sell King Edward seed potatoes (and many other varieties) which are not only correctly certified but they are graded by size to avoid unduly small seed potatoes being sold. Click here for more information and to buy King Edward online. A 2kg bag will contain about 22 good sized seed potatoes.
ALTERNATIVES TO KING EDWARD POTATOES
The key qualities of this variety are flavour and good all round cooking qualities. Not many potato varieties come close but we suggest that Setanta might be an interesting alternative maincrop.
For other potato varieties which we have fully reviewed, click the drop down box above, select a variety and then click the More Information Button.
The planting and harvest dates used below are correct for the UK average. If you want them to be even more accurate and adjusted for your area of the UK click here. It only takes a minute and the adjustment affects every date in this site and lasts for six months.
WHEN TO CHIT / SPROUT KING EDWARD POTATOES
In all the tests we have conducted and those we have researched, there is no detectable difference between maincrop potatoes which are chitted and those which are planted directly in the ground. However if you want to stick with tradition and chit your King Edward potatoes, we recommend that you start chitting / sprouting this variety in. the third week of February
This will give them four to five weeks to develop healthy sprouts just at the time when they are ready to be planted out. Keep the potatoes in cool but light conditions to ensure they grow short, green sprouts. Click here for our page dedicated to chitting / sprouting potatoes in the UK and Ireland.
WHEN TO PLANT KING EDWARDS POTATOES
King Edward potatoes are late maincrop potatoes and they are ready for harvest, if conditions are correct, 20 to 22 weeks after the seed potatoes are planted. The key factor governing the time for planting all potatoes is the date of the last frost in your area. Even a touch of frost can damage potato plants if their foliage is above ground, an unexpected severe frost can kill them completely.
The date for planting King Edward potato seed can be calculated on the basis that seed potatoes will take four weeks before they appear above ground. Given also that you want them to appear above ground only when the danger of frost has passed (the last week of April is the UK average ) the last week of March is about right time to plant them.
WHEN TO HARVEST KING EDWARDS POTATOES
The harvest date for all potatoes is not only dependent on when you plant your seed potatoes, it also depends on the weather conditions throughout the growing season. But on average you can expect your potatoes to be ready for harvest some time between the second and last weeks of August in your area of the UK.
PEST AND DISEASE RESISTANCE OF KING EDWARD POTATO
The table below sets out how good or bad King Edward potato plants are at resisting common pests and diseases in the UK. The 0 point is average with minus (red) values showing lower than average resistance and plus values (green) showing higher than average resistance.
|Late blight – foliage
|Late blight – tubers
|Potato Cyst Nematode
|Potato Cyst Nematode
SUMMARY CHARACTERISTICS OF KING EDWARDS
USE: Top quality all rounder for everything except salad potatoes
SKIN COLOUR / TEXTURE: Mid brown with pink areas around shallow eyes
FLESH COLOUR: Cream
TASTE AND TEXTURE: Floury and waxy, the best for taste
STORAGE: Stores very well
POTATO SIZE: Average to slightly smaller than average
REGULARITY OF CROPPING: Regularly produces a medium yield
SPECIAL FEATURES: Top for taste