Variety-sharpes-express

By David Marks
Sharpe's Express is a first early potato which dates back to 1901. If you are considering whether to grow this variety then our advice would be to only give it a try if you are interested in preserving the culture of old varieties.

Other than that, Sharpe's Express has very poor disease resistance and can be problematic to cook well, especially as far as boiling goes. It also lacks flavour.

PARENTAGE

The parents of Sharpe's Express are not known.

APPEARANCE, TASTE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF SHARPE'S EXPRESS

Sharpe's Express Potato
Sharpe's Express potato

The only positive point we can find to report about Sharpe's Express is that the yields are average. Unfortunately though with all its disease problems the tubers will in all probability be significantly marked. This variety also has very little, if anything, going for it as far as cooking is concerned. The taste is bland and it falls apart very, very easily when boiled.

POSITIVE POINTS FOR SHARPE'S EXPRESS
Slightly above average yields. Some resistance to scab.

NEGATIVE POINTS FOR SHARPE'S EXPRESS
Poor disease resistance, bland taste and falls apart when boiled.

BUYING SHARPE’S EXPRESS SEED POTATOES

Sharpe's Express is not a common variety of potato but is readily available online and occasionally sometimes in garden centres.

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 Sharpes Express 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 Sharpes Express online.

ALTERNATIVES TO SHARPE’S EXPRESS POTATOES

Not a difficult variety to find better alternatives to. If you are considering Sharpe’s Express then it’s likely that disease resistance is not high on you priority list so Red Duke of York would provide a tastier, easier to cook and better looking potato. Arran Pilot would also be a worthy alternative with its superb flavour and cooking qualities.

For other potato varieties which we have fully reviewed, click the drop down box below, 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 SHARPES EXPRESS POTATOES

We recommend that you start chitting / sprouting Sharpe’s Express potatoes 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 SHARPE'S EXPRESS POTATOES

Sharpe's Express are first early potatoes and they are ready for harvest, if conditions are correct, 14 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 Sharpe's Express seed potatoes 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 SHARPE'S EXPRESS 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 July 2017 in your area of the UK. This variety is a first early and they do not store well at all. Click here if you want to know more about harvesting and storing potatoes.
 

PEST AND DISEASE RESISTANCE OF SHARPE’S EXPRESS

The table below sets out how good or bad Sharpe's Express 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.
 

  -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5
Late blight – foliage
 
                     
Late blight – tubers
 
                     
Common scab
 
                     
Powdery scab
 
                     
Slugs
 
                     
Potato Cyst Nematode
(pallida)
                     
Potato Cyst Nematode
(rostochiensis)
                     
Blackleg
 
                     
Splitting
 
                     
  -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5

SUMMARY CHARACTERISTICS OF SHARPE'S EXPRESS


USE
: Not recommended for any use

SKIN COLOUR / TEXTURE: Mid brown with shallow eyes, smooth skin

FLESH COLOUR: White

TASTE AND TEXTURE: Bland, floury and mealy

BLIGHT RESISTANCE: Poor resistance

STORAGE: Does not store well

POTATO SIZE: Average

REGULARITY OF CROPPING: Regularly produces a good yield

AWARDS: None

SPECIAL FEATURES: None