OK so this is the first thing I’m growing in my Victory Garden – a reliable staple for the kitchen and one of the most versatile natural ingredients you can get. The humble potato. The first early variety I’m growing is called the Red Duke of York – which as the name suggests is a red skinned potato.
The Red Duke of York is a heritage early potato variety bred in 1942 – so just before WW2. This potato is said to have a wonderful strong flavour and is good for pretty much every purpose. It can be roasted, mashed, baked or used to make chips. The Red Duke of York hides pale, yellowish flesh under it’s thick red skin.
I believe (but don’t quote me on it) that the Red Duke of York was bred from the Duke of York, and is said to be an improvement in terms cooking, vigour and flavour – but I’ll be the judge of that!
I managed to pick these up at B&Q and I had to admit, I thought what terrific luck that I’ve found such an historical tuber in the most unlikely of places. The Red Duke of York was grown extensively by amateur gardeners towards the end of World War II and during the very austere post war period.
As you can see from the images I’m trying my best to stick with the plan I’ve put together as much as possible. I first dug over the patch and marked out the area with a piece of string. A technique I’ve adopted is to use my trowel to measure how far apart I plant the tubers, I then plant them about a trowel depth into the ground.
When they start poking through the ground I’ll be covering the tops with sifted soil from the compost heap.
Have you ever grown Red Duke of York? If so, let me know how you got on!