‘Arran Pilot’ is a favourite traditional salad variety with an excellent flavour and texture. It can be planted from March to May and will be ready to harvest as ‘new’ potatoes from about 13 weeks after planting. Easy to grow, it is a reliable early cropper with good resistance to pests and diseases.
Fast growing, ‘Arran Pilot’ will produce bountiful crops of waxy tubers of consistent size and quality, blemish-free, smooth, creamy skin and white flesh that remains firm during cooking. They can be eaten straight out of the ground, or added to the pot for delicious new potatoes and potato salads.
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 March to May. 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 March to May.
Grows to 60cm (24in) height by 30cm (12in) spread.
Harvest from July to September.
Performance subject to growing conditions.
Seed potatoes are not for consumption.
How to grow ‘Arran Pilot’ 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.