Sales of seed potatoes look set to rise again in 2010

Seed potato sales are set to rise by 15 per cent again in 2010, according to supplier Solus Garden and Leisure, with the heritage potato range from Jamieson Brothers (JBA) opening up new markets.

Solus says sales increased by 50 per cent in 2009 with the economy, grow your own and healthy eating concerns behind the shift.

Solus brand manager Tony Libra said: "This year has been very, very good for growing potatoes. A few years ago it was a dying trade and people just bought from the supermarket, but this year has seen a vast increase in people wanting to grow their own.

"For the first time, people have been planting in summer and growing for Christmas using potatoes kept in cold store. You can now grow potatoes 12 months a year."

JBA's new range of heritage potatoes is going out to 35 stockists via Solus including Countrywide Stores and independent garden centres. The 16-variety range, which includes Lord Roseberry, Bonnie Dundee, Pentland Lustre and Tuskar, comes in 500g-bags of five tubers.

Libra said: "The advantage of growing heritage potatoes is you get a different experience of flavour. It's not the standard bland potato you get from supermarkets."

JBA has also issued its own guide to growing potatoes. The book covers all stages of the process from buying until harvest.

JBA representative Iain Barbour said: "Each variety in our range has a picture and a full description about how resistant it is to pests and diseases, its culinary uses and what texture the flesh is. It will be a great product for people to buy before Christmas because they can then decide on what potatoes to purchase next year."

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