With spud prices set to soar for retailers and consumers, Thompson & Morgan brings down the price of seed potatoes and repeats its mantra to ‘grow your own’.
According to sources such as the Financial Times (Feb. 3 2017) and London-based data firm, Mintec (30 Jan. 2017), UK potato prices are up 30% year-on-year due to a decline in production. Their figures show a reduction in UK potato output for 2016/17 of 5%, whilst yields for the 2016/17 season are estimated to be down 8% on last year due to adverse weather conditions seen throughout the growing season. At 5.2 million tonnes, the total UK potato crop was the fourth smallest on records going back to the 1960s. (AHDB Potatoes analysis)
However, while retailers and consumers keep a keen eye on rising potato prices, horticultural mail order company, Thompson & Morgan has brought its seed potato prices DOWN for the 2017 season. As an example, the firm cites one of its most popular potato varieties, Lady Christl. Last year, a bag of 60 tubers of this favourite, creamy-fleshed, easy-to-grow variety was selling for £12.99; this year a 4kg bag containing 64-72 tubers is selling for £9.99 – that’s a per tuber drop in price of 23%!
“I really urge people – gardeners or not – to have a go at growing their own potatoes”, says Colin Randel, Thompson & Morgan’s resident potato expert. “Not only does it look likely that potato prices will go up in the shops, but you know what you’re eating when you grow your own. There’s no need to worry about the pesticides, the food miles, the months spent piled up in storage – you just dig up tasty, wholesome spuds from your garden or allotment”.
And you don’t even need a garden or an allotment; you can easily grow potatoes on your patio or balcony. There really is nothing like the satisfaction of tipping a crop of home-grown potatoes out of a handy grow bag just in time for supper.
For Thompson & Morgan’s full range of potatoes, go to https://www.thompson-morgan.com/potatoes-inspiration and for tips on growing potatoes at home, look at T&M’s handy guides How to grow potatoes in the ground, How to grow potatoes in bags and Potato Selector Guide.
Sonia works at Thompson & Morgan in the role of press and communications officer. She is a self-proclaimed ‘reluctant’ gardener and is generally amazed if anything flourishes in her garden. Sonia has a ‘hands off’ approach to gardening and believes that this helps to encourage bees, butterflies and other wildlife. (That’s her excuse anyway!)
It’s shocking to read that potato yields have fallen so dramatically for British Farmers. We always buy local spuds as were I am in Pembeokeshire there are always farm potato and fresh free range chicken eggs for sale either at the side of the road or at the farm itself.
I started growing my own potatoes a few years ago in grow bags. Enough to have summer potato salads when new potatoes are at their highest price, the shop bought ones used to be so bitter, (there was only the old stock available at the farms as the farmers had to make their profit when they could.) fresh from the garden is wonderful.
Looking forward to more blogs on hot topics from you.