GQT:why have my stored potatoes sprouted?

A: Grow varieties with long dormancy.
Gardeners' Question Time (Radio 4) team do not seem to realise that some varieties, like most of our Sarpo varieties, have a natural, long dormancy meaning that they can be stored in a cool dark place for up to seven months.  Just think of the energy saving of not having to use a conventional, refrigerated potato store - think low carbon footprint.  Many of the commonly grown varieties will sprout by Christmas if not treated with sprout suppressant or held at low temperatures of around 4C for sometimes 12 months.  I wonder how many people know that supermarket potatoes are often treated with sprout suppressant?

If seed remains dormant in Spring, it can be stimulated to sprout in a warm (say 15 - 18C), light store before planting. If dormant seed is planted, plants may not emerge for many weeks.

Fact or rumour? Evidence that Sarpo potatoes are tasty

Fact: blind tasting at the National Botanic Garden of Wales scored Axona above Desiree.
Fact: Moel Faban Supper Club says our Blue Danube is the “best roast potato ever”
Fact: many people have a preference for waxy potatoes and others for floury potatoes (with plenty of butter or milk)
Fact: The Sarpo range now includes waxy, floury and intermediate potatoes.
Fact: the Prince of Wales grows a selection of Sarpos every year and enjoys them all at the Highgrove table.
Fact: Sarpos have been Thompson and Morgan’s best selling potatoes for years. People must like them.

Rumour: someone whispered that Sarpos don’t taste good. Is this because they think a worthy product must be hard to swallow?

We want you to taste our varieties; send us your evidence.

Evolving blight

MD of Marshalls seeds has invited Mr Shaw (of SRT!) to buy “Super Blight Resistant Potato, Setanta”

Too bad that Setanta will die rapidly when Blue 13 blight strikes. Its foliage resistance is 4 (out of 9) and identical to susceptible Maris Piper. Yes, tuber resistance is good (9) but not much use if there is no foliage. Marshalls says Setanta “outstrips every Sarpo variety we’ve tasted” Maybe Marshalls do not like well flavoured, floury varieties and they cannot have tasted Sarpo Shona, Kifli or Blue Danube. Have a go, they taste great
Foliage blight resistance scores (British Potato Variety Database) have been revised to indicate resistance to the new commonest strain of P. infestans, Blue 13. Setanta scores 4 in recent trials but scored 8 (highly resistant) before Blue 13 was everywhere. Sarpo Mira now scores 8 (was 7) and Axona 7 (was 6).  Note that scores can go up as well as down.

Alys says "Plant Sarpos and save the world".

Alys Fowler, the well known garden writer  and broadcaster has a bit in the Guardian today
It is an accurate piece and is really quite a rave.  Thanks Alys.