Potato – Jazzy

In my last post I had a bit of a grumble about a variety of bean Sprite that I just didn’t feel lived up to the RHS award of garden merit it had been given. The second early salad/waxy potato Jazzy however is the complete opposite. I rarely get blown away by a new variety but Jazzy knocked my socks off.

Jazzy is a new kid off the block, first made available in 2014

The first thing that struck me when lifting the first plants was the yield. I thought I had dug up two plants, not one. The photograph below is from one plant in a clay/loam soil with a generous addition of compost in the planting trench. You can see from the photograph below that they are a little variable in size but I generally lift multiple plants together and sort them in to size cooking potatoes the same size together.

The second thing to notice is the lack of slug damage. A few tiny holes but generally they were left completely alone.

Flavour wise they are very good, possibly not quite in the same league as Anya, pink fir apple or charlotte but still very good.

It is important to note the jazzy is still under plant breeders rights until 2041 so whilst I would always advise buying your seed potatoes fresh each year you cannot legally grow Jazzy from your own saved seed yet.

Potato Jazzy ©lucysaunders2020

In the kitchen

Jazzy is very thin skinned to no need to peel. It is best steamed for 15-20 minutes or simmer whole for 10-15 until tender. You can roast or make in to wedges but in general for this you would be better off with Mayan Gold

Potato Jazzy ©lucysaunders2020

Yield and plant health

Harvest from Mid July to Mid August. They will keep below ground well for a second early but you would need to take off the folliage with any sign of blight. Expect huge yields of medium/small potatoes from jazzy and good slug resistance. It has medium resistance to scab but its disease resistance on the rest of the common diseases is not much to shout about although non commercial growers who practice crop rotation should not find this too much of a problem. It has a little resistance to late blight but you will mainly be lifting this before blight is an issue.

Folliage is stocky so useful for an exposed site.

Potato Jazzy ©lucysaunders2020

Suppliers

Very widely available but can also be bought from

Mr Fothergills

Suttons

Thompson & Morgan

DT Brown

Growing

When your seed potatoes arrive, remove them from the packaging and lay eye side up in egg boxes or on paper in a light, cool but frost free place. This is called chitting.

In late march – early April dig a narrow trench about 10cm deep.  To improve yield you can line with compost or well rotted manure but it will make the potatoes more prone to slugs. You can water in some nematodes if it is warm enough who will infect any nearby slugs and will offer some protection for 6 weeks. You can repeat by watering them in when earthing up but make sure you are watering the soil not the foliage.

Space the seed potatoes 40cm apart in rows 30cm apart. Cover the potatoes with the soil from the trench. When the halms appear above the surface you will need to cover them with earth if there is sign of a frost coming. When they are about 20cm high you will want to draw soil about 15cm up the stems in to a flat topped ridge. This will reduce the likelihood of getting green potatoes due to light exposure as these are toxic. You can also earth up with a mulch of compost or straw.

Potatoes will not need much watering except in the driest of weathers when you would want to water well once a week. As a rule more water will lead to larger, but also more watery potatoes.

You can buy specialist potato fertiliser but a sprinkling of organic bone meal dug lightly in to the soil is probably all they will need, especially if you have dug in compost or manure on planting or have earthed up with compost.

Pests and diseases

Slugs – You can reduce the slugs by using nematodes watered in to the soil before planting.

Scab – Causes rough scabby patches on the potato skin and the flesh underneath. It is  unsightly and can affect storage potential. Any potatoes with scab should be used quickly.

Blight – Fungal infection that can devastate any potato crop that has no resistance.  Leaves will show browning patches, which get more and more prolific, including on the stems until the entire plant is covered. The foliage of any potato showing signs of blight should be cut down to the stems and removed.  The potatoes left in the ground for a week before being dug up. If not caught early, blight can infect tubers, which will rot in storage but some are more resistant that others. There is no non chemical cure but some varieties are resistant.

Alternatives

Rocket 1st early

Lady Christl 1st early

Casablanca 1st early

Swift 1st early

Anya 2nd early

Mayan Gold Main crop

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