Which potatoes to choose

Which potatoes to choose


Border Organic Gardeners Potato Day and Green Fair is one of the biggest potato days in the country and very possibly the oldest one still running every year. Even better, we are one of the cheapest too!

This year’s Potato Day is on 3rd March 2019. We open the doors at Springwood Park, Kelso at 11am and start wrapping up at 3pm. Entry is £1.50 for adults. Children free. Free parking too!

Get directions to Springwood Park here.

What IS Potato Day?

First a bit of history. A little over 20 or so years ago, as part of the HDRA’s (now Garden Organic) commitment to biodiversity, the first Potato Day was held at their base, Ryton Gardens near Coventry. This was the brainchild of Jackie Gear MBE, formerly joint director, with husband Alan of HDRA to provide an opportunity for people to choose from as many varieties as possible when buying their seed potatoes, and be able to buy them in small quantities if they wanted to squeeze several varieties into a small space – seed potatoes being traditionally sold in bags of 30 or more tubers.

Several local organic gardening groups including us here at BOG (and latterly allotments, other gardening groups and garden centres) around the country picked up on the idea, with Borders Organic Gardeners being one of the first. BOG’s potato day remains one of the largest and busiest in the country.

Little known fact:
HDRA stands for Henry Doubleday Research Association, named by founder Lawrence Hills after Victorian scientist and horticulturist Henry Doubleday

What happens at Potato Day?

DSC_0615 [1600x1200]We sell potatoes for growing!

Well, of course. We get an excited queue forming outside the doors that open at 11am on the day. And the first rush sees a few varieties selling out in the first hour. There will still be plenty to choose from though a little later when the choosing process is much more relaxed. Varieties are arranged alphabetically, so if you want to get particular varieties it’s worth thinking ahead so you can get to your favourites.

Alongside the potatoes, garlic, onions and shallots, there will again be the enticing attraction of Potato Day’s Green Fair showcasing a mix of local cakes, bread, meat and vegetables, alongside plant suppliers and craft workers.

Complementing this commercial activity, we have our free children’s activities, together with advice and information from environment and conservation groups. Not forgetting our own BOG gardening experts who will be on hand.

We hope we’ll see you there!

Online ordering

Sorry, but the online ordering is now closed for this year’s Potato Day.

Potato Day articles


Potato Varieties for Potato Day 2019

UPDATED 28th Feb Here are the varieties of seed potato we have ordered for this year’s Potato Day. Experience tells us that one or two varieties won’t turn up on the day. We’ll try to indicate what you might choose instead if your favourite doesn’t arrive. So a

How to choose your potatoes at Potato Day

If you are new to potato growing the number of different potato varieties can be pretty bewildering – so how do you decide which to grow from the 100 or so in front of you? First you need to know that potatoes are divided into three basic groups, based on how long they take to grow. T

What’s in a name?

Early farmers first raised the potato about 8,000 years ago near Lake Titicaca in the Andes, where planting potatoes is still the most important part of the farming year. Here the locals call the potato Mama Jatha, or ‘mother of growth’. The more common name for potatoes, used by Inca

Why bother with “seed potatoes”

The potatoes we sell at our Potato Day are specially grown and inspected to make sure they are fit for us to use for growing our potato crops. They all have a certificate to say that this is so, but why do we go to so much trouble and expense?

Growing potatoes

Having made the difficult choice about which to grow it’s a relief to find that potatoes are quite easy plants to grow, although a little extra care can give better crop. Here are some rules of thumb.

Potato Day Recipes

Here are some tasty potato-based recipes for you to try
Jansson’s Frestelse
Potato Soda Bread
Potato, Leek and Coriander Bake
Potato and Courgette Fritters

Growing potatoes in a bag

You don't need a garden to grow your potatoes; you can grow them in a bag with some compost. Read on for more useful info.

The really useful potato

In a 1998 study, Man on Earth, of how we have adapted to the different places we have colonised on earth, John Reader included a chapter on ‘The Potato Growers’, which shows just how really useful the potato is. Compared to grain growing, worldwide potato growing has a short history –

So you bought seed potatoes – what do you do with them?

Having made the difficult choice about which to grow it’s a relief to find that potatoes are quite easy plants to grow, although a little extra care can give better crop. Here are some rules of thumb.

Stall holders at Potato Day 2019


Product or aims

Stitchill jerseys

Organic dairy produce

Bread and Roses

Fresh sourdough and naturally leavened loaves

Chainbridge Honey Farm

Honey, beeswax and honey products

Chirnells Farmhouse Kitchen NEW

Scones, Brownies,cakes,teabreads,traybakes

First and Last Brewery NEW

Small, family run micro-brewery based in Elsdon in Northumberland

Hannah Longmuir NEW

Countryside artist based in the Scottish Borders.

Heatherslaw Mills

Flour milled in a tradional mill using local grains

John Marshall

Tattie Talks : Potato Helpdesk

Kelso Wholefoods

Wide variety of wholefoods, many from local producers

Kitty's Ginger Wine

Non-alcoholic ginger wine from a family business based in Blyth Nthumberland

Laprig Fruit

Traditional fruit juices

Liz Zimmerman

Potato prints and cards

Lyne Organics

Candles, diffusers and burner oils using natural long lasting fragrances

Mad Jam Woman

Preserves, marmalades, relishes and screaming hot sauce maker

Peelham Farm

Organic pork, lamb, mutton and beef

SkyBluePink designs

Hand dyed yarns, knitting patterns and knitted items designed by Jennie Howes plus St Abbs Wool Festival information

Slackhouse Farm shop

Birdoswald organic farmhouse cheeses

The Hare in Winter NEW

Wood craft and Linen

Woodside walled Garden

Plants, garden tools and sundries


Action Duchenne

Hand made bird boxes in aid of the charity Action Duchenne

Border Forest Trust

Helping to restore native woodland to Southern Scotland

Northumbria Basket Weavers

Promoting and enabling the study and practice of all aspects of basketmaking

RSPB Scotland

Passionate about nature, dedicated to saving it

Saving Scotland's Red Squirrels

Workimg to protect red squirrels in Scotland

The Scottish Allotments and Gardens Society

Working for allotment sites and plot holders throughout Scotland

Woodside Garden for Wildlife and Wellbeing NEW

Gardening for wildlife and how gardening and nature can help your physical and mental health.

Featured Stalls at Potato Day


SkyBluePink Designs

One of the most eye-catching stalls at last year’s BOG Potato Day and Green Fair was Skybluepink Designs selling a huge array of hand spun yarns in the most wonderful colours. Jennie spins all the wool herself – for knitting, crochet and weaving.  There are fibres to spin and fe

Organic meats – Peelham Farm

Integrity, Taste, Traceability and Sustainability These are the watchwords of Peelham Farm near Foulden who produce excellent organic meat. We are very pleased to have Chris and his team at the BOG Potato Day and Green Fair again where they will be selling their organic lamb, mutton,

Northumbrian Basket Weavers

Northumbrian Basket Weavers will again put on a selling display of their basket work at the BOG Potato Day and Green Fair. A huge range of styles, sizes and basket shapes will be available to buy or just admire. These baskets are made by a large number of individuals and their distinc

Traditional flour from Heatherslaw Mill

Heatherslaw Mill sits on the banks of the River Till east of Coldstream in Northumberland. It is a traditional mill powered by a 16-foot water wheel and uses three different pairs of millstones to make high quality, stoneground, wholemeal flour from cereals grown in the local fields.

Hannah Longmuir – local nature artist

We are delighted to welcome Hannah Longmuir to the BOG Potato Day Green Fair for the first time this year. Hannah is a local artist working mostly in pencil. Hannah draws the trees, hedges, fields and wildlife she sees in the Scottish Borders. Her work is available as useful items suc

Locally brewed beer from First and Last Brewery

Planting potatoes is thirsty work so take the opportunity to buy a bottle or two of local beer. We have a brewer at the BOG Potato Day Green Fair for the first time this year (hopefully not the last!). First and Last Brewery based in Elsdon in Northumberland will be selling their bott

Fresh Bread from Bread and Roses

We are thrilled to have a baker again at the BOG Potato Day and Green Fair. Andrew Smith from Bread and Roses in Alnwick will be selling his wonderful fresh sourdough and naturally leavened loaves. He uses local and organic ingredients where possible, and his standard brown loaf is ma

Potato experts on hand to help

Do you have a question about how to grow potatoes, which variety to choose, or any pest and disease issues? If so, then Potato day is the place to be! As well as a huge range of seed potato varieties for sale, Potato Day also offers the chance to chat to not just one, but two, renowne