Which potatoes to choose

Which potatoes to choose

Potato Day now rearranged for 11th March 2018

We were nearly beaten by the snow! However, after much frantic reorganising and hard work by BOG members, Potato Day WILL be going ahead on Sunday 11th March 2018. We’ll need a little time to set up on Sunday so the doors will open at 12 noon and we’ll carry on until 4pm.

Our seed potato suppliers have managed to get a full complement of tatties through the snowdrifts, and our stallholders will all be there. Even the weather forecast for Sunday is in our favour – dry with temperatures up to 8 degrees!

So we hope we’ll see you there on Sunday – but if you really can’t make it to the Showground in Kelso in person, you can take advantage of our online potato ordering service. But you can’t beat being there -it’ll be a great day out.


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 now on 11th March 2018. We open the doors at Springwood Park, Kelso at 12 noon and start wrapping up at 3pm.

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!

Potato Day articles


Stallholders at this year’s Potato Day

Despite all the setbacks we have a full complement of stallholders at this year's Potato Day on 11th March. See you there!

Posters for rearranged Potato Day 2018

Here are the revised posters for the rearranged Potato Day 2018. Please help by replacing all those posters you have already distributed!

Potato Varieties for Potato Day 2018

Here are the varieties of seed potato we have ordered for this year's Potato Day.

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.