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Annual Biennial

Solanum tuberosum 'Swift'PBR

potato 'Swift'

Hailed as one of the earliest croppers, it is claimed that you can be dishing these potatoes up in as little as 7 weeks after you plant them (10 weeks might be more realistic). These first earlies produce a high yield of white-skinned, oval potatoes that have a creamy coloured flesh that is ideal for boiling. In growth, they are compact, which makes them ideal for containers and less sheltered ground. They show a good resistance to bruising, Potato scab and virus.

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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
1 year
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Purple Green
Summer Purple Green
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H2
Botanical details
Family
Solanaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy, Clump forming
Potentially harmful
Harmful if eaten, except potato crop. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling. Pets (dogs): Harmful if eaten, except potato crop - for further information and contact numbers regarding pets, see the HTA guide to potentially harmful plants
Genus

Solanum can be annuals, perennials, evergreen or deciduous shrubs or twining climbers, with simple or pinnnately lobed leaves and star- or bowl-shaped, 5-lobed flowers with prominent stamens, followed by fleshy fruits

Name status

Accepted

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in an open, frost-free site with deep, fertile, moisture-retentive soil for high quality and heavy yields. Improve soil by adding organic matter, such as well-rotted manure, in the autumn. Draw earth up around the stems as they emerge, to exclude light and prevent the potatoes from becoming green. Water well in dry periods. Potatoes can also be grown in large containers or potato gro-bags. See potato cultivation for further advice.

Propagation

Propagate by chitting tubers or 'seed potatoes'. This is done by standing the tubers 'rose-end' up (the end with the most eyes) in egg boxes or trays in a cool, light place. After two to three weeks the shoots will begin to sprout. Plant out after frosts have passed, from about mid March to mid April.

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Patio and container plants
  • Cottage and informal garden
Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

May be susceptible to cutworms, slugs, wireworms, leaf and bud eelworm, Potato cyst nematodes

Diseases

May be susceptible to honey fungus (rarely). Good resistance to Potato scab, potato virus Y but may be susceptible to Potato blight, Potato rot, Potato blackleg and stem canker

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