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Home Lifestyle Gardening Maris Piper Potatoes: Facts, Planting, Caring & More

Maris Piper Potatoes: Facts, Planting, Caring & More

The Maris Piper is a commercial cultivar mostly grown in the UK. Sadly they are a bit harder to find in the US as a result of some restrictions placed on their shipping. The potato is a people’s favorite in the UK.

Away from that, the Maris Piper potatoes provide a great range of taste and ease in preparation. They have also made quite a buzz due to their fluffy texture when cooked.

For distinction, they have creamy white skin with an even whiter inner flesh. A great contrast if compared to the Yukon Gold.

And what’s more, they have been also regarded as an all-around variety of potatoes.

So, what more does it have to offer?

Read on and find out…

Origin

This Maris Piper is also referred to as Solanum tuberosum ‘Maris Piper’ in botanical terms.

The popular Maris Piper potato was first produced in Ireland. This was way back in 1963 by an ingenious grower known as John Clarke.

Clarke then went on and produced more than 30 certified potato varieties in his lifetime. This, he was able to achieve with the help of another expert known as Dr. Harold Howard. Dr. Howard was, during that time, in charge of the breeding facility at Cambridge.

The Maris Piper ended up becoming a famous variety with the farmers because of its high yield. This was again boosted by the fact that they were also resistant to multiple pests and diseases. So, who wouldn’t anyone want that?

Pests and disease resistance

As I’ve hinted above, the Maris Piper potatoes have great resistance against pests and nematodes. This is as a result of the years of crossbreeding that made them inherit the best resistance possible. It also made them resistant to some viruses. In the end, it reduced stress for their farmers.

For instance, a database shows that they have developed resistance against viruses A and X. They’ve also developed intermediate to high levels of resistance for the tobacco rattle virus and the potato leafroll virus. [1]

Again, the same database shows that the Maris Piper is still vulnerable to some diseases and pests. This includes pests like slugs and diseases like Streptomyces scabies (Common Scab). Other diseases likely to affect them are dry rot, powdery scab, and late blight.

That said, you will find that the Maris Piper potatoes have a good shelf-life; provided you store them properly, of course.

Description of the Maris piper

The Maris Piper potato is one of the most sold potato varieties in the markets today. It is no secret, then, that is why it is the most grown potato in the United Kingdom.

Let’s quickly look at Maris Piper’s profile summary that I prepared below:

Plant characteristics

  • Maturity Time: Intermediate to late
  • Growth Habit: Semi-erect
  • Foliage Cover: Moderate to good
  • Flower Color: Purple, Red violet
  • Light Sprout Color: Pink

Tuber characteristics

  • Tuber Skin Color: White – Yellow
  • Tuber Yield: High
  • Tuber Size: Small
  • Tuber Shape: Oval
  • Tuber Flesh Color: White, Cream
  • Skin Texture: Smooth
  • Tuber Eye (Depth): Shallow to Very Shallow
  • Dormancy Period: Medium to Long

Use characteristics

  • Cooked Texture: Fluffy, Floury
  • Taste: Good
  • Crisp Level: Poor
  • French fry Compatibility: Good
  • Starch Content: Medium

Taste and nutrition

The Maris Piper has a floury and fluffy texture when cooked. This is, again, accompanied by some mild and yet earthy flavors.

To complement the taste, you can add regular seasoning like salt, herbs, and fresh pepper.

Worth mentioning is that I found the Maris Piper variety great for all uses except boiling.

The thing is, their floury flesh makes them break and fall apart when boiled. This is an observation you need to consider next time you go through your potato recipes.

On the other hand, though, they are highly nutritious. Maris Piper potatoes provide a good source of fiber, potassium, and Vitamin C.

Planting Maris Piper potatoes

Light

When selecting a location, pick an area that receives good light. The Maris Piper requires full sun exposure to grow well.

This means that you ensure there are no towering plants nearby. This is because they can affect your plants’ light reception.

Choice of soil

You must confirm that your soil has attained an acidity level of pH of 4.8 – 5.5. To know this, you have to perform a soil test and make amendments if required.

Still, your Maris Piper potatoes can grow in soils with higher pH levels. But this will leave them more susceptible to a disease like Scab. So watch out for that.

Temperature and spacing

As for the soil temperature, the seeds require at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit. And to maximize that, you have to plant your seeds during the spring.

Ensure that you plant them 9 – 12 inches apart.

Harvesting

Germination and sprouting combined can take up to 28 days for most potato varieties. As for the Maris Piper, you can check on them for harvesting after 111 – 120 days from planting.

Growth and care

Water

You should make a point of giving your Maris Piper potatoes a minimum of 1 inch of water weekly. If you live in a dry area, then you can add a little irrigation to cover the difference.

Note: Poorly drained soils and overwatering may make your potato tubers rot.

Fertilization

You are not required to add any fertilizers during the initial growth stage.

Adding things like nitrogen will only decrease the quality of the crop by making the plant channel all its energy to the leaves.

Tuber care

You should always cover your tubers. Exposing them to air will give them a green color and a bitter taste.

To prevent this from happening, you can do some mulching around the plants. It will cover your potatoes and retain the soil moisture at the same time.

You should also practice caution to avoid hurting the plants when weeding.

After you harvest, you must first discard any rotten or damaged specimen. Lastly, brush the excess dirt off the rest and keep them in a cool, dark environment.

Uses of the Maris Piper potato

The following are the main applications of the Maris Piper potatoes:

  1. Used in making tasty French fry chips because of their high-level dry matter.
  2. Can be also processed into frozen food or other dehydrated product.
  3. Fantastic for preparing diverse roast, mash, and baked potato recipes.
  4. They combine well in making savory dishes like potato & egg hash.

Other ‘all-round’ potato alternatives

Are there any alternatives to the Maris Piper Potato?

Yes, there are.

You may want to consider the Agria if you are on the search for another great ‘all-round’ potato. I dare say that some people have found themselves at an impasse when choosing between the two.

The Agria variety is another popular breed that consumers go for. They also give a great taste when boiled, fried, mashed, or roasted. On top of that, the Agria potatoes have a distinctive texture that makes their French fries crispy.

When it comes to taste, I can’t say it matches up with the Maris Piper. But my view alone is not final and taste is, after all, subjective from one person to the other.

But on the brighter side, it also has a great shelf life. The Agria potatoes, under proper storage, could serve you well for over 6 months.

Conclusion

The Maris Piper potatoes offer plenty of uses for our kitchens. As you’ve learned, they do make a mean mash and fantastic fried chips. So next time you consider whipping up some roast potatoes recipe, do test the Maris Piper first.

They do not require back-breaking labor and will give you a high yield during harvest.

As an alternative, you can also look at Agria if you’re a sucker for ‘all-round’ potato varieties.

I hope this information was most helpful to you.

 

Feel free to share your views and queries in the Comments Section below!

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