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Orla is a good all round, modern variety with a couple of qualities which make it stand out from the crowd. The first is that it produces a good crop of first early potatoes which can be left in the ground to be harvested as second earlies and even as early maincrops. This extends its harvesting period well beyond most other varieties.
The second quality it exhibits is very good resistance to tuber blight. The foliage may be affected but if this is trimmed off when blight takes hold the tubers will, in most cases, be unaffected.
The parents of Orla are O.P 657/3 and Spunta.
APPEARANCE, TASTE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF ORLA
The Orla Potato
Whenever they are harvested the potatoes are of a uniform size and shape. The skins are thin and light brown, turning tougher the longer they are left in the ground. The flesh is a light cream / yellow colour and initially it is slightly waxy. When left in the ground to be harvested as a maincrop they increase in size and turn slightly floury.
POSITIVE POINTS FOR ORLA
Good resistance to tuber blight and a long cropping period
NEGATIVE POINTS FOR ORLA
Susceptible to slug damage and
BUYING ORLA SEED POTATOES IN THE UK
Orla potatoes are becoming more popular but only a few garden centres stock them. Neither are they widely available from specialist online suppliers.
We recommend buying your seed potatoes from certified suppliers because those sold in supermarkets for consumption can be a source of disease and pest. We would avoid buying them from online general retailers such as as Amazon or E-bay unless you know exactly who is supplying the seed potatoes.
Buying seed potatoes from the discount store can be a good deal but it can also result in a sub-standard crop. The discount stores take the second quality seed potatoes whereas the more conventional suppliers take the best quality. Unfortunately you will only find this out after you have carefully tended your crop for several months.
Crocus (a GardenFocused approved supplier) sell Orla seed potatoes (and many other varieties) which are not only correctly certified but they are graded by size to avoid unduly small seed potatoes being sold. Click here for more information and to buy Orla online. A 2kg bag will contain about 22 good sized seed potatoes.
The key attributes of this variety are blight resistant tubers and the ability to remain in the ground for a long time, increasing in size. Blight resistance in potatoes is becoming more common but Orla can be grown as a first early, is also blight resistant and that makes it hard to beat.
If blight resistance is key to your requirements then you'll need to go for Setanta or one of the Sarpo varieties which are maincrops. If you main requirement is a first early which can also be left in the ground longer than most, then we suggest Pentland Javelin` or Lady Christl.
For other potato varieties which we have fully reviewed, click the drop down box below, select a variety and then click the More Information button.
The planting and harvest dates used below are correct for the UK average. If you want them to be even more accurate and adjusted for your area of the UK click here. It only takes a minute and the adjustment affects every date in this site and lasts for six months.
WHEN TO CHIT / SPROUT ORLA POTATOES
We recommend that you start chitting / sprouting Orla potatoes in the third week of February. This will give them four to five weeks to develop healthy sprouts just at the time when they are ready to be planted out. Keep the potatoes in cool but light conditions to ensure they grow short, green sprouts. Click here for our page dedicated to chitting / sprouting potatoes in the UK and Ireland.
WHEN TO PLANT ORLA POTATOES
Orla potatoes are generally considered to be a first early variety but leave them in the ground a few weeks longer and they can also be grown as second earlies or early maincrop. The key factor governing the time for planting all potatoes is the date of the last frost in your area. Even a touch of frost can damage potato plants if their foliage is above ground, an unexpected severe frost can kill them completely.
The date for planting Orla seed potatoes can be calculated on the basis that seed potatoes will take four weeks before they appear above ground. Given also that you want them to appear above ground only when the danger of frost has passed (the last week of April is the UK average) the last week of March is about right time to plant them.
WHEN TO HARVEST ORLA POTATOES
The harvest date for all potatoes is not only dependent on when you plant your seed potatoes, it also depends on the weather conditions throughout the growing season. But on average you can expect your potatoes to be ready for harvest some time between the second and last week of August in your area of the UK.
They can also be harvested up to four weeks later as second earlies or maincrops.
PEST AND DISEASE RESISTANCE OF ORLA POTATO
The table below sets out how good or bad Orla potato plants are at resisting common pests and diseases in the UK. The 0 point (blue) is average with minus (red) values showing lower than average resistance and plus values (green) showing higher than average resistance.
|Late blight - foliage
|Late blight - tubers
|Potato Cyst Nematode
|Potato Cyst Nematode
SUMMARY CHARACTERISTICS OFORLA POTATOES
TYPE: First early but can be harvested as second early or early maincrop
USE: Boiling and general salad use
SKIN COLOUR / TEXTURE: Very light brown, smooth with only a few shallow eyes.
FLESH COLOUR: Light yellow
TASTE AND TEXTURE: Lots of taste, waxy texture turning more floury the longer it is left in the ground
STORAGE: Up to two months, good for a first early
POTATO SIZE: Average
REGULARITY OF CROPPING: Regularly crop, dependable
AWARDS: RHS AGM
SPECIAL FEATURES: A first early which can be left in the ground to bulk up as a maincrop.