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WILJA POTATO


An excellent choice of potato not only because it it extremely versatile but primarily because of taste. Wilja tastes of real potato and takes on some of the characteristics of the soil in which it is grown. As you might guess, the supermarkets  didn't like the idea of a potato tasting like a potato so they dumped Wilja several years ago in favour of the blander Estima.

For amateur gardeners interested in a second early that is full of flavour and suffers from no major drawbacks then we recommend Wilja very highly.


PARENTAGE


The parents of Wilja are Climax x KO 51-123 



APPEARANCE, TASTE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF WILJA

Wilja Potato
The Wilja potato

The yield from Wilja is good, not astonishing but very acceptable. What is unusual about this variety is that the majority of potatoes produced reach full size with only very small differences between them. The flesh is of a medium dry texture making this an excellent all round potato for roast, boiling, jackets and chips. One of Wilja's enduring advantages over some potatoes is that it holds its shape well even when boiled for a couple of minutes longer than necessary.

POSITIVE POINTS FOR WILJA
An excellent all-rounder as far as cooking is concerned and makes the best boiled potatoes. It's tops for taste. For a second early it keeps well. Excellent resistance to scab and dry rot, no real failings as far as disease resistance is concerned except for eelworm (potato cyst nematode). Good resistance to slugs.

Mantis Composters

NEGATIVE POINTS FOR WILJA
There are no major drawbacks to Wilja except for a susceptibility to eelworm. It was dropped from the supermarkets in favour of Estima because of its slightly rough skin. The last time you ate the skin of a second early potato was .........?

BUYING WILJA SEED POTATOES IN THE UK


Wilja is a common variety of potato which is readily available online and sometimes in garden centres. Seed potatoes of this variety are available online, in many garden centres and also some of the diy stores. They are also sold by some of the discount supermarkets at low prices - most years they appear in Lidl, Aldi, Wilkinsons and even Poundland from the middle of February.

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.

Marshalls sell Wilja seed potatoes. Click here for more information and to buy Wilja online. A 1kg bag will contain about 11 good sized seed potatoes.

ALTERNATIVES TO WILJA PILOT POTATOES


The key qualities of this variety are flavour and being great for cooking. The variety Charlotte is probably even better for cooking so needs to be considered as a worthy alternative and our own personal favourite would be Kestrel.

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 WILJA POTATOES


We recommend that you start chitting / sprouting Wilja 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 WILJA POTATOES


Wilja potatoes are second earlies potatoes and they are ready for harvest, if conditions are correct, 15 to 17 weeks after the seed potatoes are planted. 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 Wilja 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 WILJA 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 Wilja potatoes to be ready for harvest some time between the second and last weeks of July 2017 in your area of the UK. This variety is a second early and they store better than most similar potatoes, a couple of months in the correct conditions. Click here if you want to know more about harvesting and storing potatoes.
 

BUYING WILJA SEED POTATOES IN THE UK


Wilja seed potatoes are available online, in many garden centres and also some of the diy stores. They are also sold by some of the discount supermarkets at low prices - most years they appear in Lidl, Aldi, Wilkinsons and even Poundland from the middle of February. If you want to keep up to date with when they are available at the discount stores then join our Facebook page where we post details as soon as they become available.

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.

Suttons Seeds (a GardenFocused approved supplier) sell Wilja seed potatoes 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 Wilja online. A 1kg bag will contain about 11 good sized seed potatoes.

PEST AND DISEASE RESISTANCE OF WILJA POTATO


The table below sets out how good or bad Wilja potato plants are at resisting common pests and diseases in the UK. The 0 point is average with minus (red) values showing lower than average resistance and plus values (green) showing higher than average resistance.
 
  -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5
Late blight - foliage
 
                     
Late blight - tubers
 
                     
Common scab
 
                     
Powdery scab
 
                     
Slugs
 
                     
Potato Cyst Nematode
(pallida)
                     
Potato Cyst Nematode
(rostochiensis)
                     
Blackleg
 
                     
Splitting
 
                     
  -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5


SUMMARY CHARACTERISTICS OF WILJA



TYPE: Second early

USE: Excellent for all types of cooking except as salad potatoes.

SKIN COLOUR / TEXTURE: Mid brown with purple areas, slightly rough texture

FLESH COLOUR: Cream

TASTE AND TEXTURE: Low in water content, slightly waxy, good taste.

BLIGHT RESISTANCE: Wilja has a low resistance to late blight on foliage but average resistance to late blight on the tubers.

STORAGE: Stores well

POTATO SIZE: Average

REGULARITY OF CROPPING: Regularly produces a good yield

AWARDS: RHS AGM

SPECIAL FEATURES: None