Seed potatoes are classified according to the length of time they take to mature, but this can be influenced by weather. First early seed potatoes mature in 60-110 days. Planted towards the end of March, they are ready for lifting from late June or early July. Potatoes can be planted from mid March onwards as a rough guide, dependent on weather.
Compared to maincrop potatoes, first earlies and second earlies are lower yielding, usually have smaller tubers, need less space and escape some of the diseases, such as blight.
First Earlies are generally eaten as soon as they're harvested - enjoyed as 'new potatoes' - while maincrop cultivars can either be used fresh from the ground or stored for winter use in hessian sacks.