Sunday, March 20, 2016
Potatoes from Seed
This year I am chitting (encouraging the seed potatoes to sprout before planting) only a
handful of seed potatoes. Six Rose Fin Apple potatoes and six organic Purple Majesty are all happily spouting on my counter. I hate having potatoes sprouting on the counter, and that is what first made me take a look at growing potatoes from seed a number of years ago.
My research led me to a number of video's by Tom Wagner who specializes in breeding unique potato and tomato varieties. His technique seemed straight forward and I gave it a wing and it worked. I grew them in some homemade bags I made out of landscaping fabric and got a pile of potatoes from tiny little seeds. It almost seemed like magic, to be getting that amount of food out of such a tiny thing. That is why this year I am again growing potatoes from seed.
On March 6th I planted six cells of Purple Valley and six cells of All Blue. I wasn't sure what was going to happen. This is older seed and no longer available on Tom's website. That fact wants me to grow these even more and save the seed and keep them going!
Purple Valley is doing well. Virtually 100% germination. Second leaves look like they will be coming this week.
All Blue is not doing as well. Only one seedling in one cell so far. I will give it a bit more time as the seeds are years old. It will be fun to see yields of the seeds versus the seed potatoes. I will be growing them in different plots though. One of the benefits of the seeds is that there is significantly less chance of them bringing disease into the garden due to the way they are processed. The other big advantage is significantly more options in your selections. I suspect that the seed potatoes will move faster but there is something magical about getting anything at all from a seed the size of a period. So I won't be giving up my potato seeds anytime soon, regardless of which produces better.