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Potato berry planting

Last post 16-07-2009 2:27 PM by miranda. 5 replies.

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  • 13/07/2009 12:42 PM
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    Hello! We've just starting growing potatoes this year in pots and they look like they are going great guns. They are now starting to produce the berries from the flowers and after a little reasearch I've found that these are the 'true potato seed'. Being new to this vegetable growing business I've got a couple of questions. I've seen in several places that you can grow the seeds from these berries, which will turn into small tubers that you can plant and crop from, however - this will not result in a true potato plant? First question is - is it really that simple, all I have to do is extract the seeds and then grow them until they produce small tubers, which I can use like seed potatoes? Also, what is meant by 'true' plant? I know that the seed potatoes will produce effectively a clone of the adult plant, but planting the seeds means that they will not be a clone... Anyway second question is that I found out that the potato is a member of the deadly nightshade family and as such can produce a poison called solanine. This can be produced even by potatoes bought in supermarkets, so my question is that if i plan the seeds and they are not a clone of the original, could I be growing poisonous potatoes? This would not go down very well at sunday lunch as you can imagine... third question is - what is a seed potato anyway? is it just one that you have saved from the previous crop and then 'chitted' (i've yet to look up how to 'chit')? Any help most appreciated - I'm quite keen on the idea of growing potatoes from seed.

  • 13/07/2009 03:27 PM
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    You can extract the seeds from the berry and grow a new potato plant.  But nobody bothers because the seed tubers (raised in such as way as to be free of virus unlike supermarket spuds) are much quicker, easier and more productive and unlike seeds from the berry come true to type.



    Beware the bat-eared bogweevil
  • 13/07/2009 07:27 PM
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     thanks Boggy,

    This is what I have found, what does 'not true to type' mean?  Will they not be the same type of potatoes we planted this year?

    Do you know anything about potatoes being poisonous?

  • 13/07/2009 08:28 PM
    • Phot's-Moll
    • The sunny South coast.
    • 06 Jan 2007
    • 4,672
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     True to type means that if you plant a particular variety of seed potato, then you'll get a crop of potatoes that will all be that variety (clones of the original, as you mentioned)

    If you grow seed gathered from a particular variety, you might get new potatoes very like the parent, but you probably won't. They might be earlier, or have a different colour skin, or not crop as well, or be ... well, different in some, or several, ways. That's how new varieties are produced. Chances are, they won't be so good as the parent as a lot of work goes into creating improved varieties, but they could be wonderful.

    You could save small tubers from this year to plant next year, but by buying specially produced seed tubers, you are less likely to get diseases in your crop.

    Chitting is leaving tubers in a light place until they begin to sprout.
  • 16/07/2009 12:56 PM
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    Thank you very much for your replies. I think we'll give a few a go just for fun. Hopefully they'll be brilliant! D.

  • 16/07/2009 02:27 PM
    • miranda
    • Oxfordshire
    • 17 Nov 2004
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    That's the right attitude, Donno and Dion! You sound like a proper gardener!