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Growing potatoes from True Potato Seeds - TPS

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  • #16
    Thanks, for the sizes, nice deep modules, I think bigger than anything I have.
    Added to Galina's good advice.
    I think it depends a bit on what you want from your tps, mini tubers for next year, a crop this year?
    I think they could be kept in the modules they are in to produce mini tubers for harvesting this year to save and grow a crop next year. Doing it this way you would get some idea of what the plants/tubers would be like. This would allow for an initial selection, colour, shape quantity, earliness etc. It saves a lot of space, compost etc, whilst you still have sight of tubers (well mini ones), you would likely get enough to do a mini taste test too.

    (Funnily enough, I harvested my mini tubers from a winter sowing today. I love tipping out the little pots not knowing what's hidden inside.)


    As you have quite forward tps, plant them all up. If you have just the one tray of seedlings you could plant them in a 4x8' raised bed/patch. A little more room would give better results. They would have a full season to grow in which to do their stuff and potatoes do like to grow. Allowing them to grow out you may get the chance of some seed pods too which would give even more options! I find planting the pot roughly ground level and then earthing them up gently in stages works quite well.

    or do a combi. Pot them out and keep some for mini's.

    There will always be some plants grown from tps which either just don't thrive, or look great but produce a very poor tuber crop. Given that you may well have a very diverse selection of tps it might be that not all will do well in your growing environment, so don't be disheartened when it comes to harvesting, I'm betting the majority will do very nicely!
    Looking forward to following your progress.


    • jayb
      jayb commented
      Editing a comment
      If you only select for the biggest fastest-growing seedlings then you may miss out some of the diversity growing tps gives and in some ways be picking similar types. I find little seedlings really are able of getting big in a season, as I say you do get an ocasional plant that never seems to thrive once planted out. I tend to grow for mini tubers as often no space in the outside beds. But big buckets or pots work well for many plants for lager potato yield. Added to that some varieties don't do well in pots but thrive in the open ground.

    • Jang
      Jang commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you both for these insights. I shall definitely nurture each one. Only one tiny one so far was too weak to survive the first transplanting so otherwise the littl’uns are earning their right to be looked after.

      And yes, will look out for the off taste. This will be the same poison as in green potatoes? Helpful to have it described as ‘lemony’ as I had no idea what this off taste I’d read about is like.

    • jayb
      jayb commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, it tastes very bitter and just makes me want to spit and get rid of the taste. To be honest, though I've only ever come across a few tps segregates, it might possibly just be a couple which had an unpleasant taste, it was bordering on the slightly green potato level.

  • #17
    I'm very excited to have planted out 25 of my smallish plants from the Deschflegel company. In the couple of weeks or so since I was wondering what to do next they have put on a fair bit of growth.

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    I followed the Cultivariable/ Rebsie Fairholm method of creating a small trench and then planting each potato plant up to its top leaves within the trench. A bit close together perhaps but space a bit limited at the moment.
    The smaller dozen plants I've put into root trainers for now. Hoping they all enjoy their new homes.

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    • jayb
      jayb commented
      Editing a comment
      Bed and plants looking fab, you're doing a great job. Nice to see the different leaf shapes.
      Soil looks good too.

  • #18
    Looking very good Jang and the trench method means that they are wind proofed and the moisture stays in the grooves too. Once they are established, maybe a very thin layer of cut grass to keep the moisture even better. Best done when it is windy and the wind does the fine distribution. Spacing is about right for tps.

    I have planted my Snookie tps . Last year they looked just like that. This year hopefully a full good yield. If Snookie should deteriorate, which it hasn't so far, it is great to have tps available. Maybe there will even be HotDog berries which have eluded me so far.

    As yours are a completely unknown mixture of probably many potatoes, digging up will be a huge adventure. Good growing!


    • #19
      Chief excitement yesterday in the midst of trying to tie things down in the midst of pretty horrific gales was to dig a single plant from my tps patch. It seemed to develop ahead of the others and was beginning to die down. I harvested four blue potatoes. We shared one of the bigger ones for supper and will probably keep the other three for planting next year. The taste and texture were excellent. Flesh was bluish-white. Just started a potato database and hoping to keep careful records. Photographed the remaining three. All very exciting!

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      • Galina
        Galina commented
        Editing a comment
        Congratulations Jang. And hope no damage from the gales. Most black potatoes are very late, to get an earlier one is a bonus in itself.

      • Jang
        Jang commented
        Editing a comment
        Interesting, thanks. I was already treasuring it; now all the more so.

    • #20
      Amongst the potatoes from tps I've harvested a bit of an oddity. It seems to have baby potatoes at the ends of shoots. I think they're not the usual potato sprouts as they aren't leaf shoots but it looks as though the eyes have most been used up producing these babies, so there looks like a shortage of eyes for leaf shoots to develop from next season.

      I'm wondering whether this is a common trait and also whether it means it's not good for growing on next season.

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      • #21
        You will probably find a lot of oddities in potatoes from tps, but this one could be cultural. The tubers grew and the plant got ready to wind down, then a lot of rain happened and it gave itself another go. Maybe should have been harvested earlier - possibly. Just make a note.

        On the other hand PPE Palest Pink Eye from Jayb does this regularly and many of these mini tubers seem to stay in the soil for another harvest the following year. But this is the only potato that does it regularly afaik. I see eyes on all of the tubers and would not worry. Possibly you could put the little tubers in pots and put them in the greenhouse, but I would certainly take a big tuber, store and replant that also just to make sure.

        By the way if these are from one tps plant that is a very good yield.
        Last edited by Galina; 04-09-2020, 10:57.


        • #22
          Thanks. Interesting. I'll see what happens next year as to whether this variety has this as a trait. It's the only plant out of 30 harvested so far which has shown it to any extent.

          The intermittent quite heavy rain in August has been quite unusual in the east of the country here, so perhaps that has contributed .

          These are from one plant and quite a few plants have had a very pleasing yield. One or two baking size potatoes here and there. I'm in the midst of recording and photographing but the images show the ones dealt with so far. It's going to take a bit of management growing them on!

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          • #23
            Very pleasing indeed Jang. You can be proud of these. Do make tasting notes. If there is too much of a lemony twang, then they contain too much alkaloids (I think this is what the poison is called that is in solanums). It is quite possible that potatoes from tps have too much and should be ditched. The way I have taste tested is to put six at a time in the steamer, with a toothpick in the first, then go round clockwise to taste and make notes. Hope that the high yielding ones are also very nicely flavoured. Other people stick them in the microwave before tasting, Again with a way of marking that makes sure you know which variety is which. Have fun.


            • Jang
              Jang commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks for the tasting suggestion. So far I’ve only boiled and baked one or two varieties at a time as part of a full meal, which hasn’t allowed for that kind of closer comparison. But no lemony twang yet. However, I think a more rigorous approach, such as the two ways you outline, is called for.
              I hope to raise my game!