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Potato Berries

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  • Potato Berries

    These are the ones I've harvested this year, some are ripening up nicely and giving off sweet wafts when I walk past.

    Left to right , top to bottom;

    Blue Belle
    Hot Dog x Red Emmalie
    Snookie x Violetta
    Sarpo Mira x Carolus
    Palest Pink Eye x Carolus

    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    Exciting stuff!


    • #3
      Yes impressive! Glad the Carolus berries worked out. PPE x Carolus should have very good resistance (hopefully), As should the Sarpo Mira cross. There is so much potential here. Interesting how different the berries look. All different colours. Displayed in an egg box you get a real impression about their impressive sizes. Fab!


      • #4
        The tray is one of the ones shops use in their packets of nectarines or peaches, an egg is a good idea too, but we tend to reuse those for the spare eggs from the girls.

        Not many tps this year, but I was chuffed to save the crosses from Hot Dog and Snookie, (I picked the branches as cuttings and had them on the windowsill in water to avoid the little berries being lost to LB outside)

        I've a couple of crosses on on some of the experimentals, back crosses to PPE and I also crossed Sarpo Mira to PPE again this year, which should keep me busy for a year or two! There looks to be quite a few PPE berries to pick later on, I've already knocked a few off when I pass by.


        • #5
          Originally posted by jayb View Post
          The tray is one of the ones shops use in their packets of nectarines or peaches, an egg is a good idea too, but we tend to reuse those for the spare eggs from the girls.

          That actually means they are even bigger than I thought!

          And congratulations on the ones on the windowsill.


          • #6
            I have a patch of garden underneath the autumn olive which does not get so much attention, because the low branches mean that all jobs have to be done stooping. Things grow quite well there even so. I knew that one of last years volunteer potatoes was there and thought I really should tidy up a bit before the Autumn Olive berries need harvesting. Hidden in the 'jungle' covered by side shoots of a tomato that hasn't been pruned as it should and on the other side squeezed by lush celeriac foliage, I found this ...................

            ..............and the potato (not even sure of the variety, as I can't see which row it was last year, will stay where it is for now.

            PS: did I say that my garden is in the habit of 'calling me a liar'? Given the location of these berries and the yellowed potato foliage where they are, I'd say they were utterly 'sheltered' ie physically covered by other plants and that seems to have done the trick.
            Last edited by Galina; 09-09-2015, 15:08.


            • Silverleaf
              Silverleaf commented
              Editing a comment
              Yay! That's brilliant.

          • #7
            Excellent! ooooooh, wonder what they are?
            Ripen little fruits


            • #8
              When do you think I should harvest them? Itchy fingers to get them safe, but of course I would like viable seeds more than anything. I really do not have much experience here. The berries are over an inch in diameter, but I never noticed the potato flowering so cannot judge how old the berries are. I am even contemplating to harvest and put in a jar of water indoors. Any comments please.


              • #9
                They look quite developed and an inch across is a good size. Up to you, by taking them in on a cutting you know nothing is going to go off with them (thinking of your vole population) they may even be mature enough to pick but keeping on a cutting will cover more bases.


                • #10
                  Decided to take them in and finish off indoors. Two fell off, the others are now in a jar on the windowsill. Still don't know what variety the are from, the potato plant is still looking very good in the 'jungle'. The berries haven't really increased in size since I discovered them, maybe they have reached full size.
                  Last edited by Galina; 20-09-2015, 12:57.


                  • #11
                    If they are falling off on their own accord it is a good indication they are close to being ripe. They do look well grown and mature. It will be fun finding out what variety, it'll give a good indication what to expect when you grow them.


                    • #12

                      Came across this web page, in particular Will Bonsall's comments that berries are produced on good soil, with day length considerations and other unknown factors. In fact he reckons that a potato that produces berries is a well-chosen potato for a given site.

                      That's strange. Mine grew covered by other plants in the shade of a couple of hungry very large bushes (more like trees) of Autumn Olive. And did not grow in good light, well prepared soil etc. I still believe the 'other factors' he mentions must be how windy or sheltered a place is.


                      • #13
                        Extracting the seeds with a food processor sounds quite a violent process. If the berries are very mature and soft, do they not get squishy enough to squeeze by hand? Is dormancy something that has come up for tps producers here? Do you ferment seeds?


                        • #14
                          I guess it might be similar to what grows and crops well in on the Isle of Wight might not do so well in the Shetlands. But having grown Snookie for a few years I was surprised to see how loaded with berries when grown in my Aunts garden compared to my plot. About 10 miles as the crow flies. Wind, insects etc have got to play a huge part, I think your right a sheltered spot works well.

                          I've extracted seed with a liquidiser, it works very well, you just have to make sure there is plenty of water as well. The seeds seem to be small enough to avoid damage short term, not so sure if you left it on for an extended time. Squeezing out by hand works great particularly if only a few fruits and easy enough to do. I do mine in a plastic cup of water and leave it all to ferment for a few days before rinsing and drying the seeds. Tps has quite a slippery coating on them which can inhibit germination, harvesting from ripe berries and fermenting help to remove it.


                          • Galina
                            Galina commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Thank you for extraction and processing comments.

                        • #15
                          Originally posted by jayb View Post
                          Excellent! ooooooh, wonder what they are?
                          Ripen little fruits

                          Well, the plot thickens!

                          Have dug up the potato that had the berries, see picture, and according to the garden note book it should be variety Lady Balfour. A good match with the Lady Balfour picture online from T and M. Then I went to the European Potato Database................. apparently Lady Balfour does not set berries! Now I am confused.

                          Other potatoes grown with red eyes last year were Picasso and Carolus. The Carolus tubers are smaller, were grown in another part of the garden and there is far less red around the eyes. Very unlikely.

                          It could just be Picasso, but a quick shuftie at the database reveals that Picasso also does not set berries! Why did I plant Lady Balfour and Picasso in adjoining rows? Well mainly because they are both fairly late and the last one afterwards was Sarpo Mira. And I tend to plant in harvest order. I think it is the third row in from the path and that would be Lady Balfour.

                          The stem with the berries in the jar of water withered, so all 4 berries are now sitting there to ripen. They are still quite hard. The two weeks in water have not grown the berries any further. I will leave them for another month at least, unless they get soft. No discernible sweet scent.