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Saving potatoes for seed.

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by Xxxlizxxx, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. Xxxlizxxx

    Xxxlizxxx Apprentice Gardener

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    Does anyone save their small potatoes for growing next year, if so how do you store them? I am interested in having a go at it especially with heritage ones. Thanks
     
  2. Scrungee

    Scrungee Well known for it

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    For the first time this year I used a potato saved from the previous year, only because that variety is no longer available in the UK. I'm saving potatoes from this year's plants for next year. If they become available again I wouldn't bother planting my saved spuds, but will continue to save as insurance against this happening again.

    A few things I'm doing:

    Growing them in pots in polytunnels to reduce chance of blight.
    Letting grow as long as possible to full maturity, cutting tops 2 weks before lifting and avoiding washing as these are supposed to increase storage time

    Last year I kept them overwinter in frost free shed in potato bags, not hessian sacks, but the onion/potato drawstring bags from Poundland for storing veg in, and suspended off the ground incase of mice.

    This year I only had one potato saved when I realised that variety wasn't being sold this year, but it was about 2.5 lbs, had lots of eyes, so I divided into several pieces, plus buried it in moist potting compost and removed and potted up rooted chits, producing quite a few plants from just one seed spud.

    My saved tubers are now dry and ready to bag up for storage. I've kept seperate any infected with scab as I want to see whether removing rooted chits will leave the desease behind.
     
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    • Xxxlizxxx

      Xxxlizxxx Apprentice Gardener

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      Thanks for sharing, I will give it a go.
       
    • WoolyBack

      WoolyBack Apprentice Gardener

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      Lawrence Hills, in his booklet "save your own seed" suggests planting your potatoes as usual but watching them carefully for any viruses particularly peach leaf curl and mosaic viruses which are spread by greenfly. He suggests cutting them down mid August for main crop and last week July for earlies to get potatoes the right size for seed potatoes (size of a large egg) but if you don't grow many I would do as you suggest and keep the smaller ones (but not too small) as seed. Then to leave them in the sun for 2 to 3 weeks, turning them over if you have time. Then store them in a cool dark place till time to chit them. As long as the eyes develop thick shoots in the spring they should be OK. If the shoots are thin and weak looking, I would not use them.
       
    • Mike Allen

      Mike Allen Gardener

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      Truthfully I think times have changed so much. We need to ask ourselves several questions. AmI growing veg much as a hobby. Do I expext at harvest time, two cwt or a quarter or half a ton of spuds. I recall the days when my dad and I would hand dig the plot over and plant some two cwt of spuds. A good harvest would give the family plenty of tatties for the year. A bad year and, so heart-breaking. The ain't spuds. Them's moth balls. In those days we grew crops because we, like so many others were downright poor.

      Now being on my own. I do a weekly shop at Tescos. I get to the veg section and. A bag of, 'Baby' potatatos, BH. Dad and I would have chucked thes tiny ones aside for the chickens. Nevermind. A small bag will do me. Days before the use by best date, and the spuds are already sprouting. This the thing with todays marketing. It's all about best before and sell by date. BH. (Bloody Hell) That pack of apples you have just bought. They were picked 18 months or more ago. And now you are expected to eat them within the week. Back to the spuds. Take a chance and plant them somewhere, they will grow and produce little ones, nice in salads.
       
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      • pete

        pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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        I find they keep pretty well in the ground.:biggrin:
        Well every year I get the small ones I missed during harvesting coming up all over the place:snorky:

        Joking aside, you can store spuds really easily in an unheated out house, April usually before they start shooting.
        I use cardboard boxes.
         
      • Scrungee

        Scrungee Well known for it

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        Seed potatoes with lots of sprouts produce more, but smaller tubers than those with less sprouts, and seed potatoes planted close together produce smaller tubers than those generously spaced, which is why growers of competition giant potatoes take it to the extreme of removing all but one shoot (not from rose end as they produce smaller spuds) and using wide spacings.

        I've read in an old book a suggestion of cutting potatoes in half and planting the 'rose ends' (which have lots of shoots) close together to produce seed spuds of the right size, and planting the other halves at normal spacings for a crop to eat.
         
        Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
      • Redwing

        Redwing Wild Gardener

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        I think there are diseases associated with using saved potatoes.
         
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        • Beckie76

          Beckie76 Total Gardener

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          I have to agree with you here Redwing, I’ve never chanced using last years potatoes, I always use seed potatoes.
           
        • Scrungee

          Scrungee Well known for it

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          I'm only talking about saving 'seed' potatoes from varieties that are no longer commercially available


           

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