Kenosha Potato Project

Are your potato vines growing berries?

This page is linked to the Kenosha Potato Project web pages. See these links for
  • Variety Directory, Project Description with links to all varieties (color coded)
  • Catalog with pictures and variety description - list of 366 varieties ... search for "sets true seed pods" to find which varieties grow berries in SE Wisconsin.

 

TPS or True Potato Seed [aka botanical seed] is extracted from green berries
This web page is designed specifically for Seed Saver Exchange members interested to learn more about growing potato starting with TPS - true potato seed.

We offer different seed extracted from berries harvested from a number of varieties - to order TPS please become a Member of the Seed Saver Exchange No-Profit Association. Learn more here www.seedsavers.org

 

IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT TPS

The nature of the potato vine has a quite complicated sexual behavior. Most varieties have 48 chromosomes, some have 24 or 36 - BUT THIS IS CRUCIAL - each single seed extracted from any berry may NOT produce the same tuber harvested from the mother vine!

Professional potato breeders remove the male organs from the flower in order to obtain a pure cross (known parentage); for instance we know that Adirondack Blue is a cross of Chieftain x Black Russian. But we don't know which of the 16 different seedlings (that could potentially grow with that same seed) has developed the tuber we now know as Adirondack Blue. The further propagation is obtain by cloning!

Most "hobby" breeders don't care to produce "pure crosses". I grow over 200 varieties in my garden and most of them develop flowers and pollen. The TPS extracted from berries harvested in my garden are offered with the name of the mother vine - THE MALE PARENTAGE IS UNKNOWN!!!

 

RENAME THE TUBER TO AVOID CONFUSION

If you are successful to grow vines starting with TPS and you discover a new interesting tuber which you decide to propagate and share with other seed savers, please make sure you rename the new variety to avoid confusion. Please don't reoffer the tubers with the name of the known female parent.

 

Blue Victor TPS

Blue Victor is the most successful producer of berries - in my garden in SE Wisconsin 3 vines may produce up to 2 cups of berries.

Last year I have been able to harvest tubers from 3 vines - see how the three vines have developed different skin colors - quite different from the skin color of the parent shown below.

Often vines grown from TPS seed may only develop ONE small tuber the first year. Right now these three tubers are growing vines. I hope to harvest enough tubers to examine the flesh color and compare the taste with the female parent [expected time Fall 2011].

This picture shows Blue Victor, the female parent of the three tubers shown above.

The new tubers may be better than the parent, perhaps featuring a colored flesh with more anti-oxidants or not be worth propagating.

[Note to self: need to update after tasting]

 

Three different tubers - same Blue Victor seed
Blue_Victor
TPS1 TPS2
Maroon Bells TPS

An other exemple of how TPS seed may result in vines producing very different tubers. These tubers have been produced in 2010 with seed (TPS) harvested in 2008. TPS can be viable for many years (not sure how many - maybe 10 years).

Each vine produced about 7 - 8 tubers. The two tubers in the picture being the larger ones measuring about 1 1/2 to 2" in length. Often you may only get ONE tuber and don't have a chance to taste it the first year. Here I had a chance to taste them! Both tubers are starchy .. as the mother vine. One tuber has a more interesting red center, but the second tuber has a more interesting flavor.

You will need to grow any variety out and find out which one you like best!

Important Note about Seed Details

In 2015 possibly SSE will create a special "Small Seed" Category for TPS, while for now the TPS seed is offered with the "Mother Vine" Potato Variety. The availability codes HAS - LQ - MR are to be interpreted as follows:

I accept TPS orders all the time from any Members (listed or unlisted), and NOT SSE Members and mail 25 seeds for sufficient availability - 10 seeds for LQ and 5 seeds for MR.

Anyone can access the SSE seed descriptions

Go to this web page: https://exchange.seedsavers.org/

DO NOT USE ADVANCED SEARCH - NOT WORKING!!

instead type TPS in the search window ... this will pull up all the tubers which produce berries with botanical seed. As SSE is not allowing SSE members to list botanical seed individually, you have to read the mother tuber description to find info on TPS - number of seed available and price.

 

Click here for more info about growing potato starting with TPS, including a list of all varieties we have observed producing berries. True Potato Seed may be saved for many years and germinated like tomato seed (old seed germination percentage unknown at this time).

 

Wanted: Potato Gardeners

If you'd like to participate with the Kenosha Potato Project - here are your options:

  • If you live in Southeastern Wisconsin - please email me at seedsaver@curzio.com
  • If you live somewhere else in the USA or Canada - are you a member of Seed Saver Exchange? We have a few gardener who participate with the Kenosha Potato Project within the Seed Saver Exchange.
  • We have members of our Global Potato Network in Europe and are always please to cooperate with any gardener / farmer. Sending seed abroad is restricted or difficult ... but we may find ways to cooperate.
  • Also, please visit our "Vertical Growth - 99 lbs in micro plot Challenge web pages" kenoshapotato.com

Please join us on Facebook - search for Kenosha Potato Project

 

web page updated: January, 2014
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