looking for organic seed potatoes

Discussion in 'Organic Gardening' started by jackienewgardener, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. jackienewgardener

    jackienewgardener Member

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    Does anyone have any insight on where I can get organic seed potatoes this time of year (early July?) in Vancouver or the Fraser Valley?
    I realize I'm a bit behind schedule, and thus everywhere I go is already sold out.
     
  2. Margaret

    Margaret Active Member 10 Years

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    This may be deemed by some as bad advice because of the possibility of disease so I only speak from my own experience for the past 5 years of growing potatoes. I have bought seed potatoes both from nurseries and Can. Tire but for about 90% of my seed I have looked out for organic potatoes in the supermarkets which have either started to sprout for have viable eyes on them. My husband has just dug up one shore which had about 3lbs. of beautiful, disease free potatoes on it. I am going to plant a new row or two of pots. next week.
    Just a thought and good luck.
    Margaret
     
  3. jackienewgardener

    jackienewgardener Member

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    Hi Margaret,
    thanks for that advice! I am a little confused, though, what I've read has told me to only plant 'seed' potatoes, which are different from a potato one would buy in the grocery store. You're saying that you've bought organic potatoes from grocery stores and that's worked out well for you?
     
  4. Margaret

    Margaret Active Member 10 Years

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    The reason seed potatoes are grown by many gardeners is because they are guaranteed to be disease free and I also find that there is a greater variety as most store bought organic potatoes are either marked as red, russet or white. Seed potatoes can also get blight, scab and beetles just like the regular ones. All potatoes have the potential to be seed potatoes although they are not really seeds but tubers. The true seeds grow from the flowers and look like tomatoes but they are poisonous. It is my understanding that most potatoes sold in the grocery stores are treated to prevent them from sprouting and spoiling sooner. The organic potatoes are not treated and therefore will sprout and will reproduce themselves. You will find that if you "miss" a few while harvesting your potatoes they will very likely grow the following year. I can only liken it to buying flower seeds in packages or collecting your own seed.
    Hope this helps.
    Margaret
     
  5. jackienewgardener

    jackienewgardener Member

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    Thanks so much Margaret, that's all super helpful info!

    Best of luck with your gardening efforts this season,
    jackie
     
  6. Kara

    Kara Active Member

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    The only way to have truly disease free stock is to save true potato seed (TPS) from the fruits at the top of the plants. That way if disease strikes, you have a back up and do not have to rely on commercial sources.

    Do a search on the web for TaterMater, a blog by Tom Wagner. I didn't know if links are allowed here, but his site is easily found. He naturally hybridizes tomatoes and potatoes by hand pollinating with chosen varieties. He also sells collections of true potato seed.

    Some commercially available tuber "seed" potatoes may have the flower/fruit capability bred out of them.

    Now it may take two seasons to see a decent crop of tubers from TPS. But potatoes have 48 chromosomes I think and each is a genetic lottery. You never know what you will get from TPS.

    By hybridizing your own potatoes you may eventually come up with a type that is very disease and pest resistant and ideal for your soil and climate.

    Just don't eat the potato fruit. But the seeds are fermented and dried just like with tomato seeds.
     

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