Potato plants doing something strange!!!

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by archangel, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. archangel

    archangel Member

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    Last summer we got the potato plugs, purple, Yukon gold, and some Whole foods ones that sprouted before we could cook them.

    Well, we did not get to do much but plant some herbs and the potatoes.

    As the year went by the garden was left to go wild, only pulling weeds and watering.

    The first snow hit fast before I could dig them all up.

    This spring the potatoes came back with a fury!
    Must have been pissed I left them out all winter! LOL!

    Shortly after they started going wild and getting HUGE, we moved across town and I decided to wait again to harvest them this fall, but I still went by to pull the weeds all round the house and prepare for renting it.

    By now the lack of rain had the stems starting to dry up and they had already fallen over onto the mulch (grass clippings put down real thick).

    While pulling the few (well known to me) weeds that had crept into the edges of the potato patch mulch, I saw small clusters (anywhere from 1 to 9 per cluster, the average was about 4 or 5) of what looked like green cherry tomatoes, grapes, or goose berries.

    Well, while inspecting to see what had worked it's way into the potato patch, I found that these small green globes were firmly attached to the potato plant stem tops, as in growing from them!

    I pinched one that was soft and starting to go rotten and it looked like a tomato on the inside!

    BUT THESE ARE POTATO PLANTS, NOT TOMATO PLANTS!

    And I have read about grafted potato and tomato plants that have full grown tomatoes on top and potatoes on the bottom, but these grew from plain old potato plugs with no help from me other than watering the first year and adding the mulch was THICK, so little could grow there other than what I made room for!

    What gives?

    I have collected 65 that are still firm and are on the stems.

    There were about 100 in all that I saw and they there from about 10 to 15 plugs planted in all at that part of the patch next to the foundation of the house.

    The end where the purple ones were planted, only one came back this year.

    I did save some of all three types from last winter and planted them here at the new house in the spring just like at the old house last year, and they are growing, just like the other ones did the first year, slow and steady.
     
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Nothing strange at all. These are the fruits of the potato plant. They look similar to tomatoes because that is a common fruit-type in the Solanaceae (or potato family).
     
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Those tomato-like objects are the potato fruit, containing seeds. Tomato and Potato are closely related, in the same genus, and the fruit are therefore very similar in structure. There is however one important difference - Potato fruit are poisonous, so don't eat them.

    When they are fully ripe, you could harvest the seed from them to sow next spring, though the quality of the potatoes produced by plants grown from the seed might not be too good.
     
  4. archangel

    archangel Member

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    Potato fruit?

    Rapid fire 101 questions time!

    I thought potatoes were a root crop that sprouted from root plugs, not seeds.

    So there are potato seeds I can harvest from these fruits and grow potatoes from them?

    If so, why do they not sell the seeds, only potato plugs?

    Are they edible?

    Are you sure they are not some unique, never before seen, worth a fortune, strain of potato and you are just telling me this to put me at ease so you can come over an pinch my my newly discovered, gold mine to the rest of the world plant?----LOL!!!!
     
  5. archangel

    archangel Member

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    Answered before I asked!
     
  6. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?AUNKD 13 August 2008 Potato Seeds
    Potato seed pods were collected from my potato patch. The pods were on the ground under the almost spent vegetation. I am going to treat the pods similar to drying tomato seeds (fermenting and drying), when the pods are a bit more dry. The seeds will be planted in a bed to form little potatoes and these will then be planted. Apparently seeds do not produce a similar potato as the parent, and revert back to characteristics of original parents. This is how new strains are produced. The tubers may be better or worse depending upon chance. I could only distinguish the Russian Blue in a separate patch, so mixed the Kennebec, Superior and Chieftain in one batch.

    http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?DLIZU 2008 Growing experience.
     
  7. archangel

    archangel Member

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    WOW!
    Good info, thanks!
     
  8. Zachrey

    Zachrey Member

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    If you have a serious potato pest or disease problem and have some time (about ten years), you can breed your own varieties of potatoes that will be resistant to pest and diseases in your area. It's called "Horizontal Resistance Breeding" and is a great way to create NEW heirloom varieties. No longer do you have to preserve old heirloom varieties, you can make your own!

    Check out:
    http://www.sharebooks.ca/title.php

    specifically, Raoul Robinson's Amateur Potato breeding handbook:

    http://www.sharebooks.ca/free_ebook_downloads.php?filename=SpudsManual.pdf


    Cheers!
    Zac
     

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