seed potatoes

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seed potatoes

Postby squeaky » Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:32 pm

Hi
I have not posted for some time, but am always interested in what Ishers have to say, and their combined knowledge/advice.
My question is that I still have potatoes left over from last year (charlottes). They are stored in a dark garage but are currently chitting away nicely. Could I use them for this year's crop, or do I really have to go out and buy some seed potatoes? What are the risks in using last year's potatoes?
Any advice or comments would be much appreciated.
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Re: seed potatoes

Postby diggernotdreamer » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:08 pm

My humble opinion, for what it is worth, but probably not very scientific. I buy seed potatoes every year. I buy 5 or so different sorts every year to have fresh seed. I then use about 4 or so sorts of seed potato that I have saved myself, weeding out any suspect looking ones, ie wrinkled, mouldy, etc. from the previous year, but next year those 4 or so I will buy as fresh seed, using the others that were produced from fresh as seed for the following year. (Probably not really recommended because of the danger of viruses but heyho). it does save me a fortune on buying in fresh seed of 10 or more varieties every year. I do it, but I would never tell anyone else it is a good thing to do, but I have never had a problem doing it. :scratch: :silent:
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Re: seed potatoes

Postby Zech » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:25 pm

The theory is that disease builds up year on year, and the only way to be sure of disease-free spuds is to buy from the suppliers. Call me cynical, but I suspect the risks are much overstated by the suppliers. I planted some back-of-the-cupboard sprouters last year, and they didn't do any worse than the shop-bought seed potatoes.
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Re: seed potatoes

Postby diggernotdreamer » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:23 pm

I like to live on the edge and just enjoy the danger of it all :lol:
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Re: seed potatoes

Postby squeaky » Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:33 pm

Many thanks for your answers. I like the idea of living on the edge, so I shall try at least one row using my old potatoes and see what happens.
Thank you.
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Re: seed potatoes

Postby Maykal » Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:55 pm

People here use the previous year's spuds. I think they'd scratch their heads at the idea of buying spuds to grow spuds. Perhaps they lose the odd plant, or maybe yields aren't as good as ones from suppliers, I don't know, but I'm with Zech on this one.

Apparently it's good practice to grow them in a different place each year though, to help combat disease.
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Re: seed potatoes

Postby OldWolf » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:56 am

Well this year i got 40 tubers of Maris Piper so will be using containers and the odd growbag for mine at least until i can get an allotment or get a patch dug at home lol bedfordshire and clay such fun!
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Re: seed potatoes

Postby GeorgeSalt » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:21 pm

Maykal wrote:Apparently it's good practice to grow them in a different place each year though, to help combat disease.


That's jusy basic common sense crop rotation, goes back to the Romans at least.. don't grow your onions where you grew you onions last year, your spuds where you grew spuds last year, or turnips/sprouts/cabbage/kale/broccoli where you grew your turnips/sprouts/cabbage/kale/broccoli last year-

I buy in seed potatoes (just ordered them today - Charlotte, Duke of York and Shetland Black), but we generally let volunteers grow where they occur unless they're in the way of other plans. In part this is because I'm trying different varieties to see what suits the allotment - slug resisitance being a very desrirable trait in our soil. Charlotte and Shetland Black are this years new trials, Duke of York did very well two years ago.
Curently collecting recipes for The Little Book of Liqueurs..
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Re: seed potatoes

Postby gregorach » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:17 am

I've been growing potatoes from the remains of my previous year's crop for three years now with no obvious problems...
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Re: seed potatoes

Postby DavidP » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:49 pm

We've just been discussing this one ourselves. We have in the past always bought seed potatoes but they do get to be quite expensive. After much reading up on the internet I am much in agreement with Zech's comments that the risks are probably overstated. Spuds are prone to disease and that's why you shouldn't plant them in the same place year after year to make sure that there is no build up of baddies in the soil. Same thing goes with seed potatoes they are more likely, though not guaranteed, to be disease free. Interestingly the vast majority of seed potatoes in the shops are actually grown from Tubers, only spuds called True Seed potatoes are grown from seed. They are mostly grown in Scotland where the weather, wind etc keeps them clear of disease.

We have bought seed spuds this year. But from now on we will be selecting the most healthy looking stored spuds and then planting those the next year and maybe replace with new seeds spuds every few years after that.
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