Potato Seeds?

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This is the 2nd year that we have planted the potato variety, Carole, and the 2nd year that they have produced what looks like seed pods. They are green and about the size of cherry tomatoes. I read somewhere that some varieties of potato produce seeds like this but it didn't say what to do with them. I had several volunteers come up this year and am wondering if these were produced from the seeds. Should we just cover the pods with compost when we dig the potatoes out or is there some way to save them and plant them next year?

-- Cindy in NY (cjpopeck@worldnet.att.net), August 12, 2001


when you say "pod" are you talking a seed head of some sort,, or a small tater? If a seed head,, wait till it starts to dry,, the pluck it, and save it in a paper bag till next year.

-- stan (sopal@net-port.com), August 12, 2001.

No these aren't really like a seed pod. They are fleshy like a tomato. We tried saving some whole last year but they just rotted.

-- Cindy in NY (cjpopeck@worldnet.att.net), August 12, 2001.

Potatoes are related to tomatoes, aren't they? I'm pretty sure I've been told that. Try saving the seed as you would for tomatoes. (Involves letting the fruits ferment in a bucket and straining out the guck, there are directions for how to do this on the Internet, try a GOOGLE search)

-- Sojourner (notime4@summer.spam), August 12, 2001.

are you talking about something that is growing on the stem,, near the leaves,,or is this underground like a tater? Does it have seeds inside it?

-- stan (sopal@net-port.com), August 12, 2001.

I don't know what kind of potatoes you people grow, but I don't think I've ever seen anything like that on the potatoe plants that I grow.

-- Russell Hays (rhays@sstelco.com), August 12, 2001.

Yes, I had about a half dozen fruits on my potatoes last year and more this year. I tried picking out the VERY tiny seeds to grow, but it didn't work. I don't know if that was because they weren't mature enough, or whether they were sterile (like the seeds in the bananas at the grocery). The whole fruits just rotted.

The story is that the original Idaho baking potato was produced from a fertile seed from such a fruit, and then they have been reproduced by asexual (clone) production of the tubers to the numbers available today. You won't get anything near the production from saving 'seed' tubers for planting, if anything. You could try it as an interesting experiment, but don't count on it for food production.

Mine are being produced on a red-skinned salad type potato, and I had a fingerling plant set fruit last year as well. By the way, don't be tempted to eat that potato fruit -- it is closer akin to it's Nightshade relatives in that matter than to it's Tomato relatives. It's poisonous.

-- julie f. (rumplefrogskin@excite.com), August 13, 2001.

Stan - These grow on their own branch and look like green cherry tomatoes. They grow in groups of 3 or 4 and contain small seeds inside.

Julie - I think I will just turn them under when I dig the potatoes and see what happens next year. We grew a red potato last year and they didn't have the seed pods.

-- Cindy in NY (cjpopeck@worldnet.att.net), August 13, 2001.

Cindy,, were these taters ever grown from one of those,, tomaters/potato plants? Almost sounds as if the plant is going "wild", back to the nightshade variety. Might be interesting to see,, but you may not want it croos breed with other taters

-- stan (sopal@net-port.com), August 13, 2001.

I'd segregate them, if you want to experiment. Potato tubers are clones - genetically identical to the parent, reliable. Seeds as you describe are used by agonomists for breeding new varieties, they're highly variable, hence unreliable - they could do anything, including being highly vulnerable to diseases, maybe resistant to a disease, maybe don't bear well, maybe poisonous - anything. Don't mix them in with your known good stock. If any of them produce something that looks desirable, you could increase it by growing tubers, and check it out the next year.

-- Don Armstrong (darmst@yahoo.com.au), August 13, 2001.

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