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What is true potato seed or TPS and why isn't it used more instead of the tubers to propagate?.
Potatoes grown from tubers are an exact clone of the parent plant and because of this virus levels build up within that clone, virus is passed from tuber to the next. Plants grown from TPS on the other hand become new hybrid in there own right and are 100% virus free as virus cant be passed on through the seed these tend to display different characteristics from the parent plant. Because of this diversity a wide range of colours, variable tuber shapes, tastes, size of tubers and a range of flower colours is the result. There are possibilities that some of these new clones could go on to produce increased the tolerance levels to Psyllid which is a new potato pest insect to NZ, this could have great benefits for the average home gardener who doesn't want control the pest through the use chemicals and expensive nets.
Growing potatoes from seed is great fun to try your hand at.
Details After having a bad strike from this seed its been put on hold and fresh seed will be taken during the 2019/2020 growing season, this new seed will be germinate tested to see if its worth putting it back up again.
The tubers were donated by Julian Twiss who lives in a district prone to the pest insect psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli, In Julian's garden he had had a corner that became overgrown, that in previous years had grown a large number of varieties, it was only a TPS clone that was able to handle growing in what is a swamp corner in winter, bone dry in summer, in long grass and having to battle psyllid attack.
For those potato growers who live in high psyllid numbers areas, you maybe interested in growing La Ratte X from TPS?, the aim would be to select for seedlings that show some degree of tolerance, by saving those tubers next step is growing your own TPS again and grow another generation and so on, the idea is by selecting the most tolerant in each generation, the number of seedlings with that trait will increase.
You never know, someone may develop a variety that could become quite valuable.
Price for this seed is lower because germination rates are lower
Botanical name Solanum tuberosum
Price per packet $2.00
Packet contents approx 50
Grower name Richard Watson
Nev's TPS - 136NS78B
Details You won't have met many people who have propagated potatoes by any other than vegetative means; in other words from tubers from the previous crop. You may have noticed though, that some potato plants produce flowers. Still fewer of these plants go on to develop and mature small greenish fruits. They look tomato-like and contain a stiff "pulp" holding many small white seeds. These seeds can be encouraged to germinate and with some care will grow into small plants that are easily recognised as miniature potato plants.
Even from a relatively early stage when they may only be 100mms tall, differences will be discernible between these individuals. They truly are individuals. They may not all prosper. They will each possess their own degree of disease resistance and vigour. As a propagator you will be rewarded, by those that flourish, with crops of distinctly unique potato tubers; diverse in both form, colour, flavour, texture, maturity and keeping qualities. This is a pursuit I have been involved in for at least 20 years. It is an exciting enterprise (if you are a potato Nerd!), and can result in the coming into being of very worthwhile, totally new, delicious cultivars that you can then continue into the future via the usual system of growing from tubers. But don't forget to keep seed from the best of them and continue the exploration of potatoes from true seed.
Botanical name Solanum tuberosum
Price per packet $4.00
Packet contents 40
Grower name Nev and Sue Sinclair
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