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.
Nev's TPS - 136NS78B
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.