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Seed potato size?

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Seed potato size?

Post  TasV on 5/3/2014, 2:56 am

Hello from Australia!

My veggies beds are round circular sections cut from an old corrugated iron water tank I had lying around and I have just finished my autumn potato harvest. It was a bumper harvest with about 30kg of potatoes harvested from just two 12" deep x 2m diam. beds. As might be expected, there was a big range in size from good fist sized potatoes down to little 3/4" potatoes. I've sorted them all out, brushed them clean of soil, and have all the ones that are too small, or green from being exposed to the sun in the bed, set aside with the intention of storing them for next spring's seed. I was wondering what the best size for seed potatoes is? 

This is the range of sizes I have for the ones I was going to store for next spring's plantings:



The smallest is just shy of 1" (2.5cm). 

The bigger ones are fine to use but do you think it is worth keeping the smallest ones as next year's seed?

Cheers,

Simon
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Re: Seed potato size?

Post  jimmy cee on 5/3/2014, 8:06 am

Welcome tasv
I'm new at the potato thing, trying a few this year is circular wire rings..
I planted some yukon gold last week, waiting to see what happens
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Re: Seed potato size?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 5/3/2014, 8:11 am

Hi Tasv.  Welcome to the forum!

The seed potatoes we used this year were about fist-sized or a bit smaller.

The big thing is:  how many eyes do the individual potatoes have?  The eyes are going to be your sprouts.  So you want a few eyes on each piece.

Small potatoes I left whole.  Larger ones were cut into pieces with at least 3 eyes per piece.

Hope that helps!
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Re: Seed potato size?

Post  TasV on 5/3/2014, 8:14 am

They will work well, Jimmy. As the plants grow add compost to the cage to encourage the plants to grow up more. More roots will form along the stem which will result in more potatoes.
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Re: Seed potato size?

Post  jimmy cee on 5/3/2014, 1:14 pm

Tasv
Thanks,
the right one I made a cover the entire way, however it was getting no sun so I slit it for warmth.
2nd I only added to the lower section, plan to add as the plant grows keeping the spuds covered.
This is my first episode with them, so it's an experiment...
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Re: Seed potato size?

Post  boffer on 5/3/2014, 1:24 pm

Jimmy, there are determinate and indeterminate potatoes.  You said you are planting Yukon Golds which are determinate.

Determinates will only produce potatoes at the level that the seed potato was planted.  Adding soil, MM, or any other organic material as the plant grows will not produce more potatoes.

It's indeterminate potatoes  that will produce more potatoes along the vine as you add more soil.

I had great success the first year I tried what you're doing.  But then I couldn't duplicate it the next three years.  It took a while to figure out what was going on.
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Re: Seed potato size?

Post  jimmy cee on 5/3/2014, 4:21 pm

many thanks boffer
I'd a been waiting a long time then...after what you just mentioned I'll just sit and wait.
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Re: Seed potato size?

Post  boffer on 5/3/2014, 4:42 pm

Some folks think that's a big problem with SFG: Once the planting is done, there's nothing to do but sit around and watch stuff grow!
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Re: Seed potato size?

Post  TasV on 5/3/2014, 9:59 pm

I never knew that! After a little of reading it seems the determinate potatoes are also the early maturing ones, too, which is good news. The ones I planted were 'Moonlight' potatoes which are also early maturing (and so probably determinate).

Live and learn  
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Re: Seed potato size?

Post  jimmy cee on 5/3/2014, 10:46 pm

@boffer wrote:Some folks think that's a big problem with SFG:  Once the planting is done, there's nothing to do but sit around and watch stuff grow!
LOL..this guy aint one of em.
When I'm sitting I am sleeping if not thinking of what to do next, if I ever run out of something to do......DW  will fix that up very quickly.....
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Re: Seed potato size?

Post  boffer on 5/3/2014, 11:33 pm

LOL Parent and wives: never tell them that you're bored!   
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Re: Seed potato size?

Post  Triciasgarden on 5/4/2014, 1:36 pm

@boffer wrote:I had great success the first year I tried what you're doing.  But then I couldn't duplicate it the next three years.  It took a while to figure out what was going on.

So Boffer, what did you figure out was going on?

If any of you are bored, you are welcome to come to my yard.  I will find something for you to do, lol!
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Re: Seed potato size?

Post  boffer on 5/4/2014, 2:01 pm

Razz   I'm sure you could!


It was purely by chance that I planted an indeterminate potato and had success the first year.  The following years I must have planted determinate potatoes, again, by chance.

I posted  about it a couple years ago, and nobody had any ideas why sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't.   It took some time before the concept of determinate/indeterminate potatoes began to be discussed, and I had an AHA! moment.
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Re: Seed potato size?

Post  plantoid on 5/4/2014, 4:25 pm

@TasV wrote:Hello from Australia!

My veggies beds are round circular sections cut from an old corrugated iron water tank I had lying around and I have just finished my autumn potato harvest. It was a bumper harvest with about 30kg of potatoes harvested from just two 12" deep x 2m diam. beds. As might be expected, there was a big range in size from good fist sized potatoes down to little 3/4" potatoes. I've sorted them all out, brushed them clean of soil, and have all the ones that are too small, or green from being exposed to the sun in the bed, set aside with the intention of storing them for next spring's seed. I was wondering what the best size for seed potatoes is? 

This is the range of sizes I have for the ones I was going to store for next spring's plantings:



The smallest is just shy of 1" (2.5cm). 

The bigger ones are fine to use but do you think it is worth keeping the smallest ones as next year's seed?

Cheers,

Simon

Small hens egg are good for seed spuds if you're buying commercial stuff .


Best size I found for home produced potatoes was a medium hens egg size ones, anythjng bigger is just wasting eating  potatoes .

 They will need careful cold dry 3 o C  storage if your planning to use this years crop for next years seeds .

Storing them in cold dry sand or cold almost dry peat works but for both methods do leave the top open so that they can breath and not sweat, as sweating sends them rotten .

Check the spuds every 8 weeks and bin any bad ones .. use new filler material as well if you find bad ones .



 If you put the greened potatoes in a cool damp dark place for a week or so they normally lose the green and can be eaten .
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Re: Seed potato size?

Post  Triciasgarden on 5/5/2014, 11:44 am

Boffer, that was an interesting thing to learn for me also (from this forum) and I mentioned it to a man at the store last year when I was getting my seed potatoes.

Dave, thank you for mentioning what to do about the green potatoes.  I was wondering what to do with them.
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Re: Seed potato size?

Post  boffer on 5/5/2014, 3:28 pm

@plantoid wrote:... If you put the greened potatoes in a cool damp dark place for a week or so they normally lose the green and can be eaten .

I haven't heard that before. Usually the advice is to just cut off the green.

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Re: Seed potato size?

Post  TasV on 5/5/2014, 5:46 pm

Be wary about trying to 'reverse' the greening of potatoes by storing them in the dark. Most places will advise that once the potatoes start forming chlorophyll, which stimulates the production of solanine, the process cannot be reversed. See references such as this one from the University of Idaho: cals.uidaho.edu/edComm/pdf/cis/cis1153.pdf 

Greening is, as most people know, caused by exposure to light. This causes the potato to begin forming chlorophyll which is green. This in itself is not toxic but it initiates the production of the glycoalkaloid solanine which is meant to protect the potato tuber against predation by making them bitter, unpalatable, and toxic (especially around the shoots). I would recommend discardind the green ones or use them as seed potatoes.
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Re: Seed potato size?

Post  plantoid on 5/5/2014, 6:02 pm

Thanks for that TasV it's interesting indeed .

 I'm 63yrs old  and  have often bunged slightly greened spuds in a dark cool place till they show clear of it ..Yes they get peeled and cooked .

 When you think of the almost automatic mechanical harvesting of row grown potatoes there are loads of greened spuds shot  in the uni-boxes and shipped unsorted direct through the automated washing plant then straight into cold stores..  At the veg packing plants there are hardly any throw outs for greening. So all the greens that have reverted must enter the food chain and get scoffed .
 

I don't think it's harmed me yet , I don't think it's harmed me yet, I don't think it's harmed me yet, I don't think it's harmed me yet ,  I don't think it's harmed me yet . Laughing
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Re: Seed potato size?

Post  plantoid on 5/6/2014, 7:59 am

I did a bit of different online looking up & found that according to the results given for the tests you'd need to eat about 4 1/2 pound ( 2.3 kg) of fully all green potatoes at one sitting before it affected an adult.

 I suppose that why it's never bothered me eating any that have been made to revert to normal colours .

 Over here we have natural potato crisps ..you guys call them potato chips ?? . Many is the time you see the thin green fried skin edge on them .

Our chips are what you guys call French Fries quite often you can also see bits of green skin on the naturally made oven  potato chips.
 
I take it that the research was relating to white IRISH potatoes and not some Inca type Yukon  species.
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