Landrace Gardening: True Potato Seeds

| 7/24/2013 2:52:00 PM

Tags: landrace gardening, potatoes, Utah, Joseph Lofthouse,

potato varietiesPotato seeds are harvested from potato fruits. The pollinated seeds are called "True Potato Seed" (TPS) to differentiate them from "seed potatoes" which are genetically identical clones of a tuber. I do not like growing a lot of clones in my garden because of the danger of total crop failure due to genetic uniformity. However potatoes are a crop that is easy to propagate by cloning, and during good times potato clones produce a lot of food.

I grow a combination of cloned potatoes and potato seedlings each growing season. By growing the clones, I am planting varieties that have grown well for me in the past. By growing true potato seeds, I am introducing genetic diversity into my potato patch, and adapting potatoes to my local conditions and way of doing things. Each year I select a few of the seedlings to grow as clones the following year. I aim for balance between the clones and the seedlings. I want to constantly refresh the genepool and search for new and better varieties while maintaining the varieties that have done well in the past.

As is typical with landrace gardening, lots of fun shapes, colors, and tastes show up among the offspring of true potato seeds.potato seeds

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