View Full Version : Growing Potatoes - Must I use Certified Seed Potatoes
15-11-2003, 09:17 PM
My soil is a bit problematic - so I intend to make a number of no dig gardens. My plan is to grow potatoes using the hay method - and these beds will then compost down to be my first beds for other vegetables.
I know that I should be using certified seed potatoes but am having trouble sourcing some at present. What experience have reader had with just buying the types of potatoes they want from the fruit shop, shooting these and using them as the seed potatoes??? Is this likely to be a problem. Then what about subsequent crops - if I did get seed potatoes, do I have to do this each time or can I use my own potatoes that I have grown??
18-11-2003, 07:34 PM
They say that you should buy certified potatos because of possible diseases that may come from edible spuds. I have some regular spuds in at the moment, give me a couple of weeks, they have just started flowering, and I will let you know if I have any problems.
19-11-2003, 12:01 PM
I wouldnt risk it Veggie.... will cause you more probs if your soil gets diseased.
For around $12 thereabouts you can get certified ones. I know Northey St. has been selling them. It's a small price for peace of mind, plus you can get a large harvest!
23-07-2004, 03:03 AM
I've grown a bag of sprouted eatin potatoes no worries, last year, this year, grown certified as do not want to introduce any nasties in my soil, everyone seems to recomend this, Sindhu, Jackie French, Conventionals, Chooknut. Also, get rid of resprouting potatoes plants of old as aphids can easily pass on diseases to your certified ones.
23-07-2004, 04:59 AM
there is supposed to be a risk of blight if you don't use certified seed spuds, not sure how big the risk is i have grown using spuds from an organic shop. i generally use seed spuds as they aren't super expensive around here they fetch around $2.50 per kilo. i did hear that if you get infested that it it hard to make the ground safe again dunno?? never been down that track. maybe the risk comes from mono-cropped conventionaly grown spuds??
23-07-2004, 04:51 PM
As it turns out I bought certified seed potatoes for my straw potato garden - from a supposedly reputable nursery. All the plants from those potatoes got leaf curl and died. The certified seed potatoes I bought from a local feed shop to fill some gaps in my garden have not succumbed, so I have dug up the old dead plants and put in more of the good potatoes.
I did still get a bit over 10kg from the crap plants, which I am in the process of eating.
I am very dubious about the claim that some potatoes are genuine certified seed potato - after all how can they go through all the processes and difficulties of keeping disease free and still only charge $1.80 a kg???
I rang the nursery where I got the diseased potatoes and it turned out they couldn't give a shit - big suprise. I should out the bastards but am concerned about getting sued for defamation.
I let you all know how I go with the next crop.
Len - I'll send you that e-mail tonight or tomorrow - nothing exciting in it I'm afraid.
23-07-2004, 08:03 PM
i'll look forward to it all the same e/mails make my day.
guess buying certified seed potates is a lottery like everything else, like when i bought a bi-sexual yellow pawpaw i was assured by the nursery that it would produce the goods, my tree turned out to be a fruiting male, so rang the nursery back and got them to talk to the supplier/grower who said they only guarantee a hit rate of genuine bi-sexual trees in the ratio some 20%. so i would have had to planted 10 trees to get 2 good ones.
i reckon you should name the guilty care less nursery, keep the bastards honest so to speak. i just don't know how they certify the things? all a mystery.
01-11-2005, 03:33 PM
Vegie boy, I've been growing potatoes for a few years. Often I buy seed potatoes, usually when I want to try a new variety - I get these from green harvest which is local to me. But when I want to keep growing the same variety, I use the small potatoes from the previous crop as my seeds. This is what potato farmers do. My guess if that if you start out with organic spuds and grow organically with no disease problems, then there's minimal chance of the new seeds being infected. I've never had a problem yet and we get good crops every year.
This year we planted in the ground and in potato cages. Both methods produced well. I think it's important to practise crop rotation and not plant the spuds in the same place.
01-11-2005, 07:59 PM
Since I originally posted that message I have grown a number of crops of spuds - on hay - with varying levels of success. One time I let the bad lady beetles get out of control and they ate most of the leaves - lesson, use the forefinger/thumb technique early in the season. Another time (or maybe 2 times - they died back a bit early because the stems rotted from the hay/manure mix getting too wet from te rain (or me waterring :-x ). Still got quite a lot of potatoes each time - but it is quite frustrating when you harvest and there are heaps of potatoes still at pea or marble size. One day I'll get it all right and have a huge crop. Regardless, it is amazing how much the soil under the crop improved - and of course I also had the decomposing hay to finish composting as well. Heaps of worm - heaps.
I have been buying seed potatoes from a produce joint at Samford. Bit disappointed last time because most of them didn't have proper eyes. Next time I'm going to buy a mixture of potatoes from diggers club. Check them out - it is much cheaper than green harvest. I use greenharvest for lots of my stuff - but I just think their spuds are a bit expensive.
At the moment - probably a bit late in season, but oh well, I have in a small crop, seed potatoes bought from Hawkins. There are 3 types, 3 potatoes of each. Saphire, Kipfler and viking. Bought these before I saw how well priced they are at diggers club. Anyway, my sole intention is to grow from these 9 enough seed to use next season, build up my seed stock.
Thanks for starting up this old thread again. I reckon I have come a fair way since those posts, which I made only a couple of months after joining this forum. The forum is certainly different these days - much more active than those days - heaps to read up on daily. Topics discussed are certainly more broad now - lot's of 'fluff and stuff' - not that I'm complaining - but also still lot's of the same sort of stuff being discussed also. The forum never discussed aquaponics in those days :D :) :( :o :shock: :? 8) :lol: :x :-x :P :razz: :oops: :cry: :evil: :twisted: :roll: :wink: :!: :?:
01-11-2005, 08:34 PM
Thanks, you just reminded me...... must plant some spuds..... :D
Here in W.A. we don't get a lot of choice, can't get fancy seed potatoes from over east, and the seed potatoes I have seen here at nurseries in the past have been of one variety (can't remember which).
But, we do get quite a variety of spuds in the vegie shops now, so I'm just going to have to plant uncertified eating ones...
Your right veggie boy, a crop of spuds grown in straw is THE best way to clear an area and build up the soil... Cool, looking forward to tomorrow, straw and spods..... :D :D
02-11-2005, 02:53 AM
with using the straw method which is how i do it i think getting the water to the base of the plant is the better method that leaves all the straw basically drier. i had no rotting/damping off problems that way.
my last season was a shocker winter was way too warm.
i planted certified seed spuds and shop bought spuds that someone had that had all gone to budding. did lots better with the sebago's than did the red pontiacs not much variety available up here.
even with the bad season the certified plants did way better the others where nearly a waste of time and water, don't know why? this has ahppened before i have relyed on shop bought spuds and not gotten mush of a result. i have actually done better with volunteers that grew a couple season after the initial planting.
not going to waste my time with shop bought spuds anymore.
02-11-2005, 06:52 AM
This is from:
http://www.sardi.sa.gov.au/pages/hortic ... eedpot.htm (http://www.sardi.sa.gov.au/pages/horticulture/pathology/hort_pn_disseedpot.htm)
"In a recent survey of certified potato seed used in South Australia, tubers were taken at random from bins, the tubers washed and then assessed for diseases. The results showed that none of the 53 tuber lots sampled were completely disease free (Table 1). In some samples all the tubers examined were infected with Silver scurf while in others all were infected with either Black dot or Black scurf (Rhizoctonia).
The other area of concern is the high level of Verticillium detected in tuber seed lots. Tubers infected with this fungus show no external symptoms and isolations must be made to test for this fungus. We found Verticillium in most seed lots tested and in some samples 60% of the tubers were infected. Verticillium wilt is an under-rated and serious disease causing premature senescence and yield reductions of up to 30%. ... Seed growers argue that certification does not mean the tubers are disease free or that there is a zero tolerance of disease in the seed lot. Rather certification means that the seed crop has been grown to certain standards and that the tubers conform to certain tolerances for diseases and blemishes."
All the more reason to stick with my method of growing potatoes. Which is, buy good quality organic seeds, grow them the first year and use the small potatoes from that crop as seeds for your following crop. And alway use crop rotation principles.
02-11-2005, 08:48 AM
Potatoes from seeds? Do you mean that literally???
02-11-2005, 09:28 AM
No Sue, I mean seed potatoes. I don't think they ever produce seed from their flowers, it's all done by tubers.
Here's another nice bit of info from
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/plan ... otato.html (http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/plantanswers/vegetables/potato.html)
Q: Can I save the small potatoes from my spring crop for planting in the fall in my garden?
A: Yes. This is commonly done because good seed potatoes are scarce in the fall. Sometimes the potatoes saved from the spring garden fail to sprout when planted in the fall because of a natural dormancy in newly harvested potatoes. Considerable controversy exists as how to handle these potatoes in order to break the dormancy and enable them to sprout when planted. One recommended procedure for breaking the dormancy includes harvesting the potatoes and placing them in a cool storage area, preferably in the range of 50 degrees F. until about 3 to 4 weeks before the anticipated fall planting date. At that time, remove the small potatoes and maintain them at normal environmental conditions until planting time. Maintaining the seed potatoes at a high humidity during this time by covering them with moist burlap bags or some similar material will also initiate sprouting. The small potatoes should be planted whole and not cut to prevent rotting.
02-11-2005, 11:08 AM
Potatoes do produce seeds, in funny little fruits that look like small tamatoes. Some varieties seem to do it more easily than others.
I have grown potatoes successfully from certified seed paotatoes, ones that have sprouted in the cupboard (from the shop), or my own ones that have sprouted, turned green or been missed in the harvest.
From what I understand, the seed potatoes ar grown above a certain elevation and don't have diseases that are easily transmitted at lower altitudes. Crop rotation seems to aoid some of the problems, but perhaps I've been lucky too. I just can't bear to waste a sprouted potato.
02-11-2005, 11:29 AM
ejanea, tomatoes and potatoes are in the same family and sometimes potatoes will produce tomatoes, just as you've witnessed. If those seeds were planted they might be sterile or they might produce tomatoes. :)
02-11-2005, 11:33 AM
WOW, I didn't know that.... nice one. I have shop spuds in the ground at the moment, .. And they are going great guns.. No pests as let and have been in 3 weeks now. The cats that were in the full sun have really taken off but the others that where shaded by my Barley crop .. Barley crop is out now as I won the bet :) and the little spuds have started to come good..
02-11-2005, 09:44 PM
I heard a story a year or so ago from a friend who had listened to a radio interview with an American potato farmer. Apparently the seed potatoes are chemically treated to prevent disease/fungal attack to the extent that when they are transported they are treated as a hazardous chemical load. Also, this bloke described the chemical treatment of the potato crop whereby the farm workers were excluded from the potato fields for 3 days following the treatment because of the toxicity. I know this sounds pretty terrible and perhaps a little far-fetched, but the clincher came when the interviewer asked whether he ate any of his farm's potato produce: "Oh no," he replied, we grow our own organically in our home garden". Doesn't bode well for the consuming (but ignorant) masses, does it?
I would guess that non-organic seed potatoes are chemically treated for certification.
As for the hay method, I have been told (seem to running hot on third hand information here, don't I - we have just moved again and must get yet another garden going so hopefully will develop some stories and experience of my own!!!! :lol: ) that you can just lift the hay, harvest the spuds that you need and leave the plant to fatten up the remainder. I have to agree that there is nothing more frustrating than digging up a plant only to find a handful of magic beans and not the large, family feed that you were hoping for!
Good luck with your spuds!
02-11-2005, 09:55 PM
I have spuds growing in a straw and sheep-sh no-dig bed, both certified seed and also shop bought sprouted ones. They are all growing well (except sommat is eating the leaves a bit :shock: ) when do I start poking around for some? After they flower?
Jacki French "bandicoots" hers....just pokes her hand in and grabs enough for a feed and leaves the rest that keep sprouting and growing new plants and has a perpetual supply....I'm gonna try this. :D
03-11-2005, 07:30 AM
That's how I do it...the Jackie French bandicoot way. It's absolutely brilliant. Last year on Christmas Day I bandicooted enough to feed a dozen people and the plants then continued to produce until the frosts came.
03-11-2005, 07:35 AM
Great! Thanks E! I'll just let 'em go then.
I *love* Jackie French, I could read her stuff all day. Did you know she has dyslexia? Did you know she'd had a heart attack?? :(
I sound like a page out of New Idea LOL
03-11-2005, 07:58 AM
When did Jackie French have a heart attack Tully? Recently?
Have you ever seen her talk? I want to be Jackie French when I grow up! :lol:
Oh, I bandicoot too :D And always grow beans with my spuds - they like each other and always seem to do better in each other company.
03-11-2005, 08:27 AM
Tullymoor, you can start bandicooting for new potatoes about 3 weeks after you see the first flowers.
At harvest time, many potato growers don't wait for their potato plants to die back, they spray with a herbicide so the greenery will die back fast. Then they can harvest their spuds without the green bits clogging up the system. This is one of the reasons I grow my own. :?
03-07-2009, 11:06 PM
earthbound - I'm told that you can import certified seed spuds to WA from www.taspotatoes.com.au (http://www.taspotatoes.com.au) - they look to have some nice snazzy varieties! :)
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