I have been excited about this for a long time and I want to be really clear. I am talking about growing potatoes from seed from the potato fruit, not from seed potato. If you go to the farm store and ask for potato seeds, they will give you something that looks like a potato and the plant grows from the eyes on the potato.
But, of course, potatoes grow fruits that produce seeds. Here is what a potato fruit looks like.
They look like little unripe tomatoes. Don’t eat them though because they’re poisonous. The thing with potato seeds from the fruit is that they do not produce offspring that are true to type. It is like planting an apple seed. It will grow an apple tree, but the apples will most likely taste really bad. There is a chance that they will be good, that is how you get a new variety of apple, but most of them are bad. And since it takes several years before an apple seed grows into a tree of sufficient size to bear fruit, it is a long process to make a new variety of apples.
Potatoes, on the other hand, don’t have the same potential to taste bad and you can get a new potato plant that produces potatoes the next year. Of course the potatoes could be especially small or be otherwise undesirable, but I’m not completely sure what exactly you’ll get.
I think so far I’ve been talking like I know what I’m doing. I don’t. So far I have picked the fruits and prepared the seeds to be saved.
This might look like a pie. It’s not. This is how you save potato seeds (and tomato seeds). In fact, I don’t really know how to save potato seeds, but I figured that since they are related to the tomato, I would just do that.
To save the seeds, you first pick the fruit and then you cut it into pieces and expel the seeds into a bowl. You then add water and set it aside and let the water evaporate and the potato fruits mold. Tomato seeds have a protective layer that prevents them from germinating unless it is removed. It is removed in the decomposition process which, in nature, would prepare the seeds to germinate the following spring. So you have to mold your tomato (and I’m assuming potato) seeds before you put them away to grow the next year.
So I now have seeds saved and I will be planting them next year. I have no idea what I’ll end up with, but I’m hoping it will be something good. And I’m excited for the experience.