Americans Should Be Careful of Ukraine True Potato Seeds (TPS)

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Several varieties of uniform true potato seeds are available from eastern Europe and these are commonly offered through online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon.  The names of these varieties include Asol, Diva, Empress, Fermer (Farmer), Ilona, Krasa (Beauty), Milena, Revansh (Revenge), and variations and translations of these names.  These varieties are not legal to grow […]

Everything You Need to Know About Indeterminate Potatoes

Lime green foliage and long leaves characteristic of a diploid domesticated potato

Ten years ago, almost nobody was talking about indeterminate potatoes.  Over the years, interest has crept up to the point where I now receive hundreds of inquiries each year about which of the varieties that I offer, or which potato varieties in general, are indeterminate.  This is surprising, because it is a rather obscure topic […]

Crossing Between Solanum maglia and Domesticated Diploid Potatoes (Part 2)

Tubers of a Solanum maglia x domesticated diploid hybrid

In part 1 of this post, I discussed the reasons for attempting to hybridize domesticated diploid potatoes with Solanum maglia.  The major reason is simple exploration, but S. maglia also has some interesting traits that could be valuable.  For one thing, the plants are large, with broad foliage, and might help to produce larger, higher […]

The Highland Potato with Its Own Song

Flower of the potato (Solanum ajanhuiri) variety 'Jancko Ajawiri'

Solanum ajanhuiri is a native Andean potato, grown at the highest elevations suitable for cultivation (around 13,000 feet) in Bolivia and Peru, where it can survive due to its frost and drought resistance.  There is a Bolivian folk song for the planting of this potato, given here from Huaman (1980), after translation from Aymara to […]

Crossing Between Solanum maglia and Domesticated Diploid Potatoes (Part 1)

Cut S. maglia berry

Solanum maglia is a wild potato from Chile.  It is kind of an oddity, because it grows in a region of South America quite some distance from both other populations of wild potatoes and from the region where domesticated potatoes were originally grown in Chile.  Unlike the vast majority of wild potatoes, it is a […]

The Practicality of Diploid Potatoes in North America

Potatoes from Cultivariables 2018 wide diploid TPS mix

The domesticated potato (Solanum tuberosum) is divided into two major groups based on the number of sets of chromosomes: tetraploids, with four sets of chromosomes, and diploids, with two sets of chromosomes.  The common potato of commerce is tetraploid.  There are also hundreds, if not thousands, of varieties of diploid potatoes, but they are mostly […]

Why You Should Not Bring Home Potatoes from Abroad

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Often, when people first learn about Andean potatoes, they get excited and decide that they want to load their bag with cool potatoes the next time they travel to South America.  I understand being excited about potatoes, but we need to temper that enthusiasm with some knowledge.  I probably get about one email a month […]

Fine Tuning Germination of Older True Potato Seeds

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I start thousands of true potato seeds every year.  You would think that I would be an expert by now, but my results suggest otherwise.  One of the biggest problem areas for me is starting older TPS.  I grow a lot of genebank accessions that are often decades old and they just don’t germinate as […]

‘Purple Star’ Potato Virus Cleanup Part 1: Initial Testing

Tubers of the potato variety 'Purple Star'

This is the first of a series of short videos that will document the process of eliminating viruses from the ‘Purple Star’ potato variety.  Purple Star was selected by Nathan Pierce of the Kenosha Potato Project in 2016 and has since shown the usual signs of running out due to virus burden.  In this video, […]