This mix is meant to be an introduction to true potato seed. You get a lot of seeds (200+) so that you can learn and make mistakes and still have plenty to grow. The seeds contained in this packet are primarily tetraploid, which is the more familiar category of potatoes in the northern hemisphere. Tetraploid potatoes are characterized by early tuber formation, good dormancy, larger size, and the ability to self-pollinate. We have mostly eliminated self-sterile types, but a few are still likely to pop up. Potato germination is slow and irregular, but we’ve found a total germination rate of about 70% over three months. We don’t typically test germination for current year seeds because the results change so rapidly over the first year.
The composition of the mix changes from year to year. This year will be the last that this mix will contain a majority of modern genetics (it is probably 60/40 tuberosum to andigenum this year). I have been moving away from modern lines for several years now and will be growing an overwhelming majority of Andean varieties in 2018. This mix will produce potatoes with a wide variety of characteristics, including different skin and flesh colors, different flower and foliage colors, different photoperiods and dormancy, and all shapes and sizes. The more that you grow, the more varieties you will see. Some will probably be as productive and tasty as mainstream varieties. Others will be inferior. When you grow potatoes from seed, you are rolling a lot of dice.