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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Home Bred Potatoes

The central row of potatoes in the picture below is of three varieties I kept from a grow out of seedlings from Nepalese potatoes someone brought back to Ireland a few years ago. The mother plants were big and sprawled all over the garden. We didn't like the taste much, but they had terrific blight resistance. I blogged about them last year when we harvested them in the autumn. They are the central row in the picture below, which shows how much bigger they are than the Sarpos on either side. The original seed potatoes were bigger than the Sarpo seed, but the Sarpos don't seem to have coped with the dry spell, as well as other varieties. The field they are growing in only has about a foot of soil so the affects of the drought were clear when this photo was taken at the end of June.
I just lifted one plant from each variety and you can see that the white 'Autumns' yielded the best. The pink and white 'Susans' also did well but the pink 'Hollys' did not yield much at all. The small pot of white potatoes at the back are 'Colleen' which I added for comparison. They are my standard early potato.
The next photo is of them cooked. We thought they all tasted as good as the Colleens but were still pretty immature, especially the pink ones. All the plants are still growing well and showing no signs of blight.


  1. olleen with lowest yield of all. I'm so disappointed, that's what we have planted. That "Autumn" variety look great. Are they widely available?

  2. No,no, Colleen is a great yielder, that is and the main reason I grow it. I just cooked a small amount, to compare the taste with the others.

  3. Good luck with breeding blight resistant potatoes - if the plants develop any berries, I'm sure Rebise would be interested in trying some. I see such work as noble: Nikolai Vavilov, Norman Borlaug .........Madeline McKeever ;)

  4. Thanks for the encouragement, dont think I am in the Vavilov/Borlaug leaque yet. Two of the varieties have berries, which I have been collecting. I would be happy to send a few seeds to anyone interested, when I extract them.

  5. Someone gave me a tip about you offering berries of some resistant potatoes and I'm really interested :D
    I've been into breeding for a couple of years now but mostly with swiss heirlooms that totally lack blight resistant genes and could use a good dose of that :)
    If you have any berries to spare write me an email (stefan@kartoffelsaatgut.ch)
    Might be that Tom Wagner is interested too: http://tatermater.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general
    Best wishes,

  6. Hi Stephan, I will send you some berries or seeds if you send me your address. I am just collecting them at the moment so it will be in a month or so when I get the seeds out. I have grown the Nepalese plants beside the Hungarian Sarpos this year. I hope they crossed as that would bring new kinds of resistance. I haven't done any hand pollinating as I can never find any pollen.

  7. Stefan and Madeline,

    Yes, I am interested in any TPS of those varieties!

    I am lucky enough to have met both of you back in October,2009.

    I am going to have some great late blight res. material this year again.

    Tom Wagner thoswagner@yahoo.com

  8. count me in for nepalese x sarpo tps!