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-   -   Tom Wagner's True Potato Seeds (http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=12908)

darwinslair December 18, 2009 07:45 AM

Tom Wagner's True Potato Seeds
 
So Tom, in a nutshell, (say, 500 words or less, without getting too technical) how do you go about growing potatoes from TPS and what should we be looking for in what we get from them?

Tom Kleffman

Tom Wagner December 18, 2009 04:35 PM

Tom K,

You have been after me to post something on this for a while, therefore, I may as well jot down a few simple rules, suggestions, or tips.

Sow seed 6 to 8 weeks before planting outdoors in the Spring.

Temperatures for germination is best around 72-78 F. but don't go over 80. Once the seedlings are up cooler temperatures for growing out are preferred. [I]I even like to give the seedlings some direct sunlight outdoors if you have a protected area out of the wind for a hour or two at at least 55 or more in F.[/I]

Depth of sowing is rather important. Just barely covered is OK. I usually sow in 72 cell trays. I fill the tray, level it off, gently press my fingers in the soil media to make a shallow depression and cover with more soil media. I like a sterile peat, vermiculite, perlite to cover with over a customized mix of the same with some worm castings, dolomite lime, etc. mixed in. I am organic 100% for the last number of years.

The 72 cell trays allows the soil media to dry out quicker than in a solid bed of soil. I try to keep the media watered but a bit of drying out between waterings keeps the damping off to a minimum. Potato seedlings appear very spindly when young and that is where a bit of direct sunlight will harden off the tenderness.

I like to sow several seeds in each cube, since potato TPS does not all germinate at once. I may sow from 3 to 10 seed to maximize the competition pressure as I want rather tall seedlings to develop as to transplant these about 3 to 5 weeks later burying the cotyledons and a true leaf or two in the first transplanting in the greenhouse. I transplant again into the 72 cell trays as to force the seedlings to grow tall so that I can bury more leaves when I talke them to the field. The seedlings may be very brittle, all the more so than tomato seedlings, so be careful!


When I go the the field after all danger of frost is gone, I make a trench in the ground within a hilled up row of soil. As the plants grow I have loose soil to cover the growing plants several times during the next few weeks to months.


The plants will be a bit later than potatoes grown from tubers especially if you planted those in early April and the seedlings in May sometime. I try to grow the seedlings to the point where they mimic regular potato plants and match the potential yields of that clone.

Spacing is about 10 inches apart in 3 foot rows. I augment the soil with organic feritilizers such as worm castings, dolomite lime, rock phosphate, alfalfa meal, bone meal, green sand, cottonseed meal, blood meal, kelp meal, humic shales, compost, etc.

Harvesting occurs when the plants start to die down. I make individual selections and bag the hill separate if it is good, otherwise I take one tuber per non-selected hill to plant for the next year. Sometimes the seedling year does not allow for the full expression of the clone to shine and the second year will determinine if you have a winning clone or not.

Potato storage is a long subject. I try to allow the tubers to air dry on the surface of the soil before I pick them up. Good ventilation is important for the next few weeks and then some kind of cool or cold storage for the winter. I rely on a cool garage out of direct light much of the time.

Tom Wagner

Mischka December 18, 2009 09:44 PM

Just one question and I'm sure I speak for others, too - how do we buy some of your potato TPS? I'd like to give them a try here. ;)

Tom Wagner December 18, 2009 11:54 PM

[I][B]
Mischka



If anyone wants to try potatoes from true seed (TPS) I might be able to help. Next year 2010 will be starting the sixth decade of working with potatoes and starting my own varieties.

If you want to help follow the genetics of the seed I send ....great! However many of you may just wish to try something other than tubers for a change.

One packet of TPS for $5.00. I'll cover the postage.. I am set up only for checks, money order, etc.

My potato seeds will produce plants like no other.
Each will be a unique experiment. My focus has been on all colors of potatoes with special flavors and attributes.


Call me, PM me, or post on the forum

Tater Mater Seeds
Tom Wagner[/B][/I]
[I][B]8407 18th Ave. West
[/B][/I][I][B]7-203
[/B][/I][I][B]Everett, Washington[/B][/I]
[I][B]98204[/B][/I]
[I][B]
Cell 425 894 1123[/B][/I]

salix December 19, 2009 01:59 AM

Tom, PM sent. As mentioned, hope you will consider sending to Canada...

Mischka December 19, 2009 02:33 AM

[quote=Tom Wagner;150588]
[I][B]Mischka[/B][/I]



[I][B]If anyone wants to try potatoes from true seed (TPS) I might be able to help. Next year 2010 will be starting the sixth decade of working with potatoes and starting my own varieties.[/B][/I]

[I][B]If you want to help follow the genetics of the seed I send ....great! However many of you may just wish to try something other than tubers for a change.[/B][/I]

[I][B]One packet of TPS for $5.00. I'll cover the postage.. I am set up only for checks, money order, etc.[/B][/I]

[I][B]My potato seeds will produce plants like no other. [/B][/I]
[I][B]Each will be a unique experiment. My focus has been on all colors of potatoes with special flavors and attributes.[/B][/I]


[I][B]Call me, PM me, or post on the forum[/B][/I]

[I][B]Tater Mater Seeds[/B][/I]
[I][B]Tom Wagner[/B][/I]
[I][B]8407 18th Ave. West[/B][/I]
[I][B]7-203[/B][/I]
[I][B]Everett, Washington[/B][/I]
[I][B]98204[/B][/I]

[I][B]Cell 425 894 1123[/B][/I][/quote]

Excellent, Tom - thanks!

Medbury Gardens December 20, 2009 01:22 PM

[quote=Tom Wagner;150559]



I like to sow several seeds in each cube, since potato TPS does not all germinate at once. I may sow from 3 to 10 seed to maximize the competition pressure as I want rather tall seedlings to develop as to transplant these about 3 to 5 weeks later burying the cotyledons and a true leaf or two in the first transplanting in the greenhouse. I transplant again into the 72 cell trays as to force the seedlings to grow tall so that I can bury more leaves when I talke them to the field. The seedlings may be very brittle, all the more so than tomato seedlings, so be careful![/quote]

Tom - as i didnt burying as deep as you said you do (and will from now on)could this have been the reason why i had parts of two plants snap off the wind a few days ago?

Tom Wagner December 20, 2009 02:11 PM

Yes, not burying potato seedlings sufficiently is a major reason for plants being damaged by wind, animals, etc. I noticed this also in Europe where I found that folks just don't hill up the potato seedling enough. This causes aerial tubers, tubers too close to the surface, misshaped tubers, knobby tubers.

I was photographed and filmed digging seedling potatoes in Ireland last October and I remember saying that the potato plants were not mounded up with enough soil. That was at Brown Envelop Seed's garden. I took photos in the Bretagne area of France showing a similar problem.

The original root ball of the seedling plant must be buried 4, better 6 inches into the soil once all hilling is finished. If this is accomplished, the potato plant produces much like a tuber planted potato.

Tom

ShowmeDseeds December 20, 2009 02:44 PM

Tom,

I'm going to mail you a check for some seeds. I would be happy to take notes on my growing season(s) if you will let me know what to look for.

Mischka,

Thank you for letting Tom offer these seeds on the Forum. Potatoes don't store well over the winter in the warmer parts of the world, and it would be a great advance if potato lovers had another way to grow potatoes besides ordering pounds of seed potatoes via UPS.

Stuart

Tom Wagner December 21, 2009 02:03 AM

I thought it might be timely to add a link to support some of my reasoning for providing TPS to the tomatoville.com readers.

[URL]http://www.cipotato.org/potato/tps/overview.asp[/URL]

[quote]Most farmers still plant tomorrow's potatoes by using part of yesterday's crop. A small, but growing number, however, are using disease- and [URL="http://www.cipotato.org/potato/tps/overview.asp#"]pest[/URL]-free planting material grown from true potato seed (TPS).
TPS has many advantages over planting tuber seeds. One is the obvious difference between storing and transporting tons of tubers versus grams of true seed. Farmers who normally plant a hectare of potatoes using two tons of seed tubers can achieve the same or better results by planting as few as 100 grams of TPS. Low cost is another TPS benefit: it costs about $1200 to plant one hectare of high- tuber seed, while TPS (100 grams) costs about $80 per hectare.
TPS also gives farmers access to superior varieties. Enormous quantities of a newly developed resistant variety can be in farmers' hands within a season or two, versus the 10 years it can take to produce enough tuber seed to have an impact in the field.
But the seed isn't sown directly into the field like wheat or maize. It is first sown in a seedbed, like tomatoes, and then transplanted into the field as seedlings.
Initially, the problem with TPS was the difficulty in producing potatoes that were uniform in shape, color, size, and performance—a requirement of the food industry. Instead of producing a genetically identical clone of the mother plant, as is the case when growers use seed tubers, each plant grown from open- TPS is genetically different. Potato plants produce flowers and berries that contain from 100 to 400 true seeds. But the seeds germinate into seedlings with varied characteristics not genetically true to the plant that produced them.
CIP scientists, however, have now broken down pollination and dormancy barriers to produce high-disease-resistant, uniform varieties of hybrid true seed.
[/quote]
Many of my clones grown independently of the CIP organization are also a result of my research and development of pollination and dormancy barriers. I don't think it is a bad thing for someone to reinvent the potato locally as we all benefit from new ideas and varieties. All of the true seed of my Skagit Valley Gold variety potato is naturally hybridized since it has a self incompatibility factor with its own pollen. I will daresay that hybrid vigor is better than TPS from naturally selfed berries.

huntsman December 21, 2009 03:37 AM

Are you able to post out Internationally, Tom?

Medbury Gardens December 23, 2009 02:01 PM

[quote=huntsman;150852]Are you able to post out Internationally, Tom?[/quote]

I would have to say yes,as i'm growing a few of Toms at the moment,you'll enjoy it huntsman ,its so fascinating not knowing the type or colour you'll end up with. ;)

Tom Wagner December 23, 2009 04:12 PM

Huntsman,

Since I treat my TPS during the extraction process with hot water, Trisodium Phosphate and Clorox, I have little fear of transmitting any pathogen. True potato seed is ideal for sending to folks because there is little or no risk of carrying a virus or bacterial wilt. No one has had any problem with diseases with growing plants from my seed. Ask those who have tried the seed obtained from me.

Tom Wagner

huntsman December 24, 2009 05:04 AM

Schweeet!

Time to PM..!

dhrtx February 22, 2010 07:25 PM

Received TPS and planted them the very same day. I am excited to report 29 tiny, tiny seedlings. Very nice, not to mention the tomato seeds Tom also shared. Thanks again for the opportunity Tom!

danwigz July 13, 2010 12:58 AM

Hey Tom,

This is probably the wrong time of year to be asking this, but is this offer still open?

I'm getting interested in growing potatoes for next year, and I've been hearing people have been getting good results from the TPS. I know its the wrong time of year to be thinking about this already... but the idea of seeds for potatoes that can be stored more easily and (probably) for longer, intrigues me.

Danwigz

Tom Wagner July 13, 2010 01:28 AM

No, it is not the wrong time of year to start potatoes from true seed. Between now and the last week of August is a good time to grow mini plants in small pots and allow them to tuberize. Even if the potato tubers are as small as milo seed or the size of eggs, these keep well over the winter to plant whole next spring. I will be starting lots of seedlings myself soon. Tubers harvested in November will keep well enough for the few months before planting.

Tom Wagner

flutterby September 4, 2010 10:30 PM

Tom,

I am definitely interested in getting some TPS from you. Should I start some now, or wait until spring?

Evelyn

Tom Wagner September 4, 2010 11:35 PM

Evelyn,

If you are up in the mountains of El Dorado County, California....I taught as a substitute teacher at the Grizzly Pines Elementary School years ago....I know the area fairly well. It was a 45 mile drive..one way out of Folsom, therefore I did not make it a habit, but what a beautiful trek!

My guess is that at this date...just a bit late for seedling potatoes to do well with the low levels of light coming up...I would wait til Spring. Of course, if you have a well lit area or a greenhouse, now is an OK time. Might as well try for both seasons.

I have potato berries ready for me to pick and it will keep me busy all Fall and Winter to extract the seed. Any variety or new experimental line has to be sampled for a tuber or two in order to describe the seed envelopes with flavor components. Yesterday I sampled about 9 selections of hybrids of Skagit Valley Gold to some other diploids, and my visitor guest liked the flavors too!

Tom Wagner

flutterby September 8, 2010 01:39 AM

Where do I go to get the seed potatoes??
 
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=seagreen]Hello, Tom![/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=seagreen][/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=seagreen]I will ask my husband if he knows you as he was the GF postmaster for 30 years, now retired.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=seagreen][/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=seagreen]I would like to get some seed potatoes from you. What is the website where I go to purchase them? Thanks, [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=seagreen][/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=seagreen]Evelyn :) [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]

flutterby September 8, 2010 01:45 AM

Where we live...our weather is....
 
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=seagreen]Hello, Tom![/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=seagreen][/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=seagreen]We live below GF in Somerset at about 3500' in elevation where it does snow, but not as heavily as Grizzly Flats, though hot all summer. Fall is around the corner and we are experiencing some cool-downs now.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=#2e8b57][/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=#2e8b57]I am looking forward to receiving the seed potatoes. Please give me any hints on the best way of germinating them as I did get some many years ago, I believe, from Gurney's Seed, though nothing came of them. [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=#2e8b57][/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=#2e8b57]Thanks,[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=#2e8b57][/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=#2e8b57]Evelyn :) [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]

flutterby September 8, 2010 01:49 AM

Potato berries....
 
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=seagreen]Oh, I have one more question....will I be able to get potato berries on these plants, well, maybe not now, but next summer? I did not get any berries on any of my potatoes that I raised this year, though some had flowers.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=#2e8b57][/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=#2e8b57]Evelyn[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]

Tom Wagner September 9, 2010 11:13 AM

Evelyn,

If you had potatoes in the past that bloomed but did not set potato berries, I am not surprised. Most varieties in the world are poor berry makers, therefore I have sought out good berry makers for years and crossed them together to get multiple generations of lines that are almost foolproof berry makers. The same with my TPS, true potato seed, that have a high likelihood of setting fruits.

This late in the season, I would suggest you hold off getting either tubers or true seed until February As for a website for requesting potatoes of all kinds, I hope to get the site going by November. Keep in touch.

I doubt if your husband would know me since I was in your area for a limited time back in 2003/2004. I had just finished my student teaching in Rancho Cordova and Folsom, subsequently sub teaching in five or six school districts to see if I could land a job as a teacher. Then I moved to Washington. I am still signed up as a sub teacher here in the Mulkiteo School District of Washington. But with a huge sub pool of young would be teachers, competition is heavy even to get day by day jobs.

As I dig my potatoes this Fall, I will make sure that berry making clones are front and center for sending out next year.

flutterby September 9, 2010 10:46 PM

TPS
 
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=seagreen]Tom,[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=#2e8b57][/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=#2e8b57]Thanks a bunch! I look forward to placing my order with you in February. Please LMK the website, OK?[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=#2e8b57][/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=#2e8b57]Evelyn:) [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]

flutterby September 10, 2010 06:43 PM

Oh, Tom....I have another question...will the ones that you are offering...will they be the actual seeds or will they be the tubers? I am interested in the seeds. Thanks!

Should I send you money now to reserve them? (I guess you can only imagine my enthusiasm...) :D


Evelyn

Idahowoman September 13, 2010 10:56 PM

Tom,
I would also like to try your TPS next spring. My husband grew up helping his Father and Grandfather on their potato farm . I think it would be fun to try some different potatoes.

Tom Wagner September 14, 2010 03:07 AM

Since I am such a clumsy muttering paltriness-ridden novice when it comes to web sites and development.....my local friend is going to work to help me format my website that allows me to enter descriptions for TPS (true potato seed).....therefore maybe, just maybe, I will have something together before December.

I have stockpiled potato TPS for decades. I will have to blitz the TPS thing and some of my tomato seed as well. I don't think I could ever sell all of my true potato seeds unless I have multi-acre farmer customers. I could fill 50,000 or more envelopes with TPS and still have millions of seed sequestered around.

Just my Double Cross hybrid potato seed being produced this season could be a feature....and that could take 2,000 envelopes to parcel out. I don't expect to create much of a stir about TPS, but I will try.

Another area I hope to promote is the uniqueness of 4n x 2n hybrids and recombinants.

Late blight resistant packages should and ought to be a winner!

I suppose an international listing of TPS OP's would be interesting.

I won't pack up one envelop in advance since I am am way to lazy to do that ahead of time.

I think it is high time to get TPS out to folks so that true local varieties can be created and passed on to the next generation. I get emails nearly everyday from folks wanting more diversity. I would like to think I could go beyond Luther Burbank..

I borrowed a bit from this link....[URL]http://www.arhomeandgarden.org/plantoftheweek/articles/Burbank_Potato.htm[/URL]

[quote]This summer the "[B]Burbank[/B]" celebrates its 135th year of commercial cultivation. On your next trip to the grocery, where you will no doubt find mounds of the familiar brown baking [B]potato[/B] piled high, take a moment to pay homage to this most enduring vegetable.

The [B]potato[/B] launched the plant breeding career of the nation’s most famous plant breeder, Luther [B]Burbank[/B]. In May1872, [B]Burbank[/B] happened upon a ripening seed ball on an "Early Rose" [B]potato[/B] plant in his truck patch. From the berry, he grew 23 seedlings.

According to [B]Burbank[/B]:

"Each of these plants yielded its own individual variations, its own interpretation of long-forgotten heredity and numerous natural crossings. One, a beautiful, long red [B]potato[/B], decayed almost as soon as dug; another was red-skinned with white eyes; another white with red eyes; two white ones and several had eyes so deep that they were unfit for use, and all varied widely."

He selected the two white-tubered plants and in 1875 sold his interest in the best white [B]potato[/B] to James J. H. Gregory, a seedman from Marblehead, Mass., for $150 instead of the $500 [B]Burbank[/B] was asking.

The seedman allowed [B]Burbank[/B] to keep 10 tubers for his own use and did the honor of naming the new [B]potato[/B] the "[B]Burbank[/B]." [B]Burbank[/B] used the money to finance his move to California, where he spent the rest of his life and developed his international fame.
[/quote]In 1958, I read all of Luther Burbank's journals during a hospital stay due to a farm related injury. After I finished reading the books I remarked to myself, "Been there, done that!" I collected seeds and grew them out like some kids collect marbles at that time. Since Burbank was essentially my mentor at that time, small wonder that it felt like I spent most of my life as a kid looking for naturally crossed seeds and then making the crosses myself.

There has got to be a motto here somewhere.....seed it forward .....or maybe "Sowing it - Forwarding it" Perhaps a seedsman is a caretaker only long enough to the point where he has to say "Take care of it"


Tom Wagner

wmontanez September 14, 2010 08:01 AM

I am interested in your offer. Blight resistance is most appealing for my New England area but I am particularly interested in any TPS from varieties that could be grown in the Tropics/Caribbean. Keep us posted!

ireilly September 14, 2010 01:05 PM

[quote=Tom Wagner;184030]...

I think it is high time to get TPS out to folks so that true local varieties can be created and passed on to the next generation. I get emails nearly everyday from folks wanting more diversity. I would like to think I could go beyond Luther Burbank..

I borrowed a bit from this link....[URL]http://www.arhomeandgarden.org/plantoftheweek/articles/Burbank_Potato.htm[/URL]

In 1958, I read all of Luther Burbank's journals during a hospital stay due to a farm related injury. After I finished reading the books I remarked to myself, "Been there, done that!" I collected seeds and grew them out like some kids collect marbles at that time. Since Burbank was essentially my mentor at that time, small wonder that it felt like I spent most of my life as a kid looking for naturally crossed seeds and then making the crosses myself.

There has got to be a motto here somewhere.....seed it forward .....or maybe "Sowing it - Forwarding it" Perhaps a seedsman is a caretaker only long enough to the point where he has to say "Take care of it"


Tom Wagner[/quote]

I think you have expressed it wonderfully. I think those of us interested in plant genomics owe you and a few others here a debt of gratitude for sharing your work.

Walter

flutterby September 15, 2010 01:42 PM

Thanks, Tom....
 
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=seagreen]Thanks, Tom for your dedication and hard work. I am proud of you for doing this as it seems as no one else is doing this work on potatoes, which can make a difference in every state and every country to use the bounty and nourishment of the potato.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=#2e8b57][/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=#2e8b57]Please [U]do[/U] start packaging your top ten potato varieties so we will be able to share in your bounty, and in your mission. Don't worry about all those other packets and bins or jars of seeds...just your top ten, so we can get started, OK? Once you have that website going, you will be glad that you did. Also, please get the message into every garden publication and even see if you can get into some master garden's workshops and/or classes to present your mission.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=2][COLOR=#2e8b57][/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]


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