I’ve started to chit my Potatoes. As you can see I’ve got a small clutch of a standard variety of first earlies (Rocket) and two rather unusual varieties (Congo and Highland Burgundy Red). The smaller seed Potatoes were given to me while I was on a pruning course last year.
I put them in an airtight container and placed them in the potting shed all winter. They’ve saved well so I’m hoping to have some really unusual Potatoes in this year’s harvest.
The problem is, I was a bit worried that they might cross-pollinate and I would end up with a large batch of darkish or purply-red Potatoes instead of ones that are true to one variety. So I did some research.
It turns out that Potato flowers have both male and female parts and so are very likely to pollinate themselves. I watched a video on how to create a new Potato variety by cross-pollination and it looked like it was pretty difficult to do actually. So the likelihood of the bees managing it for me is very slim. Plus, I suppose people plant three, four, sometimes five varieties of Potato on one allotment sometimes and you don’t necessarily get cross-pollination, do you?
So, I’m resolved to give all three varieties a go. I might plant them separately, away from each other just to be on the safe side. But I think I should be okay.
Does anyone have any more data on this? Is there a definitive yes or no answer?