Sep 5th, 2009
While I was on a pruning course a few weeks ago I met a very interesting guy called Bill Whitehead. He knew tons and tons about Potatoes and their history in the UK. He showed me an example of the oldest known variety of Potato still grown in the UK – The Yam. It dates from 1771.
He also gave me two Potatoes to save and plant next year. They were a black variety called Congo and a red variety called Highland Burgundy Red. I’ve always understood that it’s risky to save your own Potato seed because you risk building up disease and that it’s better to buy disease-free seed from a merchant – which I normally do. However, since I’ve been given these interesting varieties I thought I would have a go at saving them for next year.
It seems you need to keep a few things in mind:
- Put them in the light first to let them go a bit green (to encourage dormancy)
- Store them in a dark, frost-free place
- Ensure that air can circulate around them (storing in egg boxes is a good idea)
There is quite a nice post about saving Potato seed here.
So I’m going to give it a go. If I’m drowing in a sea of Blight come this time next year, I give you full permission to say, ‘I told you so!’.
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