Seed saving?

Rosalind

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Any seed savers here?

This year, I got a nasty surprise: Seeds of Change isn't going to sell their Cranberry Red potato this year. They have it, but only in very limited stocks or something--if you ask for it special, they've got it, but not much, and they probably won't have it at all next year.

I have maybe a handful of very small, too small to eat Cranberry Reds, in the bottom of my potato basket. They've already pipped; I tore off as many sprouts as I dared, but not all. It'll be at least a month before I can plant them. If I have to, I'll cover 'em with straw and potting soil in the basement.

Hoping I won't have to do the same for my Peruvian blues. Really like those, they stand up to drought amazingly well, and keep far better than any other potatoes I've had.

Sometimes, I really hate garden fashions. You get an annual or something one year, and it's the best plant ever, and you go to buy some more next year but they've been decreed unfashionable and no one has them anymore. I realize that in order to get new kinds of plants in, some of the old ones have to go, it just makes me sad. Of all the things to go, why can't they get rid of the commercial varieties? I mean, I can buy boring old russet potatoes, and even Yukon Golds, at the grocery store--why bother growing them?
 

Reinbeau

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They don't get rid of those everyday varieties because they hold well, ship well, sell well, doesn't matter what they taste like :barnie

Have you tried the Seed Savers' Exchange? Here's a link to their potato varieties. I know what you mean about homegrown potatoes, I just love them!

These heirloom seed saving outfits really shouldn't be subject to 'fashion', I don't think Seed Savers is.
 

Rosalind

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Reinbeau, you're a genius! They've got them, they just call 'em All Red! Plus, they've got multi-colored runner beans!

OK, next year I am splitting my order between Seed Savers Exchange and Sand Hill. Maybe just a few packets from Seeds of Change, because I love their Triple Play corn and they have just a few odd things I like (ornamental mullein). Otherwise, I think Seed Savers and Sand Hill are going to take all my money.

The bad part of ordering from Sand Hill...How do I not include a poultry order? DH is very skeevy about killing animals we've raised, so just ordering a few turkeys that'll be dinner isn't an option. The only thing that saves me now is, the new coop isn't built yet and they are sold out of their Silkie assortment.
 

Hencackle

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I've gotten my Cranberry Reds from Wood Prairie Farm. They have more than just heirloom potatoes (GMO-free grains & bread mixes, dried fruit, some seeds).
You must try the Rose Finn Apple Fingerling potato--absolutely delicious!
www.woodprairie.com
 

digitS'

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This is somewhat related to your discussion (and I hope you don't mind me butting in :|.

This year I'm planning to buy an early maturing potato like Red Norland and planting a small patch about the 1st of April. This is before the last frost by quite a few weeks and an earlier planting date by far than my usual practice.

My intention is to harvest new potatoes as soon as possible in July. "New potatoes" are a real favorite for me :)! But, I'll need to wait until the foliage dies back for at least a few of the plants.

After most of my new potatoes are safely in the fridge, I will replant some of the harvested tubers in July. This should be a little larger area and the intent will be to have these potatoes for storage into the Winter. There's no question that it will be very warm in late July with highs in the 90's.

We often have frost in September but I'm always planning for October 7th as a first frost date. Last year, we had a light frost on 9/29/07 but nothing really was killed until nearly a month later! The year before, the light frost occurred 9/16 but nothing was killed until 10/9. Of course, most garden plants aren't growing much with temperatures near freezing every night.

Usually, I've grown early maturing varieties of potatoes and planted them a little late (nothing like July, however! :eek:. They have all been out of the ground in early August. I could plant an early for new potatoes and a late for storage but I'd have fun killing 2 stones with 1 bird by having the same variety do double duty. Also, if the spuds don't need to be in the ground all season - other crops can be rotated in and out. Early maturing veggies help with my weed killing, too :D.

Do you think that my 2nd planting of potatoes will grow during the heat of Summer and have enuf time to mature a crop in the Fall?

Steve
 

Rosalind

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Why would you harvest them just to re-plant them? Sounds like a lot of digging to me. I think you would probably be better off just leaving 'em in the ground until mid-fall, and only pull up as many as you want for new potatoes only. They will keep making more potatoes the whole time, just clip off any blossoms that form.

Last year I didn't get around to planting potatoes till June, and I left most of them in the ground till October. They turned out fine, but of course we didn't get any serious freezes until November--a little light frost but nothing so nasty that a tater would freeze.
 

digitS'

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Why would you harvest them just to re-plant them?
I thought this question would come up. I've had early potato type plants die back and then I've neglected to dig the tubers.

The foliage of something like a Yukon Gold will wither away completely during July - right down to the surface of the soil. I will not have missed an irrigation day and just keep right on with that schedule and putting water down on the ground.

The potatoes have then begun to grow and what was left for harvest was a total mess of sprouted spuds :eek:.

Steve
 

beefy

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i konw what you mean. one year i couldnt even find Red Salvia around here anywhere. RED SALVIA! they had tons or blue salvia and were overloaded with red pentas though.

and one year they had beautiful colias with the huge leaves and brilliant colors. and i havent been able to find any since. i should have rooted my on that year.
 

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