Monday, September 28, 2015

Choosing potatoes for my garden

 It is kinda sad to see the end of this years garden. Yet fun to collect and put away the bounty. I have been so happy with the potato garden doing well this year. When I go to some of the local places that sell from there home. I see my potatoes came out bigger and healthier than theirs. It puts a smile on my face.

What I learned from this year is, some of the exotic potatoes should have been planted closer. I did not have enough info on them to know they were small fingerling type of potatoes. So they will be planted closer together next spring.

My plans for next year
I will continue to grow potatoes from TPS (True botanical seeds).

 What I am looking for is productive sustainable potatoes to add to my collection. So this winter I will continue to research and buy some, that may be more productive and produce berry's. .I placed an order for the ones below. They will come some time in October. So I will have to store them for the winter.

 Desiree  ( 95-100 days, Mid season)
 I have read it is a red-skinned main-crop potato originally bred in the Netherlands in 1962. Disease resistance It has a waxy, yellow flesh with a distinctive flavor. I have seen many in the UK grow it on videos. It seems very productive.  I have also seen potato berry's and TPS seed collected from it. 
 General purpose potato (best for Mash potatoes) 

Purple Majesty (85 days, Early season)
Plant should be under 2 foot tall. With a spread of about 12-15 inches.
Purple inside and out. Said to be full of antioxidants The tubers may be small in size. Will update after I grow them. This plant can set berry's for TPS seed collection.

Viking Purple (90 to 100 days, Mid season)
 Pink/red-splashed purple skin, white flesh.
Small-to-medium spreading plant, yet it produces 3 1/2 to 4-inch round tubers some times larger. These tubers grow near the soil surface so keep the ground covered to prevent greening.  Needs the soil to be lose and fertile.
 Good for baking or mashing
 Russian Banana Fingerling (80-90 days)
Plant is under 2 foot tall around 8 inch wide.
Crescent-shaped small 4-5 inch tubers, yellow/tan skin with yellow flesh.
The plant can produce potato berry's.(TPS)
 perfect for boiling, roasting and baking

Yellow Finn.( 95-100 days) (Mid season)
dark yellow flesh tan to yellow like skin. Medium size tubers.
I have read it very productive, and has a buttery sweet flavor.
Good general purpose potato.  (boiling, mashing, frying, or baking).

Oct 15, update
I just ordered 1 pound each @ $7.00 per pound

77CHA     Charlotte - Certified Seed Potato    Early-Season
    Good producer of medium oblong nuggets, sometimes slightly crescent shaped, with very thin, golden yellow skin and flesh with shallow eyes. Great salad variety, excellent storage qualities.(waxy tubers and creamy yellow flesh)

77HU  Huckleberry - Certified Seed Potato (aka Cranberry Red)  Early-Season
 90-110 days. Skin color is a maroon-beet red and the flesh is dark pink with white marbling. Has an oblong potato shape, medium to medium-large tubers and is a consistent producer of vigorous medium to medium-large tubers. This is definitely one of a kind. Named after the legendary wild huckleberry of the Northern Rockies.  Early (for tubers to steal without disrupting the vines) and mid-season for a larger crop to harvest once the vines have naturally died. And it sets seed pods

77RFA     Rose Finn Apple Fingerling - Seed Potato Fingerling
90 to 110 days. A rosy colored skin with deep yellow flesh and a waxy, firm texture. finger-shaped spuds 2 to 5 ounces each.  A great roasting potato. Delectable flavor and a fine keeper with vigorous vines. Many chefs are finding that these potatoes cooked and pureed lend themselves well as a soup thickener for sauces and gravies. A fine keeper with vigorous upright vines. Mid-Season variety. 
12 to 18 inches tall but spreads up to 4 feet wide
TPS  added
Purple Vally
USDA B 0850-4 x USDA B 0975-1purple skin and partially blue fresh), will throw lots of non purple (blue flesh)
Mt. St Helen
Pam Wagner
Anna's Gold

Friday, September 25, 2015

Extracting seed from my potato berrys.

The long awaited day has come and gone, Here is a video I did on how I harvested the seed from my berry's.I collected about 50 TPS seed
Right now I have 2 more potato plants in bloom. It would be nice to see them produce berry's too.

I cringe  when i see people post photos, wanting to know what that fruit is on there plant. And people reply "They are poisonous, and tell them to dispose of them. " Yes they are if you eat them. But so are many other plants. They are meant to harvest the seed and create new breeds of potatoes. Not food. I wish more people would try to grow from seed. It is fun to see what develops..

Please note: This video is how I did this.
There are other ways. Like with tomatoes. You remove the seed and ferment.
Some people add yeast to help ferment.
Some put there berry's in a blender to break them up.
But I prefer just to open the berry and remove the seed like you would do a tomato.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Growing Luffa sponges

This is such a fun plant to grow. It is a long vine, that throws off side shoots.
I have 2 plants on each end of a 16 foot cattle panel. The panel is 4 foot tall. This plant was started back in March of 2015. I planted the seed indoors. This was 6 months ago. I found it did not take off till we had some heat in our environment.Most of this summer are rain every day and cooler than normal temps for Missouri.  We had a few days of upper 90's in Aug, Over 32+ Celsius.

Now that it is almost fall. The days are getting shorter. This plant has finally started producing fruit. I am in a day neutral climate. So I am lucky to get some to grow to maturity. This plant takes an extra long time in my area. Where is sub tropical southern climates. The would already have  fruit or harvested them. This is said to be 180-200 day crop. Producing 20-26 per a vine. If you watch my video, you will see I have 4+ growing. Now I have 7, and 3 more baby ones started.

This is closely related to the cucumber. A member of the squash family.

 I did not know till recentlt, there are 2 or more types of Luffa
(common luffa) (Luffa cylindrica or Lulls aegyptiaca ) grown for its one- to two-foot-long edible gourds

Luffa acutangula's blossoms unfold in the evening.

 Lulls aegyptiaca open in the morning sun.) I have this type.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Growing potato onions

This year I ordered red, white and yellow potato onions from Canada. The look like small onion sets. I will plant them in different areas of the yard. They are perennial onions the divide, One onion will tun into many onions. Like planting potato tubers one grows more. Except these are not planted deep like potatoes. They are planted near the surface and mulched over a bit to go thew winter.
This video I will show you what received. It includes  The Egyptian walking onion and some hard neck garlic to.

I also ordered (TOPS) True onion potato seeds  I will start them indoors this Jan or Feb. Then plant outside in Spring. They will become the seed stock for the following year.

What I ordered is an open pollinated mix of Coral mountain, White Mountain and Green Mountain potato onions. These varieties are known to produce on average tennis ball size onions.

 See this video for more information on potato onions.