Tuesday, November 24, 2015

More seed potatoes to add to my collection

Purple Peruvian, French Fingerling, 
Ruby Crescent, Russian Banana

Today I added an assortment of fingerling type potatoes to my collection of tubers to grow next summer. I am so happy to have a growing assortment of tubers and TPS seeds. 

Purple Peruvian
I grew some of these last year.  They are mixed up with the exotic potatoes I have. So I bought more to keep them separated this year. 

Russian Banana Fingerling Small 4-5" banana-shaped tubers with light yellow to brown skin and yellow flesh

 It is hard to tell which is which on the red ones.You almost have to cut open to find the specks of red color

French fingerlings 80+ days, mid-season 
red skin with yellow flesh that is specked with red spots
Tubers are larger and more oval in shape than Russian Banana, 

Ruby Crescent  Large fingerling with rose colored skin and yellow flesh

Why potatoe form mini tubers

I have had a number of potato tubers form tiny potatoes on the side of them. Kinda like the potato had baby's attached. Sometimes it is caused by the tuber being old. Yet, this one was never dug up from growing new. I have heard a potato can do this if it is stressed also. 
Dry potato with small micro tubers attached
I was never able to harvest this plant. The top died back like it was time to harvest. Yet, new growth was forming from the new potatoes. With all the rain and temperature up and down. I think this broke the dormancy of the new tuber. Or it had no dormancy in it. I do not have a name for this potato. It was part of an exotic variety pack I ordered to grow this year. It did have a dark purple to brown woody stem and purple flowers.
wet potato tuber to show more color
It seems the loner I leave these micro tubers attached the more they grow and the parent potato shrinks from feeding it. I have them sitting out of soil now. Yet they continue to enlarge. Adding water to the parent helps it to survive and re-hydrate a bit. If I were to put it in moist cocoa coir it would help to re-hydrate it more. Yet it could create roots to get the get plant process going again.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Let's make some comfry tea organic fertilizer

This is not for drinking our self. This is for giving your vegetable or household plants some Comfry organic fertilizer. The nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (NPK) ratio of dried comfrey leaves is 1.8-0.5-5.3; comfrey also contains calcium.

All you do is pull of some of the leaves with the stem. comfrey leaves can irritate the skin, so wear gloves. Add some of the flower parts dry or green. Once you have enough for your bucket. You compress them down with some weight. A brick , board or rock will do. Add water to fill. 
Let the bucket sit with a lid on top. As soon as 20 days pass you can start using it. In about 3 weeks, you will have a liquid fertilize. It will become a gooey substance the longer it sets.  . It will ferment, so the smell will not be so good. I would suggest you keep it outside. The sun may cook it. But shade will do a slow ferment.

When you go to use it. Dilute 1/2 and 1/2 with water. Or thin to 1 part comfry 9 parts water. It is up to you how strong you want to use it.

You can also use the leaves as a mulch.. Or bury the leaves about 2 inches under the soil. It will break down quickly.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Growing Oca in Missouri.

 This year was an experiment in growing Oca (Oxalis tuberosa, in my climate. For a bit I felt like a failure. When our temperatures reached  97f. Most of the plants I had in full sun fell over and died really fast. Even though they had many weeks of extreme rain. We did not have enough sun or good weather for them to fully develop a good top or sufficient root growth. The ones on the back side of the fence sat there like the broccoli did.Stayed immature and died not long after. I have only 3 of 13 variety's to survive real life in Missouri. Other than they were protected by the Bushentino beans from morning sun. They had after noon sun, when we did have any to speak of.. But to be fair. I did it like i would have if I were to have bought them to grow in my yard. So this is a fair test. If I would have put them in a green house environment, or containers. It would have saved more of them. But not prove they could grow in my area. So I have to accept the challenge was done the right way. Because a typical buyer wants to know it will work. Or it has to be babied, like a tropical plant. Yet a tropical plant can survive the summer in my area but not the winter.
Now that temperature are dropping  and the lay length is getting shorter, Tubers are starting to form on some of these  I moved the small one to a grow bag. It has no tubers. The one in the container behind it has 1 white tuber forming so far. I have had frost covers on them. But with temps falling to 28f 33 f and going back up into the 50, 60 and 70's The leaves are suffering a bit. I do not know if I can keep it going into December. One min it looks good the next not so good. But it is still alive.

These are the 3 variety's, I have still growing. 
Yellow with Light red (pink)
Country of origin Bolivia 
is an abundant flowerier, which set quite a bit of seed in it's state of origin. .

Light red (pink) White

I may be the only person in the world with OC-14-1x14x08.

 The most promising variety for yield can have more than 2 pounds from the seedling.

This is what they looked like on Nov 2, 2015. The green has perked up and Ok now. But the lighter parts can not be saved. But the good news it is still growing. The tubers were about 1/2 inch in size. I one looks a little bit to see one for each plant. There may be more. But I do not want to cause too much stress.


Friday, November 6, 2015


I recieved my order today, I am impressed. you can tell by looking at them the are real multipliers. They sold out fast too.
This person wrote this info on them. I will add what I find below the post.

A HERITAGE VARIETY ONION SETS, MULTIPLIER ONION SETS. These are the kind your Grandparents had that makes green onions in fall and winter. Save bulbs for next year. I paid $5.50 per pound, shipping $6.25

The paper included said. Plant them all. Large or small, all will produce green onions, or leave them to make bulbs, each cluster in this box is from 1 small set. 

Look closely at the amount of green coming out of each white bulb. The difference in  normal onions and multiplying onions is. 1 bulb or seed creates 1 normal onion. When on bulb of a multiplier onion creates many onions, that are full of divisions to create even more.
Planting onions
onions do best if the soil pH is between 5.5 and 6.5, a little on the acid side.
Add organic matter, like compost or dry leaves decayed leaves .it acts like a sponge, holding moisture near the surface. That's good for onions, which have shallow roots and can't tap water or nutrients deep in the soil.Clay soil will puddle water on top. So sand and humus/manure should be added.

I am planting in a raised bed. With lots of humus/manure. I have read, Onions like to feed 2x as much as other vegetables. If you find your onions have pale yellow or greenish yellow leaves, that would indicate that onions could lack nitrogen. Also leaves can yellow after long, wet periods of weather because a lot of rain washes nitrogen from the soil.   It's difficult to over-fertilize onions. They require quite a lot of nutrients.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

2 new small tomatoes added to my collection.

Looks like I will be growing some small 2-3 bit size tomatoes next summer. Both are from fellow you tube channels.

Orange Roussollini - Tomato (80 days)
This one Luke was sent seed for from one of his viewers. He put the seed up for sale and I got 2 packs. 
He said this is the sweetest tomato he has ever tasted. It was sent all the way from Italy, a family heirloom. Grows in a very lush bushy plant, with so many fruits per plant! Heart shaped, very prolific producer
. This was sent to MIGardener. I paid $4.48 including shipping.
This is his video showing his harvest. 

The 2nd one is a praxxus cherry tomato. From Praxxus55712
I won it for free on a You tube give away.
It was very kind of him to give to 300+/- people.
He has many videos with this plant in it.

What to do with berrys growing on your potato plant.

I have seen so many post on Face book, saying.
What are these ball's or berry's on my potato plant?
They are fruit like, you would find on a tomato or egg plant.
Tomatoes and potatoes and egg plants are all in the Nigh shade family.

I see people reply to them. It is Poisson or toxic berry's. 
Yes, they are right. They are not food to eat. There only purpose is to produce seed to grow new potato plants. That is how we get new variety's.
Please do not destroy them. Give them to someone who wants to save the seed from them. Many times I want to write. SEND THEM TO ME! LOL :)

The purple flower in this photo created my first berry this past summer.
This post will not deal with potato breeding. Just what to do with the berry's

1. Let them stay on the plant as long as possible.
2. If the are not soft like a tomato, store them in a paper bag, or let them sit on a window sill to continue to ripen.

How to process the True potato seeds (TPS) 
I will include a video and photos here to show you what I did with today's ripe berry's. I have also done one in the past with an over ripe berry. I will add that one on here too. 
 This is what you need, ripe berry's, knife to cut open, a container to soak the seed in, yeast to help remove the gel coating on the seed
 The berry's in the photo show different stages of ripeness. The darker the color and harder the berry the fresher it is. The lighter the color and softer it becomes the ripper is it. You want ripe seed,
 Like most tomatoes, the berry has seed on each side of a center cavity. The outer skin will come off easy. But all you want is to squeeze out the seed. removing it from the flesh of the berry.
I am using a small jelly jar I added 1/4 teaspoon of yeast to half a jar of warm water. I will let this sit 24 hours. Then fill the jar up with more warm water. It will set another 24 hours. 

The seed is smaller than tomato see, So I will add a coffee filter to my strainer.
I will then run under water and rinse the seed.
I can let the seed dry on the coffee filter, or transfer to wax paper, paper towel.What ever you prefer to let your seed dry on. The seed will stick more to a paper towel.  But that is not really an issue for me. 
The purpose of this fermentation like process, is to remove the gel coating. It will inhibit the growth of the seed.  
I will let this seed air dry for a week or more. 
I them store it for next years use. 
Labels are important. 
I find if I do not write the name on the filter/jar I will forget what the name was. 

Video 1 is processing ripe berry's / fruit

Video 2 getting seed from an over ripe berry/fruit

Note, The berry's processed in the photo and first video or from The potato plant called Riverwood. 
 Medium-large round Irish potato tubers, white flesh, huge yields, many berry's. Tetraploid. May have a have a high starch and low moisture content, meaning they bake well, are fluffy when mashed and make excellent French fries.
Or turn into a Potato starch or potato flour, made by grinding cooked, dried potatoes, this would be a gluten-free thickening agent. Be careful not to boil a preparation once it has been thickened with potato starch

Riverwood potatoes are very resistant to PVX, PVY and PLRV; good heat tolerance; good processing quality; good combining ability attributes; adapted to lowland tropics
GRIN: PI 607501     Coad: C89.315     CIP 388972.22

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Chosing potatoes to grow in the garden

I know it is fall and time to put the garden to sleep. LOL. I have been ordering and planing next years garden the last month or more. I think I had spring fever all summer long. I was happy with my potato harvest this year. But, I want productive plants.I have seen many Youtube videos showing great harvests in the United Kingdom. Charlotte in one potato, I have been looking to add to my collection. It is the first bag on the left of this photo. These are all 1 pound bags.
You can judge from the tuber that  the potato is a good size for cooking. The Huckleberry potato is close in size.  Skin color is a maroon-beet red and the flesh is dark pink with white marbling.  So this potato may be full of antioxidants. When you find things with colors like purple they somehow have more nutrients and health benefits. So I am also looking to add and keep potatoes like this growing. 

Also I want plants that can produce potato berry's. Because, I want to breed my own potatoes. Or collect seed from them.  If they are tetraploids, nature will take care of them and the bees will pollinate them. But they have a good chance of being male sterile. Like most commercial potatoes,  that do not produce berry's.  Where Diploid requires another plant to cross pollinate with.  They are harder to work with.

I also received Rose Finn Apple fingerling.(beige skin and deep yellow flesh) Even though it is a small potato, it looks like it produces many per a plant.
It is a late-season 105–135 days heirloom variety. I thought would be interesting to try. I have read reviews that they have stored well. So that is another trait I want in my potato collection. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Prepairing for frost in the garden

Cover your plants
Covering plants can give you 2 to 5 degrees F protection.  The covers can be laid right over the crop, or can be supported on stakes.  The difference being that
protection is less wherever the cover touches the plant.  Any material can be used to cover the plants, however woven fabrics are better insulators then plastics or paper.  The best time to apply covers is in the late afternoon after the wind has died down.  Remove covers the next morning before the sun hits them.

Irrigate during the potential frost
 Many people claim that watering the frost off plants prevents frost damage.  This is partially true.As mentioned above, watering plants helps raise their  temperature and the air around them to that of the water. In addition, as water freezes, heat is released; 80 calories for each gram of water that freezes.  Therefore,watering plants before they are injured from frost can help keep their internal temperature above freezing.  A single application at the coldest part of the night (generally just before sunrise) may be enough on 30- to 32-degree F nights.  On colder nights it may be necessary to apply overhead irrigation for an extended period of time, allowing actual ice formation on the plants.  In this case, irrigation must continue until morning temperatures rise above 32 F and the ice melts.  It is important to note that once frost damage occurs, watering does not help.
If this is cold enough to break cell walls or disrupt cell constituents beyond repair, damage, wilting, and
 death will occur in  affected tissue
 How much cold will kill a plant?
Some plants can survive sub-freezing temperatures for months. while others cannot take temperatures below 50 F. (10 C.) more than two or three hours.

Damage to plant tissue can be detrimental to plants.
Light frost typically will not cause major damage, unless it is a very tender plants, A really hard frost, will freeze water in plant cells, causing dehydration and damage to cell walls. Cold injury can then occur when the sun comes up, because the plant defrosts too quickly, killing leaves and stems.

 A good read on frost from  Cornell