‘Sort of successful‘ is how I’d describe my first attempt at saving seed potatoes.
Stored in egg boxes for 6 months in a cool, dark cellar some varieties of potato survived their hibernation better than others. All had quite happily sprouted a little or a lot and many were well on the way to walking themselves up the stairs by the time I remembered them!
Some varieties (Epicure, Nicola, Vales Emerald and Red Duke of York) were entirely exhausted by their efforts; shrivelled, stone-like and with little life left to form new sprouts once their overgrown feelers were removed. A great shame as these were some of the most flavourful varieties from last years’ experiment. We’d eaten most of the big potatoes and saved only the smallest ones so it’s a lesson learned for next time – big is better for seeding a new generation of spuds.
I store my lifted main crop potatoes in old pillowcases for eating later in the year but it’s easy to forget them though once they leave the kitchen for cellar. It was certainly a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ for these Robinta potatoes once we hit the busy-ness of Christmas. Fortunately these leggy sprouts are attached to plate-worthy sized spuds so will live to see another growing season.
Oddly the star of the saved potatoes was the variety we enjoyed eating the least. The Peruvian Purples looked as fresh after 6 months in the cellar as they had when I put them down there. We found them to be rather flavourless and too dry and earthy to eat without a whopping dollop of butter or lashings of mayonnaise. I love the colour they add to the plate though so we will continue to grow them and use them as a one dish wonder: purple potato salad
I’ve got some spare Peruvian Purple tubers so if you’d like to try some just leave me a comment and I’ll email you back about collecting/posting.