Russet Potato – Drying Seed Pods

Q: One of my ‘Russet’ potato plants developed flowers, then seed pods, but no potatoes. Can the pods be dried and the seeds planted in the spring?

A: Irish potatoes do indeed produce seed but we normally plant “seed” potatoes, which are not seed at all but pieces of potato tuber. Like those of tomatoes, potato seed must be fermented, before the seed is planted, to remove anti germination chemicals.

Open the potato seed pods and squeeze the seeds into a cup of water. Put the cup in a sunny window and wait a few days. The pulp and seeds will ferment; the pulp will eventually rise to the top and seeds will fall to the bottom. Pour off the pulp and water and dry the seeds on a paper towel on top of your refrigerator. When the seeds are completely dry, store them in an envelope in a cool spot until you plant them next May.

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