Growing potato with Russian Blue TPS


Perhaps you found this page linked to my listings of potato cultivars which develop potato seed pods.

This page reports on my results in growing potato starting with true seed. Any tuber harvested from these vines will very likely produce a different potato than the mother vine! Therefore you cannot name it Russian Blue - give it a new name please.

A Russian Blue TPS sprouting
Start seed Dec 1st

You may start seed indoors much later and transplant the vines in the garden once all danger of frost have passed.

I've started this seed Dec. 1st and observed signs of germination 6 days later. On Dec8 I took a picture of the seedlings (less than 1/4 of an inch long).

In my first trial the growth of the seedling was stunned by the high moisture levels - I left the dome covering the Jiffy pellets for too long.

For the second batch I used Goldsegen TPS which show a more healthy vine growth as I removed the dome as soon as I noticed the seed germination. The leaves are very tiny and may not grow any larger under growing lights. This picture was taken at the end of January (about 6 weeks under growing lights).

Without providing a more nutrious soil the vines didn't grow any larger - I kept them moist with weekly watering.

At the end of April I have repotted the tiny vines into peat moss 3 x 3 pots - in between the Jiffy pellets I have discovered 3 pea-size mini tubers which I have transpanted into separate peat moss pots and placed under growing lights. The peat moss pots will be transfered outdoors when all danger of frost has past at the end of May.

Top mini's parent is Goldsegen, bottom tuber's parent is Russian Blue.


Goldsegen Parent TPS seedlings
I missed to repot the vines in more nutrious soil earlier (perhaps I should have repotted them in February?) - likely I would have found larger mini tubers.

These vines repotted at the end of April stay in the house under growing lights waiting to be transplanted in the garden in June (after all danger of frost has passed).

Start seed in April

Seed started later may develop to the proper size of vine seedling for hardening and transplanting in the garden at the end of May.

Please return to this page to see the progress.


You can find scientific instructions on how to start TPS (botanical potato seed) on this web page and select Germplams Handling Tips. I found these instructions too complicated for the home gardener!

Instead I have transfered one seed per Jiffy-9 plug - left the seed exposed to growing light and after 8 days I count 18 seed germinated out of 25 (72%). Possibly there will be more that will germinate later. The Jiffy-9 pellets don't have netting (unlike Jiffy-7) and have received 2 cups of water to expand. I keep the dome on top of the tray to maintain the moisture. Perhaps you will need to add water in the tray and keep an eye on the dome after all seed has germinated. Perhaps the dome must be removed to prevent rotting of the seedlings.

The only difficulty that I have encountered in the process is to handle single seeds to transfer to the center of the Jiffy plugs. They are so tiny. I used a plastic seed spoon.

Share your seed

Once you are satisfied with the quality of your plants and keep saving seeds for several years, the time comes to start sharing seeds.

Become a member of Seed Savers Exchange.

By becoming a member ($35 per year membership fee) you can order seed from 700 plus sources. Unfortunately there are only 35 seed savers in Wisconsin and 33 in Illinois ... but none in Kenosha and Racine Counties.

We need to change that and have more local gardeners listed in Seed Savers Year Books to make seed available to other local gardeners.

This page lists all cultivars that I save - some are available to all (HAS), most are reserved to "listed" SSE members - click here to review the list of cultivars.

Please call Seed Savers, become a "non-listed" member (support this no-profit organization) and eventually join me in offering seed as a listed member. Call (563) 382-5990

Page updated: May 5, 2009

Wanted: Potato Gardeners

If you'd like to participate with the Kenosha Potato Project - here are your options:

  • If you live in Southeastern Wisconsin - please email me at
  • If you live somewhere else in the USA or Canada - are you a member of Seed Saver Exchange? We have a few gardener who participate with the Kenosha Potato Project within the Seed Saver Exchange.
  • We have members of our Global Potato Network in Europe and are always please to cooperate with any gardener / farmer. Sending seed abroad is restricted or difficult ... but we may find ways to cooperate.
  • Also, please visit our "Vertical Growth - 99 lbs in micro plot Challenge web pages"

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