Potato Seed Pods
At one of my site visits, a participant handed me a cluster of small tomato fruit that she found growing out of her potato plants. “What is it?”, she asked. Even after growing potatoes for many years, she had never seen anything like it before. Maggie from Pine Mountain told me that they are seed pods.
When potato plants have flowered, some varieties will produce small green fruits that resemble green cherry tomatoes. These pods contain up to 300 true potato seeds. When the pods become soft, the seeds can be harvested by finely chopping the pods and soaking them in water. The pulp and seeds will ferment, the pulp rise to the top and seeds will fall to the bottom. After rinsing and drying the seeds, they can be stored in a cool place until they are ready for planting in the spring.
Although potatoes can be grown from seed, most people grow potatoes from tubers, because potato seeds may not produce the same type of potato that the seed came from. They may produce a wide array of potatoes which may or may not have a good flavor or texture. Also, potato seed pods contain large amounts of alkaloid solanine and are poisonous to eat.
Garden Participant of the Week – Mrs. Lackey