Email: info@bordersorganicgardeners.org
22
JAN
2017

Why buy new seed potatoes every year?

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New classified seed Photo: John Marshall

New classified seed
Photo: John Marshall

So you can greatly improve your chances of a good result… decent yields of quality flavoursome home-grown potatoes. What is more rewarding than healthy wholesome tattie meals from “new” potatoes in the summer months through to main crop when the short days long nights set in and the order of the day is a hearty warming meal. Bakers, mash, roasts and a whole lot more. And I almost forgot –  a steaming bowl of leek and potato soup!

Background

Scotland, in part due to our cool climate, but now mostly down to the skills of commercial seed grower and well managed government classification scheme, produces some of the finest and healthiest seed potatoes on the planet. Government inspectors complete summer field and winter tuber inspections along with sophisticated laboratory tests before issuing a plant passport.
Seed exports are an important income for the Scottish economy and healthy gardens contribute to this achievement.

 

Why buy classified seed?

  • Firstly you eliminate the possibility of the real nasties such as ring rot, brown rot and dickeya found in Europe which could permanently put your garden out of commission.
  • Secondly you get off to a good start in the fight against blight which frequently lurks in home saved seed and could spread rapidly through you and your neighbour’s crop bringing your potato dreams to an abrupt and depressing halt.
  • Thirdly the effects of a whole host of pests and diseases… eelworm, virus, fungal and bacterial are minimised. These can rapidly build up in saved seed and can devastate yields. Remember the potato is a clone – whatever the parent tuber has is passed on to the child.
  • Fourthly you contribute to a significant Scottish Export of “Seed Potatoes” to 25 countries from Cuba to Thailand by helping maintain Scotland as a high health status region. The seed industry contributes around £100 million to the Scottish economy.
Blighted crops from home saved seed Photo: John Marshall

Blight crops from home saved seed
Photo: John Marshall

By purchasing classified seed you greatly reduce the risks and this gives you two free hands to concentrate on other aspects of growing your crop in a neighbour friendly fashion….. Choice of variety, rotations, soil fertility, slugs, water.

More information can be obtained on these websites

https://potatoes.ahdb.org.uk/growing/gardeners-guidance
http://www.gov.scot/Topics/farmingrural/Agriculture/plant/18273/retailsalesseedpotatoes
https://www.sasa.gov.uk/seed-ware-potatoes/classification-scheme

The full story can be found in SPCS in Scotland leaflets

John Marshall

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