Perennial Diversity Perpetual represents a decade of growing and selecting potatoes for smaller size and persistence through winter with little cultivation. We started with three selections of heirloom potatoes, fruited them and then raised their seedlings while selecting over time for small tubers and winter hardiness. For the last several years, we quit cultivating them entirely and waited until fall of 2018 to harvest them.
We offer a 4 pack of four distinct genetically different potatoes with the basic three colors, red, blue and white. Some are fingerlings and some are more round shaped and vary in size from 1-3 inches. This is the mature size of the tuber and not summer harvested. Some of the seedlings may grow larger under cultivation. Red, blue, white, pink and violet are the colors in this mix. The textures range from smooth to flaky with a true potato taste like no other-subtle but delicious. We recommend spring planting with this strain at first but then keeping a portion of the crop in the field over winter a little every year. We include a glassine bag for dry storage which you can refrigerate or put in a cool area until spring.
It appears small size favors winter hardiness as well as persistence in the landscape and yes, it spreads. These ship in the fall and spring while dormant-just like any potato.
UPDATE; The source for our original diploid potatoes were all 'over the counter' potatoes from commercial potato producers that produce heirloom potatoes as seed potatoes. Our seeds did not come from plant breeders, facebook potato groups, or other companies or individuals offering diploid potato seeds. (The only exception is the variety 'Zolushka' which came from Park Seed Company.) The Perennial Diversity Seed is produced 100 percent at our farm and nowhere else. In the last four years we have tried other true seed potatoes but at this point most have not been adapted to our location. This brings home the idea that locally adapted plants can provide a solution to common disease issues but are not a solution everywhere potatoes are grown.
UPDATE FOR 2020: We are now focusing on yield along with foliage health. Some tubers have persisted over a decade. We are selecting for small size and heavy yields. Some of these are not too pretty looking a lot like a rock. But they have proven themselves to be a more forgiving potato to grow even if used in a more traditional garden vs. permaculture. Here at our farm we are adding them to our fruit plants as a under-story plant. We generated another 1000 seedlings in 2019 and then added the best from that group to the 2020 batch.We have not found any yet that are high solanine and we have removed a few early on to prevent them from showing up in future generations.
No shipment to WA, ID, AK. If we sell out of these in the spring we automatically ship them in the fall or you can request a refund.
|Genus & Species||Solanum tuberosus|
|Seed Source||Michigan, Heirloom|
|Hardiness||-10F to -15F Ground hardiness is unknown but tubers resist freezing fully or partially most winters.|
|Height (ft)||Sprawling to 2 ft. tall.|
|Width (ft)||Sprawling to 4-8 ft. long vines.|
|Pollination Requirements||Diploid selections. Fruitfulness is low usually but not non existent. If you grow them from seed, let the tubers remain in the ground for several years to test 'root hardiness' whether it is thumbs up or thumbs down.|
|Soil||Sandy well drained soil is ideal.|
|Climate||Northern temperate selection but adaptable in other climates. Not tested outside Michigan.|
|Ease of Cultivation||Easiest potato selection we have grown. To some extent this so called 'wild' form is from potato seedlings that appear to resist frost in different ways than we think about root hardiness. They are persistent and a naturalizing form of cultivated potato so they never quite die out like named varieties.|