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Mutant crossbreed volunteer pototo/kohlrabi

 
Mike Jay Haasl
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Ok, I was digging taters today.  First I do the ones I planted, then I get the volunteers from last year's misses.  I pulled one up and it had tubers/swellings along the whole stem, even in places well above ground.  They had a number of buds and leaves coming out of them so they looked like starter kohlrabi.  I know it can't be a kohlrabi cross but that's what they reminded me of.

Is this normal or did I stumble upon the missing link to something cool?  

There were a few full sized potatoes underground so I'm curing them along with the rest of the taters.  The last pic shows some with some bleaching where I think they were touching the ground/mulch.
Pulled-up-with-growths-visible.jpg
Pulled up with growths visible
Pulled up with growths visible
Close-up.jpg
Close up
Close up
Closer-up.jpg
Closer up
Closer up
 
Bryant RedHawk
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How Cool, true seed potatoes, notice those that are above ground are growing leaves.

Redhawk
 
Mike Jay Haasl
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Yeah, that's what first caught my attention.  Should I do anything to save or propagate them?  Are they cool in a "Hey you just invented the banana!" way or in a "Hey, it's poisonous but pretty.  Plant geeks would like to see another photo" way?

I'm just not sure if I should do anything with this rare occurrence...
 
Bryant RedHawk
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I always want more photos Mike (just the nature of us "nerdy folk")

I meant they are Kool, I'd snip em off and try to cool store them for spring planting.
If you  have a cold frame or green house, you could give them a head start (CF) or grow those this winter (in the green house in tubs).
Did I forget to say "I'm dang jealous"? I have heard of that happening but I've never seen it in person.

Redhawk
 
Mike Jay Haasl
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Ok, I'll snip them off.  I do have a greenhouse that may not get below freezing this winter.  How should I plant them?  I'm guessing half buried and half above ground so the leaves can be above ground?

And I'll take more photos
 
Skandi Rogers
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A short piece on above ground tuber prodiction

If your example is caused by Rhizoctonia solani as that article suggests it could be. I would not keep any of that plant but would burn the entire thing.


EDIT after a bit more reading:

Another link
Look at figure 4.

Burn the lot.
 
Mike Jay Haasl
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Hmm, I think I now have what they call conflicting information :)  I couldn't see figure 4 very well, it wouldn't let me zoom in.  And I can't seem to find other pictures online about that fungus producing these sorts of little bulbs...  
 
Jenn Bertrand
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I'm definitely not an expert but it looks to me like what my yellow fingerlings do when I don't get around to hilling  them up before they make tubers, small greenish tubers with leaves sprouting, not edible and not dormant so they dont make it through to spring planting, not horrible but kind of a bummer. It doesn't look like disease or anything really special to me just what the plant does when I ignore it or don't notice it in time.
 
Lorne Martin
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I agree with Jenn, definitely a case of not hilling them enough. Some varieties can produce potatoes along the stem growth while others are restricted to the root zone. If you keep the tubers that were underground and plant them they will also be this type. Just hill them next year for bigger yields.
 
Skandi Rogers
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Mike Jay wrote:Hmm, I think I now have what they call conflicting information :)  I couldn't see figure 4 very well, it wouldn't let me zoom in.  And I can't seem to find other pictures online about that fungus producing these sorts of little bulbs...  



better picture

this link seems tempermental for me if it doesn't work just google Potato Diseases: Rhizoctonia Stem Canker and Black Scurf (E2994) it's the Michigan university link you want.

It seems they can form when something damages the flows of starch inside the plant, it can be mechanical damage or fungal/viral.
 
Mike Jay Haasl
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Thanks for the better links Skandi!  That growth is exactly what these look like.  So, is it from a disease or from not hilling them or some other stress....

Since these are volunteers, I've grown them before.  And I didn't hill them last year and didn't see this sort of growth.  But lack of hilling did occur.

I guess the key is that they aren't necessarily a new kind of propagation.  So discarding them won't prevent the world from seeing a new awesome type of potato.  

Thanks everyone!!!
 
Skandi Rogers
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It was an interesting little rabbit hole to be honest, I get the black spots on my potatoes and didn't know what they were.
 
Jenn Bertrand
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After looking at the  "better picture" link I totally agree with Skandi. The little black spots have also been present on the same potatoes I mentioned before. Ive only ever had very minimal damage and havent noticed any decrease in production so I didn't realize it was a disease, thanks for educating me ☺
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Mike Jay wrote:Yeah, that's what first caught my attention.  Should I do anything to save or propagate them?  Are they cool in a "Hey you just invented the banana!" way or in a "Hey, it's poisonous but pretty.  Plant geeks would like to see another photo" way?
I'm just not sure if I should do anything with this rare occurrence...



Pretty cool pics. Since they already have leaves sprouting they might not keep over the winter. Although my parents during the German Occupation took to burying thick peelings in the basement [dirt floor]. They would get marble sized potatoes.
It would be interesting to plant them and see if they reproduce like a conventional  potato or if you have a "mutant" that produces potatoes along a vine/ stem. To be edible and not cause a colic, they would have to be placed in darkness to lose the green tinge, but it is worth a try. Just like the scapes on my garlic, it might be a vegetative way of reproducing without touching the dirt, so not catching any problems from the soil?. Hmmm. really interesting. Let us know what you do with them.
Another possible advantage, they are already "seed sized" so there would be no need to divide them /cut into them at planting.
I have a silly question: Do they have "eyes"? (Since eyes grow into roots, if they grew above ground... do they have eyes?) [that should be unnecessary if they grow above ground, right?]
 
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