Potatoes only propagate true-to-type if you plant potato tubers. If you grow potato seeds, you may develop your own potato cultivar(s).
We keep a personal collection of a dozen or so potato varieties that we grow every year. In the fall of 2016, when we were harvesting our potato crop, we collected the small green fruits from the four cultivars that produced “seed balls” that year.
As potatoes are close relatives of tomatoes, the seed is treated in much the same way; processing and starting for example. So, start your tomato and potato bedding plants at the same time and plant them both outside when danger of frost is past. In the first year of growth, you will only get egg-sized potato tubers. If these are stored and planted the following spring, you will get full sized tubers.
Our potato collection has cultivars with white, red, and purple skin, and white, yellow, and “blue” deep purple flesh, so you will get a number of combinations of these characteristics in your potatoes.
The four potatoes in this collection are:
Carlton – white skin, white flesh, early, Canadian bred
Red Wagner – red skin, white flesh, mid-season, bred in USA
Desiree – pink skin, yellow flesh, mid-season, European origin
Red Bintje – red skin, yellow flesh, late, from the Netherlands
You will get about two dozen seeds in a packet which will include seeds from all four cultivars. Seed them all to get the largest sample from which to select the plants you like. Jim will also be growing these four potatoes over the next two years so you can compare notes when the time comes!