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Author Topic: Frost Bitten Potatoes  (Read 5296 times)

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peapod

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Frost Bitten Potatoes
« on: May 05, 2011, 23:08 »
Most people plant their spuds in late March, but be warned, there is still the risk of frost in most parts of the country until late May.  That means the foliage could well be at risk, and could lead to the loss of those beloved veg that is so vital in the kitchen.  Keep an eye out for temperatures of 4 degrees or below.

Signs

The foliage appears blackened -especially at the tips,  shrivelled or even dead.  Frost damage often giving the appearance of being scorched with a flame thrower.

So what do we do?

Protection
Earthing up - this means using the soil around the plants to cover the leaves as they appear above the soil.  This gives protection from the frost, and means that your plants will develop more leaves...and therefore more protection against a shock frost.

Fleecing or covering with other resources - using horticultural fleece, newspapers,  grass clippings, straw, hay, leaves (basically anything that will keep the frost off for the night!) to cover the foliage when the risk of frost strikes.  Again, this cuts the risk of the frost nipping those precious leaves.


Dont panic!
If frost does get your spuds, they can often recover if they have a decent sized stem below the surface (some plant their spuds with a bulb planter to give them a good start).

It may well set them back,and possibly reduce the harvest if severe enough, but all is not lost if you see the signs.  Leave them in for a couple of weeks, and they will more than likely show some new growth.

« Last Edit: May 05, 2011, 23:21 by peapod »
"I think the carrot infinitely more fascinating than the geranium. The carrot has mystery. Flowers are essentially tarts. Prostitutes for the bees. There is, you'll agree, a certain je ne sais quoi oh so very special about a firm young carrot" Withnail and I



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