Potato problem

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Ali

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Potato problem
« on: May 14, 2006, 20:46 »
One of my potatoes (1st early) is looking sickly. It has kind of gone floppy with rather dried up, curly looking leaves, and it is much shorter than all the others. Has it got some horrible disease? Should I fish it out so it won't infect the others? My husband thinks it's maybe because it hasn't rained much, but the others look OK. In fact I was quite chuffed with them until today, they are huge and bushy and are getting flowers on. Can anyone please help??

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kooringa

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Potato problem
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2006, 22:33 »
It is hard to know what is wrong without seeing it.  Rather than digging it up you could just carefully move the soil away from one side to have a look to see if it is being eaten by anything.

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John

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Potato problem
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2006, 00:10 »
Sounds viral to me - I wouldn't worry too much though, your first earlies come up so quickly that I doubt it will infect everything else.

May just be slugs under the soil though or some other beastie.
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Ali

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Potato problem
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2006, 17:55 »
It didn't look any better so I had a look - nothing obvious seemed to be wrong with it, some slug damage to the potato plus I think maybe they'd got the stem, which had gone a bit mushy looking. So maybe it was a virus. The others still seem OK though. Thanks for the advice.

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Jake

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Potato problem
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2006, 10:12 »
Some of my potaotoes have got a yellowish tinge to their leaves. They are standing up, not wilting. I'm wondering what that might be. I haven't seen many slugs.

Any advice would be appreciated

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John

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Potato problem
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2006, 10:24 »
Could be a number of things - is your soil heavy? If so, with this weather we've been having it could be blackleg.

It might just be a lack of nitrogen or magnesium.

Did they get a touch of frost? Mind you, you're in Luton so unless you're in a frost pocket that's doubtful.

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Jake

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Potato problem
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2006, 10:47 »
Our soil is heavy, I think. That means quite clay doesn't it?

I'm going to research blackleg because I assumed that the soil wouldn't be deficient in anything as it was unused for 8 years. Maybe I'm wrong.

Does damp cause blackleg?

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John

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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2006, 11:08 »
Heavy soil + wet weather is ideal for it.
The stem blackens at ground level and the leaves turn yellow, eventually the haulm withers and dies. No cure - lift and burn affected plants.

Magnesium defficiency causes yellowing between the veins of the leaves and stunted growth. Cure - spray with epsom salts. (I kid you not!)

Nitrogen, lack of causes a yellow tinge or paleness in the leaves. Cure - add nitrogen in form of dried blood or sulphate of ammonia or urea.

If it's a deficciency problem and the soil has been vacant for 8 years that is possible, try applying a good amount of blood, fish and bone or a potato fertiliser.

I wouldn't assume blackleg unless you are certain. Try addressing the nutrient situation first.

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Jake

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Potato problem
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2006, 11:30 »
Thanks John

I've copied and pasted what you said and I'm going to call past tonight and have another look.

I never realised what a battle it is, good for learning new things though.

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John

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Potato problem
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2006, 11:42 »
Growing vegetables is often thought of as being something that requires little brain. The truth is, of course, that you need to plan strategically, react tactically and continually adapt to new situations drawing upon a depth of knowledge.

If that sounds like it is from a business manual, it's because it is :)

The 'head gardener' of the Victorian era was treated a bit like modern day footballers - poached from one big house to the next.

I love the 'mindless' tasks - digging over or hoeing because they let you rest your brain, although they require skill,  but growing does stimulate the mind.

Having had me rant - good luck with the spuds!!

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Jake

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Potato problem
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2006, 12:15 »
Well I didn't get to the plot on Monday night but last night I had a look and they look quite good, really good in fact. I either imagined it, unlikely, or it got better. It has rained a bit less here over the last 48 hours.

I don't see any problems at the base of the stalks. Quite relieved.

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Ali

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Potato problem
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2006, 20:13 »
The rest of mine still look OK, too (relieved as well!) I hadn't made it down to have look for a week or so because of the weather, but aside from the plot looking like one of your northern paddyfields, the potatoes seem fine. Loads of flowers - does this mean they're ready???

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John

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Potato problem
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2006, 21:55 »
Quote from: "Ali"
The rest of mine still look OK, too (relieved as well!) I hadn't made it down to have look for a week or so because of the weather, but aside from the plot looking like one of your northern paddyfields, the potatoes seem fine. Loads of flowers - does this mean they're ready???

Best way to know that is to dig a plant up - nothing beats your first potatoes of the year.



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