Potato growing success can be had with well-drained, deep, sandy loam containing plenty of hummus paired with the cool, moist condition. Getting your garden started early is important for long-term success as the temperatures get warmer and the risk of frost decreases. Some people use disease-free seed potatoes from a breeder’s or certifier’s catalog and cut each potato into
Potatoes can sometimes present challenges, with crops often being affected by a range of setbacks. But these conditions are easier to overcome and plant yields are always improving.
Potatoes growing problems, and their solutions and controls:
Plants do not emerge after planting seed pieces
Most store-bought potatoes are treated to prevent sprouting. Never plant them if any signs of sprouting are visible. Cut seed potatoes when two eyes have formed on each piece, half an inch below the surface, and plant immediately. Plant once the soil has warmed to about 45°F!.
Plants are eaten or cut off near soil level
Cutworms are pests that can have harmful effects on plants, particularly in the fall. They attack stems and roots of plants, chewing away at them. You can place a paper collar around a plant stem to prevent this type of damage.
Keep your garden weed-free! Use wood ashes around the base of all plants that need nutritional assistance.
Large holes in leaves, leaves and shoots are stripped.
Eggplant, flax and basil is an effective way to fight off the Colorado potato beetle. The eggplant will deter them from laying eggs, and because of the Basil’s natural scaring ability the pest won’t come back for long.
Young sprouts fail to grow or die back
The disease blackleg is caused by bacteria which result in rotting spots on sprouts. It’s called “blacklegs” when it appears on rootlets or the main stem of a plant. Black scurf is a fungus that causes brown sunken spots on sprigs, called “spots,” below soil level. Remove infected plants and destroy infected tubers. Frost damage follows a frost; wait until after the last frost to plant.
Leaves are yellowish and slightly curled with small shiny specks
Potato aphids are tiny, oval-shaped pear-shaped insects that can colonize on the undersides of leaves. They leave behind sticky excrement called honeydew which can turn into a black sooty mold if not clean up quickly. Spray away the aphids with a blast of water from your garden hose.
Stems have irregular dead streaks
Manganese is a soil acidity indicator that can be found in fields, gardens and in the backyard. To test manganese levels and determine the best course of action, apply lime to neutralize and draw out this constituent of the soil. If determined to be high, grow varieties like Canso that are resistant to manganese toxicity such as McIntyre.
Leaves are chewed
These are beetles that are similar to ladybugs. Their long, thin shape makes them hard to spot- they’re reddish-bronzed and secrete a substance that can lead to skin irritation. Wear gloves, remove them from leaves and destroy them with your hands.