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Potato Drills Disturbed


 
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Aeneas
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 9:30 pm    Post subject: Potato Drills Disturbed Reply with quote

Just back from a week away to find that some of my potato drills (5 or 6 drills) have been disturbed. Haulms have not been pulled out but the potatoes have been turned up, or the soil has been removed from around them, and left on the top of the soil to go green. Dozens of tubers. None seems to have been eaten. Possibilities that occur to me are 1) humans? But this is unlikely since haulms are untouched and the potatoes have been left. I would imagine that if people were involved they would have pulled up the stalks and taken some of the potatoes; 2) a dog or fox? but the ground is not particularly badly disturbed as it would be from a dog or fox digging; or 3) birds. This appears the most likely explanation. There are pheasants and pigeons nexsting nearby. Is it possible that they disturbed the potatoes when searching for grubs in the ground? Has anyone experienced this phenomenon?
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verge
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Joined: 04 Jun 2006
Posts: 598
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Possibly the birds, but is rare to see the potatoes uncovered without a few peck holes. Was there any?
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Aeneas
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

verge wrote:
Possibly the birds, but is rare to see the potatoes uncovered without a few peck holes. Was there any?


I. No. The potatoes were largely untouched apart from one or two that had succumbed to slug damage. Luckily slugs and snails are not a big problem on my site. Whatever did the damage seems to have 1) removed the soil from around the tubers, without disturbing the haulms, 2) nudged some of the tubers along the drill, and 3) seemed uninterested in the potatoes themselves.

II. I have another potato question. At the beginning, a few weeks ago, the harvest seemed fine but today when digging up some of the drills I came across numerous rotten tubers. It seemed to me that one out of every four or five tubers was affected. The main features are 1) the skin is a dark brown, 2) it is pockmarked with numerous white pustules which looks like some kind of fungus 3) the tuber itself is soft and squashes at the slightest touch, 4) the flesh inside is a soft creamy white, and 4) there is no particularly rotten smell from the flesh but rather a strong potato smell. I don't think is is blight as there were no problems with the stalks before they began to die down, and I sprayed regularly. Any idea what it might be and how I might counter it? The variety in question is Duke of York; my Queens do not seem so badly affected, but I have yet to open most of the Queens drills. The topsoil is a fine sandy loam but is over marl and tends to flood in very wet weather.
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James Kilkelly
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Joined: 30 May 2006
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Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Weird as Duke of York are usually relatively trouble free
Sounds like the rot could be potato dry rot Aeneas.
However this usually only appears in storage.

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