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potatoes with black in the middle

Discussion in 'Fruits & Vegetables' started by lala land, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. Jan 9, 2010
    lala land

    lala land Sprout

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    for the first time ever, I had a problem with potatoes last year. I grow about 4 varieties, and I've been replanting from potatoes saved from seed for 3 years in this garden. I grow fingerlings, russet, yukon gold, kanabec, and a variety of purple, plus whatever sprouting potatoes family give me.

    Last year, I had small black or darkened centers in about 1/4 of the potatoes, mostly in the whites. Not worms, as there was no worm trail. The reds had red stippling in the center.

    It was an extraordinarily dry and cool summer. I rotate crops, and grow some potatoes under hay, and some under dirt. I have a big family harvest day, so have no idea of whether the problem potatoes came from one patch or another as I also had kids up helping to plant last spring and totally lost track of what was what.

    Any ideas what this was about? would like to avoid it this year!
  2. Jan 9, 2010
    vfem

    vfem Garden Addicted

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    I have seen dark spots in the center of the potato with cracks running through in a star shape. Where there cracks in some of them? Usually that is a sign of a lack of water?

    Just dark areas... I'm not so sure. I hope someone may come in with a better answer.
  3. Jan 10, 2010
    old fashioned

    old fashioned Attractive To Bees

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    I'm not an expert, but have heard it may be some type of blight or disease. Hopefully someone better in the know will come thru with a better answer.

    By the way..... :welcome
  4. Jan 10, 2010
    Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Deeply Rooted

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    I don't know what would cause that. I found this site that talks about all kinds of potato diseases and did not find what you described. You might look through it to see if the descriptions match what you saw. Since the symptoms don't seem to match the diseases, I'd guess it had something to do with the cool wet growing season or maybe harvesting them too young when they are really full of water instead of some disease, but that is purely a guess? They did not maybe freeze, did they?

    http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/plantsci/hortcrop/pp756w.htm#tuber
  5. Jan 14, 2010
    patandchickens

    patandchickens Deeply Rooted

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    Hi again, y'all :)

    I asked my mother, who was a potato biochemist back in the 40s-50s, what this sounded like, and as far as she can remember things about potato culture (that was a *while* ago :p) she thinks that drought is the likeliest cause.

    It matches "internal black spot" of potatoes, e.g. description in http://plant-disease.ippc.orst.edu/disease.cfm?RecordID=884

    I get potatoes like that periodically amongst the storeboughten ones I get in big cheap bags.

    HTH,

    Pat, going to try growing potatoes for the first time this year... my mom says "why? they are so cheap at the store" :p
  6. Jan 14, 2010
    lesa

    lesa Garden Addicted

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    Hi Pat!! Welcome back!! Are you going to grow potatoes in the ground or are you going to try the barrel method?? Has anyone had actual success with barrels or above ground potato growing?
  7. Jan 23, 2010
    lala land

    lala land Sprout

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    hey, drought matches! It was incredibly dry, and I thought I was watering enough, but apparently not.

    I get that, "why plant potatoes, they are so cheap" thing, but I have to tell you, the taste doesn't compare. Not to mention that I have my whole family up for harvesting potatoes, and it is something all of them really like - digging for potatoes - little ones, teens, everyone! and they go home with bushel baskets of potatoes and talk all year about the potatoes.

    tomatoes aren't as exciting, and they didn't really like doing the beets or garlic or leeks or rutabegas or squashes but give them potatoes and they are sooooo pleased.

    Also, I read a recent article about the 7 top foods you shouldn't eat, and store bought potatoes were one of the 7, based on the usual pesticide/herbicide load plus the apparent fungicides sprayed on them to keep them from sprouting (ish).

    thanks for figuring out the black spot for me!
  8. Jan 23, 2010
    lala land

    lala land Sprout

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    oops, forgot to say growing potatoes above ground:
    I grow half the crop on top of the ground = just lay them on the dirt, cover liberally with hay/leaves = a good 6-8 inches. Have to keep adding hay/leaves through the growing season, or you get greening.

    have to say, there is more mice/vole damage this way, but I do this when I run out of time. I tried just dumping whole potatoes and covering them, but they don't do as well as they do when you cut them in half or fourths depending on how big they are.

    I save my sprouted potatoes, and some seed potatoes, and whatever I haven't eaten from last year's crop and plant em all - with 20 people harvesting, I can't get enough potatoes!

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