Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Potato black-heart disease

I'm a bit disappointed with the potatoes this year. Despite being assiduous with the weeding, and thereby depriving ourselves of the lovely poppy show,  the potatoes didn't produce a lot. We ate some straight from the ground that had a bit of visible damage, like worm-holes, and stored the good-looking ones. Now we've come to use those I've discovered nasty, holes in the middle with greyish edges. I think this is "black-heart" disease.

Potato black-heart disease -
our poor specimens
 
The disease is apparently caused by either poor ventilation in storage or water-logging whilst growing. See this description of potato black heart >>.

It is possible, that I packed them up a bit too tightly for storage. I usually use cardboard wine boxes lightly sealed with parcel tape to keep out the mice. But certainly we had a lot of water-logged soil this year with some potato plants going soggy and rotten.

So far we haven't tried the stored Santes and Kestrels. Need to get into them next week.

It doesn't look like our potato stores are going to take us through to Christmas, so I've planted up some in big pots. When the weather gets cold I'll drag them into the greenhouse to protect from the frost.

Thankfully we have an abundance of squashes to help out with meals.



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