Holes in Potatoes

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Geoff
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Holes in Potatoes

Postby Geoff » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:29 pm

I assume the small holes in potatoes are eelworm damage, or Potato Cyst Nematodes as I think they are properly called.

What decides how much damage you get? I have grown three varieties next to each other. Charlotte and Picasso had quite a lot of holes, particularly Picasso. When I graded the Picasso I labelled 11 kg out of 41 kg as 'use first' and much of that was down to small holes. Today I have graded Carolus and put aside only 4 kg out of 36 kg and most of those were slugs or rat nibblings.

What I don't understand is this doesn't fit with what the potatoes database http://varieties.ahdb.org.uk/ is saying (I attached an extract but it might not be that clear) where Carolus should be the worst.

Is the problem inherent in the soil or can it come in with the seed potatoes? They were all purchased on the same day from a reputable garden centre and labelled certified, of course different varieties could have come from different suppliers.

Any thoughts?

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Monika
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Re: Holes in Potatoes

Postby Monika » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:33 pm

Are you sure it's not slug damage, Geoff? When we grew potatoes on the allotment, I found the worst culprits were those small black slugs and, considering the recent rather damp weather, they would be very active now.
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Geoff
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Re: Holes in Potatoes

Postby Geoff » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:08 am

Apologies for late reply. In yesterday's lovely weather I tipped all my potatoes out of their boxes for a routine inspection, particularly the Charlotte that have some blight. Only found one squishy one and that was in the 'use first' so maybe the rest will store now. While I was at it I cut open a Carolus that only had a small hole in it and sure enough it was a tiny keel slug. In other years my wife has found small wriggly things when preparing them and I assumed that was the case again. I stand corrected! We haven't tasted the Carolus yet but if we like them I might grow them instead of Picasso as they have come up in much better condition. I see slug resistance mentioned from time to time, presumably depends on toughness of the skin, but it is not a measure on the database I linked above.
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Westi
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Re: Holes in Potatoes

Postby Westi » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:46 pm

My Picasso is still in, but I had to take the crop from one plant that wasn't happy! It is saying I've had erratic watering - that's OK as it was the case - until lately when Mother Nature took over that task! Deffo has some bites from something but the black spots which I was sure would be slug damage are just superficial dips (probably from slugs initially but they never got in). Still not optimistic for any sort of mega harvest
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