Wednesday 8 December 2010

Weather watch Wednesday week 49...and the potato problem!!

Well not much to say on the weather front's still very cold and yesterday we had a record low for our area of -12 degrees...I know some places have been colder so i won't complain about it loudly....just mumble and grumble quietly to myself!!

We haven't really had snow since Friday but the snow is still there in the form of huge blocks of ice and the streets which haven't been cleared are treacherous. Today we actually have a high of freezing point so things are looking up though!!

Now for the potato problem...... firstly see the picture below.......

yucky potatoes
Yucky potatoes! you see the problem?? Well quite a few of them are like this when I peel them....certainly not the majority but enough to be really getting on my nerves and I was wondering whether it is something I have done in the way I have stored them, whether this type of potato is prone to this...or maybe it's something else entirely. The potatoes are 'Desiree' and not only is it the first time I have grown them but also the first time I have grown and therefore stored main crop potatoes. Just so you know these were collected from the plot before the seriously cold weather and stored indoors in a black-out potato bag but I guess they could have got frosted a bit. I have been storing them in my wooden shed in a hessian sack.

Any information would be greatly appreciated!



  1. Did you see any blight on the leaves during the growing season? I know it can spread to the potatoes.

  2. I looked up your potato problem and found this:
    Not sure if this will help or not.

  3. That's awful news on the potatoes Tanya. This website may help identify the problem. WE once has our stored potatoes affected by frost but they just turned sweet and I would have thought frost damage would produce black rings but could be wrong.

    Sheet ice here too on the sideroads - it's actually more slippy than a skating rink.

  4. Hi Tpals...nope...the potatoes were totally blight free so i know this wasn't the cause.
    Becky and GLA...thanks for the websites...I've had a look at both and think it could be a kind of rot...apparently this can be due to weather conditions or it could possibly be something called 'mosaic', there is no internal photo of the damage done but apparently king edwards are immune and I haven't had a problem with those.

    Some other things say it could be due to 'rough handling'

    So much info with buts and maybes so if there is anyone who knows for definite I would love to hear it but in the meantime at least I have a few ideas so thanks guys.

  5. I grew maincrop for the first time, king eddies and desiree and although the desiree were a bit 'warty' in appearance they were lovely when peeled. I did lift them earlier than I was supposed to and due to size of plot there weren't many so they all got eaten by the end of October. Hope you find the cause of the problem, it's never nice to discover something like this when you've put all the effort into them.

  6. Too bad about the potatoes, hope you figure it out. I say go ahead and grumble all you want about the cold :)

  7. We're the same with the weather, Tanya. It's a while since it's snowed now but the roads and footpaths are still treacherous. No idea about the potatoes. It must be so annoying.

  8. Hi Tanya, not really much I can offer, but have been watching a few peeps storing them in their sheds on our site. Tips i've picked up are really keep checking them regularly, it only takes one dodgy spud to make the rest go off. Also, any hint of a foul smell is an indicator that something needs checking but really that reiterrates on the checking regularly. Make sure you wash them prior to storage, and when stored give plenty of air circulation around the container, hessian is a great choice. Besides washing them, get rid of any spuds that don't meet the standards expected for storage, obviously eat them ones immediately if suitable enough otherwise burn or compost. Hope that helps.

  9. Looks like frost. But to be on the safe side grow different potatoes next year. (Not a hardship, is it considering how these ended up?) Must admit that I've never washed my potato crop - until it comes time to prepare them to eat.

  10. I always imagine that it would be much colder where I live, but we have only had one real snowfall here so far. I've heard you've had a harsh winter already. I wish I knew more about potatoes. My dad knows all about this stuff, but I don't see him very often these days.

  11. Hi Mal Craig and Ratty, Thanks all for stopping by.

    Craig I always check my spuds before storage and filter out the not so good ones to be used first so that wasn't the problem.

    I am like you Mal...I have never washed my potatoes before storage....I just make sure they are well dried out and then sack them....I really don't think I want to start washing them either. I think maybe I should just go with the King Edwards next year but I'll see.

    Ratty don't worry too much about knowing anything...I'm just glad you're still enjoying my blog :-)

  12. I didn't know that potatoes can turned that bad. I got no clue how to preserve them.

  13. Mine have been doing the same thing. I think it may be blight, even if there was no sign on the leaves. Trouble is all it takes is one potato to be bad and they will slowly turn the rest nasty too.

    Another thing could be damage caused by slugs etc? I know some of mine where pretty badly insect attacked, that probably allowed infection to get into them. Only thing you can do is to sort through and try and identify which are bad and remove them. Make sure the rest are dry and keep checking them regularly in case others appear.

  14. Hi im in SW Scotland and ive had two half full bag of tatties just go all soft and moisture seeping out of the brown storage bags that were stored in my brick built shed. Weve never had it soo cold or for such a prolonged time before, we have had sub zero temps for weeks nonstop over Nov Dec. One of our readings on temp guage was a minus 16.6 and the ground is still frozen hard yet altho it looks on the surface like its thawed! Even our fast flowing river had great sheets of 8 inch thick ice covering it..which is a first. How do folks think my leeks and turnips that r in the ground still will fare? cant get them out due to the ground being still frozen..dont want to lose them 2!!


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