potatoe problem

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by MELOC, May 25, 2006.

  1. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i noticed on of my potatoe plants had wilted so i pulled back the mulch to see the stems had turned black and rotted. what is this?
     
  2. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Many possible reasons, but also much information lacking for accurate diagnosis. Is it one plant or multiple plants, since "stems" is plural.

    Could be related to the mulch, which could be almost anything. Something in it could have "burned" the stem causing it to die at that point and then rot. (Just had that happen to two pepper plants from wet shredded maple and oak leaves.) Another is that some insect activity within the mulch caused the same damage. Worse case would be that the seed was infected with one of several diseases and the best you can do is destroy it. As long as it's just the one plant involved, I wouldn't worry much.

    Martin
     

  3. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    the only way i can elaborate is to say that the one plant had 2 stems i guess from two eyes that sprouted. it was mulched with old hay and some dry leaves mixed with field rakings. the stems were rotted from about ground level up to about 4-6 inches. the skin of the stems appeared blackish and the inside was a rotten, oozing grayish/brownish color.

    none of the rest of the plants is infected yet. i think i will totally remove all that is in that immediate area and burn it.

    i have several types of potatoes planted. i have golds and kennebec and some super market variety that sprouted on the counter. the plant that rotted was a replacement for a non-sprouted area in between the super market potatoes. i think it was a gold but i may be wrong and it may be one of the "counter" potatoes.

    some of the seed potatoes i got from agway were rotten. i may have let a rotten bit get through and may have planted it.
     
  4. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Excellent idea! I'm hoping that it's just an isolated case and indeed may have come from a single "bad seed". Although a rotting potato generally will not sprout, one which will sprout will often be very weak. They are supposed to rot eventually but not so quickly.

    I'm also going to tell to you to carefully watch that area. You had one seed piece that didn't sprout there. Now you've had a plant entirely die in the same spot. You may also want to remove at least 5 gallons of soil from that spot and replace it with different soil. Spread the "infected" soil over lawn or some other non-vegetable area.

    Martin
     
  5. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    thanks for the advice. i doubt if there is anything toxic in the soil. this is the first time i have tried potatoes for awhile so i doubt it is anything from bad potatoe history, lol. i planted them really shallow with the intention of mulching around them and some did better than others as i did not mulch until i saw sprouts. i think some of the soil compacted from all of the rain we got and the deep ones took some time. some were also vandalized by ferral cats who like to use my fresh dug garden soil for nasty purposes. some were dug out and replanted...maybe those dried out.

    i think it was a rotten seed potatoe that slipped through my quality control process. i will "clean" that area but the soil will go to a different part of the garden where i will never plant potatoes.

    thanks again.