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jal_ut
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Digging Potatoes

[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/potatoe_oct.jpg[/img]
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gumbo2176
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Jal, if those are 5 gallon buckets, those are some huge taters. Lots of potato salad, hash browns, fries, chips-----------all the things I'm not supposed to have. Doc said lay off the white----as in white rice, taters, pasta, bread, although I can have whole wheat breads and pastas along with brown rice.

Nice crop.

DoubleDogFarm
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Jim,

Those are nice red potatoes. Looks like no wire worm problem in your area. What variety?

MOA 15000077382 ?

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Eric

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jal_ut
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Yes, those are 5 gallon buckets. About 32 pounds of potatoes per bucket.
The variety is Pontiac.
We do have some wireworm damage. That is one thing I don't have a good remedy for. Do you? We just have to peel them and take out the wireworms. They don't go very deep. Gone are the days when you could boil a potato with the skins on.
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jal_ut
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There are several species of wireworms. The ones we have are small. The adults are little black beetles. In the spring, they emerge early and love to punch little holes in the leaves of my crops. They especially like radish and turnip leaves. Sometimes they have been so bad they ruin the crop. Plants can't make a root if they have no leaves. They also like any of the cole crops and may kill seedlings even before they emerge.

The adult is less than 1/8 inch long. A shiny black beetle. The worms that bore into the potatoes are 1/8 to 1/4 inch long and very small diameter. Less than a straight pin. They usually are near the surface and can be removed while peeling.

These beetles haven't been present in this country too many years. It seems about 1982 when I first saw them. Prior to that we could have some very nice potatoes. I don't know where they came from, but wish they would go home.

From my research on wireworms it would seem that the ones we have are smaller than many of the varieties. I don't see the major damage to corn that some areas have.
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digitS'
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Do you also grow the early maturing varieties like Yukon Gold, JAL?

I used to grow Pontiacs and I'm wondering if I'm really missing the boat by having gone entirely with early types in recent years. The Yukon Golds, for instance, came out of the ground by the end of July here.

What are your thoughts about using the ground thru the entire season with later 'taters?

Steve

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jal_ut
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I have grown Yukon Golds before. They never give me near the yield that the Pontiacs do.
What are your thoughts about using the ground thru the entire season with later 'taters?
I am good with letting the potatoes stay in the ground the whole season. I never dig the crop until after the vines die, and here that usually means after we get a frost. You may have a longer season? I usually plant the first part of May depending on the weather and soil conditions.

I have also had good results with the russets.
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farmerlon
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Kennebec seems to be an "old standard" white potato variety, as it's mentoned in several of the older (from about 30 years ago) gardening books that I have.
This year, I grew Red Pontiacs and Kennebecs. Both produced well; overall, the Kennebecs produced more (and larger) potatoes than the Pontiacs.

The flavor of those potatoes were very different. I plan on trying some new potato varieties every year, to experience different flavors and textures.

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digitS'
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There's a concern: yield.

It might be that the sooner they die down, the lower the yield.

Another question I have that might be hard to answer is if the earlies have the same food value. It is kind of a "fast food" issue. I wonder if there has been any studies on that.

I have a season about 3 weeks longer than you do, Jal. Altho' I'm several hundred miles to the north, this is only just over 2,000 feet. I can take the potatoes out and sow seed for greens on that ground a couple weeks later.

I do enjoy growing the early types, too. They just seem pretty darn special producing good food in that short of time! They provide the spuds for the cream peas and new potatoes that are fairly important to my gardening year :wink:. But, I suppose that any variety could do that.

Steve

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I was rummaging around in the garden and found some potatoes that had escaped notice when I harvested. Adirondack Blues -- a bit startling to find these dark purple things in the ground, and accidentally scratching them exposes the bright purple flesh. Being in the ground this long, especially after the vines had died, I also found quite a few with wireworm damage. Ones around here, they are the yellow-orange 3/4" long click beetle larvae.

They also did some serious damage to the sweet potatoes, and I also found a few potatoes that were chewed up by a rodent. I've bee thinking it's the chipmunk, but whatever it is got inside a 1"hex chicken wire so now I'm not sure. Field mice? Vole? Then again, maybe the chipmunk managed to just stick it's head in and chew as much as it could.... :? I guess I'll have try a hardware cloth box next year.

I'm getting discouraged about the wireworms. I'll be exploring some traps for the adult clickbeetles and possibly beneficial nematodes for the larvae.

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I'm getting discouraged about the wireworms. I'll be exploring some traps for the adult clickbeetles and possibly beneficial nematodes for the larvae.

I'll be trying the coffee grounds idea. A fellow vendor at the Farmer's Market, made it sound promising.

Eric

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jal_ut
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Still looking at beetles etc.
Found this about Potato Flea Beetles. I wonder if this is what I have rather than wireworms? The size sounds more like what I have. In any case, they are a pain.

[url=https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https://ipm.ncsu.edu/AG295/pics/flea_beetles.gif&imgrefurl=https://ipm.ncsu.edu/AG295/html/flea_beetles.htm&h=439&w=267&sz=13&tbnid=h6gDBeTETpUv_M:&tbnh=127&tbnw=77&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dflea%2Bbeetle&zoom=1&q=flea+beetle&hl=en&usg=__fyO46xW0qxgtB2F3-qePZThkJkI=&sa=X&ei=beO8TO37F5D74Abt1azPDQ&sqi=2&ved=0CDIQ9QEwBg]Click Here[/url]
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digitS'
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Flea beetles can be a real problem for me some years.

Notice what is said about the larva: "Grubs feed on or in roots, tubers, and lower stems for 3 to 4 weeks before pupating." I doubt if most of us are even aware that our plants are suffering from a flea beetle attack - below the surface of the soil!

Weakening the host plants by feeding on their roots and then emerging to attack the foliage. This may not be what you are talking about with potatoes, Jal, but some years what must be a multitude, damage my tomatoes.

Usually, I see damage in the brassicas and really must take some kind of action to limit it. For some reason, flea beetles usually get a good jump on me and the tomatoes before I realize what a problem they are causing! I even notice that this year, some of the fruit was chewed on!

Brassicas might be useless, tomatoes, and I might mention eggplant, get beaten up. Rotenone/Pyrethrin spray, oversprayed to hit the ground where a good many of the beetle hide, seems to work fairly well. That is, when I think to get it on. Unfortunately, nothing comes to mind to do about the larva below ground.

Probably row covers over everything would be best but I can't see it being the way to go in a large garden and, what with all the wind that blew thru this spring . . . . . . . . . . . :roll:

Steve

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jal_ut
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I know these little black beetles can kill my brassicas before they even emerge. (planting from seed) They really like mustard, turnip and radish leaves. They attack both potatoes and tomatoes. I hate to use chemicals. I wonder if Diatomaceous Earth would slow them down? I think if I can slow down the adults, maybe there won't be so many worms working on the roots and tubers?
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applestar
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I've no idea if this works, but one control method I read in a book is to make a pair of long handled white paddles painted with tanglefoot and walk along the rows with them. I think the idea is to hold the paddles so the paddle surfaces are just below the canopy.

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Wireworms are just one of those things that are almost impossible to control, kind of like rootknot nematodes.

I kind if agree with the thoughts on controlling (or, at least trying to) the adult form. Traps sound like a good idea, also, if there is a particular crop that repels them, it might be worthwhile to interplant that crop with your potatoes.

Apps, what is "tanglefoot"?
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DoubleDogFarm
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Tanglefoot is a sticky substance the crawler stick to.

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jal_ut
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Wireworm larvae live in the ground for several years before pupating. They also live in grassy areas, which most of us have nearby our gardens. Because of this, it is pretty hard to get any control that will really work.
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applestar
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I like the attra articles:
https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/fleabeetle.html

Here's another article:
https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/plantsci/pests/e1234w.htm

I'm thinking beneficial nematodes for Subsoil Garden Patrol.

This year, my eggplants took a heavy hit. My potatoes were not as badly affected by fleabeetles though. Hopefully fleabeetle predatory braconid wasps mentioned in the first article are/will be among my Garden Patrol -- I'll be continuing to plant flowers/plants attractive to beneficial insects.

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jal_ut
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applestar
Thanks for the links. Interesting reading.
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applestar
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:wink:

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