Taiji
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Went to dig some potatoes but...

I saved a couple of hills of potatoes to dig during winter but found these today: :(

potato remains.JPG
I guess there must be something underground that eats them. These were deep underground; it wasn't rodents. I found a couple of grubs that I have always thought are June Bug larvae. Quite a few earthworms too. I wonder if earthworms sometimes feast on root crops? I had lots of good potatoes a few months ago, but these have been in the ground for a long time. The solution I think will be to just dig them sooner.

In the past I've had similar damage on root crops if I leave them in the ground a long time. (radishes, beets, turnips) I mean, as you can see, these potatoes are really devastated! I can't believe how much of the tubers are eaten away.

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applestar
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Re: Went to dig some potatoes but...

Oh bummer! :(

I can't leave potatoes in the ground either.

In my garden, the culprits are wireworms and a rodent -- chipmunks or mice. :evil:
I also have to watch out for late blight, though we haven't had that in a while.
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!potatoes!
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Re: Went to dig some potatoes but...

earthworms don't chew, it wasn't them.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Went to dig some potatoes but...

Agree, it couldn't be earthworms.

Wireworms are a common root crop pest. Wireworm damage starts off just looking like a bunch of holes:

Image
https://pubs.ext.vt.edu/3110/3110-1596/3110-1596.html

in severe cases, the damage can be more extensive:

Image
https://www7.inra.fr/hyppz/RAVAGEUR/6agrlin.htm


But your potatoes look more eaten up than that. You said "it wasn't rodents," but some rodents do tunnel underground, including voles, field mice, Here's one thread we had about rodents eating potatoes:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... hp?t=10085

Check your potatoes closely. If it is rodents, you should be able to see little teeth marks in the chewed areas, when they are freshly dug.
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Taiji
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Re: Went to dig some potatoes but...

Thanks for the info everyone. I have seen some wireworms once in a while when digging in the garden. I didn't know what they were though til now! We don't have voles in this area, but I do have some pretty world class sized field mice. I should look for teeth marks I guess. When I've noticed this type of damage before, it always starts out with gouges in the surface of the vegetable, sort of like craters of the moon. This damage is really extensive though. I'm glad I didn't leave my whole potato harvest in the ground! In the future I shall dig sooner!

We do have occasional gophers here, but they have dissipated quite a bit since our 15-20 year drought began. They usually leave telltale mounds too so you know when they're there.

imafan26
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Re: Went to dig some potatoes but...

They do look like mice damage. The holes are really big for worms. My mom had potatoes in the ground that were missed and they were riddled with holes from termites.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Taiji
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Re: Went to dig some potatoes but...

I have lots of termites here. I forgot about them. But when I dug the potatoes up, I didn't see any.

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jal_ut
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Re: Went to dig some potatoes but...

Looks like some kind of critter got after them. Can't suggest what. Small windmills have been used to discourage boring critters. The vibration seems to scare them off.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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