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What happened to my potatoes?

Can anyone tell by looking at these pictures what went wrong with my potatoes? They looked fine and healthy for a month or two and the last 2 weeks or so they have all started to go yellow and rot. Plenty of rain and sun. Also two rows (as can be seen in the images) are absolutely fine. All I can think of is I planted them too densely maybe, but then again I planted the health rows like that too... The potatoes down there, usually 3-4 good sized but then a load of small ones that I guess are not gonna grow any more.
Only my second year growing them so not very experienced, any opinions would be gratefully received!

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Posts

  • Is it potato blight? They tend to get it in warm humid conditions about this time of year.
  • Could be. Just looking at some images of blight online, looks very similar alright.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 21,039
    If it is you need to act fast to save the rest of the crop and any as yet undamaged potatoes on the affected plants.

    https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/features/potato-blight 
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thanks for the link. One thing I'm wondering: are the potatoes themselves always affected by blight? I've seen pictures of mouldy-looking inedible potatoes online but the ones I've dug up are fine, albeit mostly on the small side.
  • The potatoes can be fine when the blight is just after effecting the leaves but if you left them in the ground it could travel down in the soil and effect them as well.
  • Oh right. Maybe I should just dig them all up at this point! Thanks again for the advice.
  • Red mapleRed maple Posts: 179
    Your potato plants look similar to mine gerardnfarrell, and I'm wondering if it's blight, too. Never grown potatoes before. Planted out mid May, in large containers, so wondering when I should harvest them. (Main crop). I've been cutting away and disposing of the mottled and yellowing foliage, but if it carries on there won't be much left! I understood harvest time was about 16 weeks after planting so they aren't really ready to harvest by my reckoning.
  • Seems like the best thing to do is just cut our losses and save what can be saved. Interesting that two rows of mine seem completely unaffected (so far at least), they were a different variety, ratte potato I think they're called.
  • gerardnfarrellgerardnfarrell Posts: 10
    edited 31 July
    Another thing that occurs to me: this is the first year I've tried covering the ground in mulch, mostly dried grass and leaves. I wonder could this increase the chances of blight?
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 14,454
    There are blight resistant potatoes, look for Sarpo varieties.  We successfully grew these at my sister in laws place in Wet Wales near Snowdon.  A few normal ones next to them succumbed to blight early on.  If you are in a wet humid area, then Sarpo are the way to go.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
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