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Last year’s potato plants have popped up!

mwaltermwalter Posts: 14
edited 30 April in Problem solving
Good afternoon all, a quick question if I may; last year I bought chitting potatoes Maris Piper main crop and they did well, we enjoyed a good crop. I thought I had dug them all
out last winter but 3 plants have regrown in my raised bed.  Shall I leave them to grow and will they crop this year?  See pic attached.  Many thanks. 


  • mwaltermwalter Posts: 14

  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 10,153
    These are known as “volunteers”.  The usual advice is to dig them up as they are likely to be weak plants that don’t produce a great crop.  They can also harbour viruses that might cause problems for future potato crops grown in that ground.
    The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page  - St Augustine
  • mwaltermwalter Posts: 14
    Oh. OK thanks for  the advice 🐥.  They are growing in the wrong place as well, but I was prepared to work round them if it was worth it.  They will be gone by sunset! Thanks 👍🏻
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,829
    Don't dig them up. We have been harvesting volunteers like that for the last 30 years or more and never seen any sign of virus, or reduced cropping or anything other than freeby tubers galore.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 18,382
    I've had them before. When there was room I left them and harvested them, an extra bonus. I've read that they can harbour viruses, but they didn't.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,362
    I think the perception that they produce weak plants and poor harvests is related to the size of the volunteer seed potato - it is mainly the small tubers which get missed from last year's harvest. However I still manage to unearth some big ones despite having dug over the ground several times the previous year.
  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 10,153
    edited 30 April
    That’s what an RHS education does for you …..I see potential viruses lurking around every corner 🤣🤣🤣
    The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page  - St Augustine
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 5,532
    You're right though, @chicky, they can harbour blight. Depends if your potatoes got it last year.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 1,477
    Agree with @Palustris . We get volunteers that often produce a better harvest than the originals. I do hear what others have said about blight but then thankfully we haven't had it so are prepared to let the potatoes continue to grow.
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,829
    We have never found blight on the volunteers, probably because they grow and produce before the Blight season begins.
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