Potato plants dying - whats happening?

Hi there,

Planted some "Picasso" variety potatoes back in April this year and I've noticed that over the past month the leaves have been gradually dying off; I went to the plot today and discovered all of the leaves were 'dead'. 

Could anyone shed any light on this? I would have thought at the beginning of August, potato plants ought to be thriving?

Its not the "blight" is it?

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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,410

    Picasso are a very early maturing maincrop potato - could they be ready to harvest?

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • No experience of Picasso but I have harvested all my Rocket (planted in April ).

    I'd think Dove is on the right trackimage

  • ahh - okay, so when the potato plant has matured its leaves die off?

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,410

    Yes image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Lupin 1Lupin 1 Posts: 8,916

    alex dig a root up and see what's there, lovely spuds I would think.  

  • ok! good-o.

    I've noticed that some plotters cut off the branches at ground level. Is that just to tidy things up or does it have a beneficial effect, I dont know to stop the tubers from rotting? If I do cut off the branches, how long do the potatoes they keep for in the soil? I've heard of a technique where you dig 'em all up, remove all plant material and cover with soil. OTOH, I'm thinking of putting them in the shed on a bed of straw, covering with a blanket or something.

    How do you keep yours? 

  • MelspadMelspad Posts: 73

    Hi Alex.  I tend to dig mine up on a dry day, leave them on the surface for a while to dry off thoroughly and then bag up in either hessian sacks or netting bag, definitely not plastic as if still damp will rot.  I keep them in the garage, where the temperature stays pretty constant, but anywhere that is not too hot or cold.  This seems to work for me anyway.  I check them regularly, any bad smell and you are best tipping them all out and making sure none are rotting, as this will progress through them all - really horrible stink!  Good luck

  • WinniecatWinniecat Posts: 100
    Also, with main crops, keeping them in the ground for a couple of weeks after the foliage has died / been cut off, helps to toughen the skins which makes them store better.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,410

    Make sure that when you store them they're kept in the absolute dark, otherwise they'll turn green and you mustn't eat them. 

    image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Hello I am keeping a keen eye on my Kind Edwards and Cara and was reading this as some have become a bit tall and are falling over already with only one or two flowers on ... so I was wondering how Alex got on last year and what you found when you had a root around (pardon the terrible pun) 

    LMS image

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