I do not put ads on my blog but do have a counter that shows me how many visits the pages get. (The stats. count is just there so I can see if I am 'talking' to myself, luckily so far this has not happened.) By continuing your visit here you are consenting to the stats. counter tracking cookies. Cookies, that sounds like something nice to eat but not that exciting.

Growing Your Own Fruit and Vegetables

We grow our own fruit and vegetables for our meals for as much of the year as we can. Without a greenhouse we have to buy shop food in the winter months but in the spring, summer and autumn we often have enough to share with family and friends.

Read about growing your fruit and vegetables here on my growing your own food pages.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Harvesting potatoes - what are the different marks on the skin and the causes

When you harvest your new potatoes you may be lucky and find that the ones you dig up have a perfect skin and are unblemished. However, sometimes you will find that some of the potatoes that you dig up have marks on the skin: there are different things that can cause these marks but the good news is that mostly your potatoes can still be eaten and the taste and enjoyment of them will not be affected.

Here is a list of the things that can cause 'appearance problems' in your potatoes.

  1. Potato Scab,  this usually looks like thickened areas of potato skin, it stops the potato from looking as 'pretty' but you can still eat and enjoy them.
  2. Slug damage to potatoes.  A potato damaged by slug attack will have holes in it and if the damage is severe it may ruin the potato.  Though the slugs enter the potato through the skin and the holes are small as they feed inside the potato they eat away at it. Main crops are more likely to suffer than the earlier harvested type of potato. The most likely soil type to suffer from slug damage is heavy wet soil so in a year of heavy rain damage of this type is more likely to happen. The longer the potato is in the soil the more damage will happen, so prompt harvesting in such cases is a good policy. If you see a keel slug it is a different shape to 'normal' garden slugs. If you throw infested potatoes away it is best not to discard them on the compost heap.
  3. Wireworm damage to potatoes.   Wireworm tend to be a problem  when a former grassed area is turned over to growing potatoes, so new vegetable plots often suffer from this potato 'problem'. The sign of wireworm is narrow tunnels  through the potatoes. You may find that by the time you come to plant that area again ( if you use a crop rotation plan, which is a good idea) you will have less of a problem. 
  4. Eelworm, Potato Cyst Eelworm  Potato plants will suffer from withering leaves and dying down early. You need to destroy the plants and do not plant potatoes in that area of the garden in future.
Blight is one of the worst potato diseases but that really needs a topic all to itself. 

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a healthy potato plant in flower

a healthy potato plant in flower
photo of potatoes in flower

home grown carrots.. grown from seed

home grown carrots.. grown from seed
photo of my first bunch of carrots 2009

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful
Home Grown Fruit can be made into delicious compote