Skip navigation.

Potato Problem

Last post 08-09-2013 10:04 PM by Blackstart. 9 replies.

Page 1 of 1 (10 items)

  • 09/07/2010 10:09 PM
    • Kelly
    • Northamptonshire
    • 09 Jul 2010
    • 21
    Top 500 Contributor
    Reply | Contact


    I planted out my desiree tubers in 2 grow bags in March. They grew really well and I was looking forward to a great crop. The leaves grew huge and then over the last few weeks they collapsed and fell over the sides of the bags.

    My husband and I were not sure how long to leave them, but decided to get them out this evening. Unfortunately it was quite disappointing and they were not as big as I thought they would be and also most of them have little sort of sore/ rotted looking spots on them.

    Does anyone know what this is? Have we left them in to long? Can we still eat them if we remove the skin?

    Thanks for any ideas/advice


  • 10/07/2010 04:03 PM
    Not Ranked
    Reply | Contact

    Desire is a maincrop potato and should be harvested at the end of the summer, Sept even Oct. Sounds like Potato Scab is the problem. This is caused by a bacterium. However you are using growbags!! I have a feeling that a lot of compost sold these days in garden centres is obtained from the household composting sites, hence not sterilised properly. Scab can also be caused by shortage of water when the tubers are first forming.

    Could the falling over problem be just the weight of stem and leaf? Too much nutrient in the growbag maybe.

    Pots can be eaten if peeled properly, however insects can also get in where the scabs are and create holes


  • 10/07/2010 07:30 PM
    Top 10 Contributor
    Reply | Contact

    Just scrape and eat - I use a scourer to cleanse the skin of new spuds. Sounds like common scab. Desiree is rather susceptible. Scab is likely to have been present on the seed tubers rather than in the potting medium. It is promoted by dry compost so if you water more assiduously in future you can largely prevent it. Having said that growbags are hard to water and I suggest using large deep pots and not planting too many tubers per pot - say three in a 60cm wide and deep pot. You might find an early cultivar - Amorosa if you like reds, will be easier to handle than Desiree that tends to bulk up in the tuber department rather late in the season and has vigorous foliage. Boggy

    Beware the bat-eared bogweevil
  • 16/07/2010 06:12 PM
    Not Ranked
    Reply | Contact

     We had the same problem with the stems / leaves falling over (although a different variety) but we found after digging down that the soil/compost in the tubs & bags was VERY dry. We gave them a good soaking a few days on a run and they've perked up no end.

    Our earlies all came out great at a good size without problems, just hoping the mains do the same. I think it might have been  down to the very good westher we've been having just drying them out too much.

     As for the compost, we've had big trouble with some of them, and even though giving everything a rthorough weeding prior to adding compost in the veg beds, we got swamped with weeds in veg bedswe put it in. I agree with Boggy that a lot of it seems to be council stuff sold on and re-bagged.


    Hope things work out well for you though.

  • 16/07/2010 07:44 PM
    Top 10 Contributor
    Reply | Contact

    Are you saying that you used compost from growing bags and it was full of weeds? That would be most disappointing, although it would be less surprising if municipal compost had some weed seeds, although we are assured that the hot composting process used commercially should kill all seeds. Boggy

    Beware the bat-eared bogweevil
  • 16/07/2010 08:13 PM
    • Kelly
    • Northamptonshire
    • 09 Jul 2010
    • 21
    Top 500 Contributor
    Reply | Contact

    Thanks for all your replies. Looks like I got them out too early!! Also think maybe I didnt water them enough now looking back, I wasnt really sure how much water to give them.

    Wish the instructions had been clearer, wasnt very clear as to when I should dig them out.

    Oh well this is my first year trying lots of different veg, all a learning curve and some have worked really well - great tomatoes :)

  • 17/07/2010 10:02 AM
    Not Ranked
    Reply | Contact

     Yes Boggy,

    I was gutted as I'd spent weeks cleaning things out and de-weeding everything before adding the compost and planting out my seedlings.


    Wont be buying that brand again!

  • 18/07/2010 04:08 PM
    Not Ranked
    Reply | Contact

    What was the brand.?  I have had similar problems with Auther Bowers and Miracle Grow. I found bits of ceramic and even some rag in mine. When left out in the sun the smell was very unpleasant.

    I'm skeptical about composting killing all weed seeds, weeds yes, weed seed probably not. Many seeds are particularly hardy some even requiring burning to get them going.

  • 29/08/2013 03:52 PM
    Top 500 Contributor
    Reply | Contact


    Re:  Potatoes (incl. Desiree) have nasty scabs:
           (1) what is the problem/disease?
           (2) are they edible?

    [BTW, I thought I'd add this to an existing thread that covers a similar problem, rather than start anew. In case anyone reading that thread has any good advice! So here goes . . . :]

    I have just harvested 2 batches of my potatoes (grown from seed potatoes). I have 4 different varieties in 4 different pots (i.e. one variety was grown per pot) These are:
    Charlotte; Desiree; Maris Piper; Vales Emerald.
    Sadly we don't know which of the 4 we have harvested! I think one of them must be - from its reddish colour - the Desiree; but cannot be sure(!) Embarrassed

    The problem is that neither batch looks very healthy.

    Both types have the same problem - plus the same problem is present on ALL the potatoes in the batch: they have nasty brown scabs. Plus some of the potatoes look like the skins have been stretched; in fact I'm worried they might?! have been burrowed into.

    We are new to growing potatoes, but tried some last year for the first time and did NOT have this problem in 2012.

    I wonder if it is several problems, perhaps one problem leading to the other?? Any ideas??

    P.S. Later, I will include at this forum EITHER some photos of several of the potatoes (if I can find a way of uploading attachments!) OR a weblink to a URL to an online photo-storage website.

    [UPDATE:] Photos are viewable at URL: 

    Here is just 1 of those images; I believe it is the Desiree variety of potato:


    I have 2 main queries:

    1. Can anyone tell me if the potatoes are edible if the skins are removed/peeled (then cooked, of course! LOL! Wink)? We HAD hoped to boil & eat these with a forthcoming evening meal, but sadly now will have to wait for a reply here!!

    2. Can anyone help me identify the problem by name so that we can:
    (i) research any disease online
    (ii) hopefully avoid the same problem when we try growing tatties from a new batch of seed potatoes, next year.

    BTW, we found a slug in one pot & at least 3 snails on the edges of both pots. Would this have caused/contributed to the problem?

    All help appreciated!


    ~ ASunnyAspect ~
  • 08/09/2013 10:04 PM
    • Blackstart
    • Warwickshire
    • 06 Dec 2010
    • 475
    Top 50 Contributor
    Reply | Contact

    Hi, looks like Potato Scab, see link below.  Taste should not be affected so should be ok to eat once peeled.