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Anyone experienced problems by NOT rotating potatoes?

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Anyone experienced problems by NOT rotating potatoes?

Post  ETNRedClay on 5/6/2013, 11:44 am

I have a 4x8 in 4 kinds of Irish potatoes and the location is perfect. Next year, I don't want to have to shovel out 15" of Mel's mix created just for this bed, or throw it away for something that happened 100s of years ago across the pond...

If I grow here for several years and then have a problem, the worse that happens is I have no potatoes that year and have to dump the mix... which is the advice I'm getting already.

So, has anyone on this forum actually had problems which they could absolutely blame on not rotating potato crops?
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Re: Anyone experienced problems by NOT rotating potatoes?

Post  Turan on 5/6/2013, 11:57 am

Yeah, I got a blight in my potatoes one year, not much. Next year it wiped out most of the crop. By that point moving to a different part of the garden did not matter they got blight and died out as well. I did not plant potatoes again for almost a decade so to let what ever it was die out totally. I did not raise any tomatoes or other related crops. My problems started with cheap seed potatoes not certified disease free.

You can minimize the likely hood of trouble with certified seed potatoes but that does not keep spores floating in from neighbors or from tomatoes etc.

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Re: Anyone experienced problems by NOT rotating potatoes?

Post  RoOsTeR on 5/6/2013, 12:31 pm

Yes, always buy certified potatoes. Crop rotation is never a bad idea, however by replenishing your beds with compost at harvest, you are essentially achieving the same thing. You can also plant other crops in those locations when not growing potatoes.

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Re: Anyone experienced problems by NOT rotating potatoes?

Post  plantoid on 5/6/2013, 7:32 pm

Wire worm , eel worm and slug attack are common probs in un rotated potato beds ,


Initially blight is more to do with occuring when you get prolonged wet humid weather than not rotating as it is air borne spores that start it .

If you leave blighted spuds in the ground to " rot away " and the next year you put spuds in the same place no matter what the weather you'll usually see some blight in that crop & subsequent crops as well for a heavy spore infestation will be there in the ground .

If you think it through what you are doing is giving soil living potato and tomato pests a regular supply of food for a long period so the area is bound to end up harbouring more of the pests than if you practice rotation and starved them out the area ..
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Re: Anyone experienced problems by NOT rotating potatoes?

Post  ETNRedClay on 5/6/2013, 8:32 pm

@plantoid wrote:what you are doing is giving soil living potato and tomato pests a regular supply of food for a long period so the area is bound to end up harbouring more of the pests than if you practice rotation and starved them out the area ..

Thanks all, you make a lot of sense. Especially this last part. I'm a big fan of starving out pests. Just never thought of it that way.
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Re: Anyone experienced problems by NOT rotating potatoes?

Post  greatgranny on 5/6/2013, 9:15 pm

@ETNRedClay wrote:I have a 4x8 in 4 kinds of Irish potatoes and the location is perfect. Next year, I don't want to have to shovel out 15" of Mel's mix created just for this bed, or throw it away for something that happened 100s of years ago across the pond...


The soil that you added to the bed for potatoes can be used for other crops. You would only have to move all but 6 - 8 inches and plant other crops in that bed. The left overs? Well, I'd add it to a bed that didn't have potatoes or other Nightshade plants. Wait at least 3 years to plant any Nightshade plants in that bed.

Keeping a record of past years helps to remember when not to plant and when it is okay.

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Re: Anyone experienced problems by NOT rotating potatoes?

Post  camprn on 5/6/2013, 9:33 pm

Also, blight happens every year, not just centuries ago. It has already been reported in Florida in 2013. Click the link.
The trouble with blight and potatoes is that the blight can remain viable in any living tissue from the year before, So, if you missed a wee potato in the bed and it stays there and is infected, it can infect the entire bed the next planting season.

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