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Potato issue

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Potato issue

Post  greatgranny on 6/21/2015, 10:08 pm

The potatoes are growing lots of wonderful green leaves up until yesterday when I noticed holes in some of the leaves and some were curling up.  Today I found a small insect that moves very quickly so difficult to really kill it.  I was able to take a photo.  I hope it is easy to see for those of you who might be able to identify.  Notice the leaf to the right of the leaf that has the insect.  It is curled up. What could I use to kill these little monsters?

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Re: Potato issue

Post  mollyhespra on 6/21/2015, 10:48 pm

That might be the work of a leaf roller, not that little brown bug (of which I have seen a few in my garden on all sorts of different plants and I have no rolled leaves, so I doubt he's the culprit). Try un-rolling the leaf to see if there's a caterpillar in there. If there is, I would suggest just cutting that part of the leaf off and chuck it in the compost. No need too bring out the big guns just yet. Wink
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Re: Potato issue

Post  yolos on 6/22/2015, 12:13 am

I agree that the leaf roll may be caused by a caterpillar.  I had one today that looked exactly like that (on my lima bean leaf) and there was a caterpillar making a home inside the rolled leaf.
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Re: Potato issue

Post  greatgranny on 6/22/2015, 7:49 am

I did unroll a couple of them when I first noticed but found nothing inside.  It was just a limp leaf. 

So, you think that the insect is nothing to be concerned about?
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Re: Potato issue

Post  Turan on 6/22/2015, 1:10 pm

Is the bug an aphid lion? If so they are beneficial.

http://www.viette.com/v.php?pg=309

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Re: Potato issue

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/22/2015, 2:32 pm

Great pictures in that link, Turan!
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Re: Potato issue

Post  greatgranny on 6/22/2015, 2:43 pm

@Turan wrote:Is the bug an aphid lion? If so they are beneficial.

http://www.viette.com/v.php?pg=309
I have no idea what it is.  I am going to go out and see if I can get another close-up.  This morning after it stopped raining I found one but like I said, it moves so fast I can't decide if it is after another insect or if it is actually sucking the life out of the leaves.  Will attempt a new picture.
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Re: Potato issue

Post  greatgranny on 6/22/2015, 3:55 pm

I was not able to find one right now but I enlarged and cropped the original picture. 



Also, noticed a leaf that had some sticky stuff on part of a leaf.  



And a small fly:

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Re: Potato issue

Post  sanderson on 6/23/2015, 2:52 am

The fly looks like a good guy, a pollinator: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=hoverfly&qpvt=hoverfly&qpvt=hoverfly&FORM=IGRE

??? http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=minnesota+tarnished+plant+bug&qpvt=minnesota+tarnished+plant+bug&qpvt=minnesota+tarnished+plant+bug&FORM=IGRE

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Re: Potato issue

Post  Cherbear on 6/23/2015, 8:40 am

I think they may be the long legged fly condylostylus sp. Apparently they are predators on soft bodied insects (aphids and so forth)
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Re: Potato issue

Post  greatgranny on 6/23/2015, 10:06 am

Thanks for finding this.  Tarnished Plant Bug is the one.  Thanks.  Now to rid.  Now that I have read some of the information on this pest, I realize that my strawberries are also infested. (catfaced strawberries)  Yikes.  Praying for lots of parasitic wasps.  Other than that, what else would kill these?  Yes, I think I know who this happened.  I had a very wet spring and was not able to mow until almost June.  Guess that was not a good thing since that was about the time that the berries were setting the fruit.
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Re: Potato issue

Post  sanderson on 6/23/2015, 12:05 pm

Cherbear, The fly in his photo does not look metallic, hence I went with a surphid fly.

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Re: Potato issue

Post  Cherbear on 6/23/2015, 12:13 pm

Ah. Thanks. My bad. Smile
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Re: Potato issue

Post  mollyhespra on 6/23/2015, 2:14 pm

GreatGranny, how many of the brown bugs do you have? Catch & Squish might be your best option. If you can grab it with your hands, that's the easiest, otherwise use a (clean, clear glass) peanut butter jar and a piece of stiff cardstock like what comes printed with ads in the mail. I put the piece of cardstock under where the bug is and then trap it with the jar opening-side-down on top. It will likely take some maneuvering to release the leaf in the process and still keep the bug, but it's an easy way to deal with bugs that move quickly. Once trapped I shake the jar a few times to stun and then dump onto the cement floor of my side patio & step on the bug before it has a chance to fly away.
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Re: Potato issue

Post  greatgranny on 6/23/2015, 2:48 pm

@mollyhespra wrote:GreatGranny, how many of the brown bugs do you have?  Catch & Squish might be your best option.  If you can grab it with your hands, that's the easiest, otherwise use a (clean, clear glass) peanut butter jar and a piece of stiff cardstock like what comes printed with ads in the mail.  I put the piece of cardstock under where the bug is and then trap it with the jar opening-side-down on top.  It will likely take some maneuvering to release the leaf in the process and still keep the bug, but it's an easy way to deal with bugs that move quickly.  Once trapped I shake the jar a few times to stun and then dump onto the cement floor of my side patio & step on the bug before it has a chance to fly away.
Yesterday I squished one and today, I found one and before it knew what hit it I clapped my hands together and got it.  I'm not a person that faints at the sight of insect guts.  Smile  Hopefully there won't be more but then, they do lay eggs.  Think I will burn the brown potato leaves when I harvest the potatoes.  Nothing in this box is going to go into the compost. 

After reading lots of different articles, it seems like there really isn't much one can do to kill them other than this.  I complain about a couple and whole fields of strawberries, cotton, etc. are infested with them.
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Re: Potato issue

Post  mollyhespra on 6/23/2015, 4:24 pm

Good!  So it seems you don't have many.  BTW, the jar trick is also a way you can catch an unfamiliar bug to get a good look at it (and/or photograph it if you have a white cardboard underneath) before squishing in order to get a positive ID.  You wouldn't want to kill a good guy by mistake.   Smile
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Re: Potato issue

Post  greatgranny on 6/23/2015, 5:04 pm

@mollyhespra wrote:Good!  So it seems you don't have many.  BTW, the jar trick is also a way you can catch an unfamiliar bug to get a good look at it (and/or photograph it if you have a white cardboard underneath) before squishing in order to get a positive ID.  You wouldn't want to kill a good guy by mistake.   Smile
Good idea.
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Re: Potato issue

Post  sanderson on 1/5/2016, 2:07 am

Does anyone know why my stunted russet potatoes are all lumpy? They grew from left over tiny potatoes in a bucket.

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Re: Potato issue

Post  Zmoore on 1/5/2016, 9:03 am

From a web-site "gardening know how":
"Any stress on the developing tuber will cause it to become ill-formed. What kinds of stresses? Well, temperature fluxes and improper planting are two major factors.
In the case of temperature, high temps cause field stress. Generally, the longer the tuber variety, the more susceptible it is. If you live in an area where temperatures are routinely high, be forewarned. Avoid planting the longer tuber varieties and irrigate sufficiently during the early growth phase. Also, don’t worsen the stress by adding too much nitrogen."
Not a lot of help on one hand, "stress" causes it, but is it possible that being in a bucket allowed for greater temperature fluctuations?  
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Re: Potato issue

Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/5/2016, 2:13 pm

Not exactly right, but maybe....root nematode?

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Re: Potato issue

Post  sanderson on 1/5/2016, 4:53 pm

Thanks for the replies. I'm going with stress as they were leftover survivors after a harvest. I Binged potato nematode photos and feel so much more optimistic. They had nice skins.

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Re: Potato issue

Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/5/2016, 5:31 pm

@sanderson wrote:Thanks for the replies.  I'm going with stress as they were leftover survivors after a harvest.  I Binged potato nematode photos and feel so much more optimistic.  They had nice skins.  

Yeah, it didn't convince me either....glad you can enjoy their bumpy goodness! Lol!
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