Fruit/Vegetable Anomalies #3 Potatoes

In this occasional series, I highlight some of the strange growths and unusual shapes found in the fruit and vegetable aisle or, indeed, in my kitchen garden. Previous posts have presented examples of strawberries and carrots.

Today's specimen comes from the vegetable plot and, specifically, the potato patch. This year I planted a variety called Premiere  - a first-early variety that we have been eating since the 7th of July. I went for early potatoes this year to avoid some of the diseases that arise when potatoes spend a long time in the ground (e.g. maincrop). I planted these first-early potatoes on the 31st March (after a 6-week chitting period indoors) so they had spent just over 3 months in the ground by the time of the first harvest.

There was quite a range of sizes from 20 g to 550 g with most in the intermediate range. Common scab is, well, common in our kitchen garden but, fortunately, is largely cosmetic and has little effect on yield and useability. Some control over this disease can be achieved by increasing the acidity of the soil to around pH 5. I will have another look at this problem before planting potatoes next year.

Photo 1: Premiere First-Early Potatoes (July 2023)

A few oddities were dug up amongst the first potatoes harvested (Photos 2 & 3) from the row adjacent to the path where the soil tends to be drier. We have had reasonable rainfall this year so the potato patch has not received any extra watering; just earthing up with homemade compost.

Photo 2: Misshapen Potatoes #1

Photo 3: Misshapen Potatoes #1

We will have to see if the other rows offer up any atypical shapes.


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