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Thread: Post-Flood Potatoes?

  1. #1
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    Default Post-Flood Potatoes?

    With the water receding will the potato patch be worth harvesting? The above ground crops are destroyed but I'm not sure about taters. Any advice? I guess there's no harm in trying?

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    Default Post-Flood Potatoes?

    Shouldn't be a problem. The skins will likely be very soft so be very gentle and let them air dry at the surface, ideally for a couple hours before putting them in buckets or whatever. If you can wait a couple days once the water has receded, assuming the plot has some drainage and they aren't still in standing water, that is not a bad idea, but maybe you are there already. I would want them to have spent at least two dry days in the ground before digging them to let the skins set as they store better if not all skinned up.

    Our fields of potatoes (commercial)were nearly saturated for several days there, looked like giant rice paddies, literally a few ends were entirely under water for several days, and we finally began harvest monday, no problem at all so far, though the vines had already been killed with the skins setting for a week or so before the rains came (delayed harvest almost two weeks)

    There are some nasty bacterial rots that can take advantage of anoxic conditions but it takes quite a long time and floodwaters tend to be fairly O2 rich anyhow.

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    Keep in mind that if flowing waters (creek/river) infiltrated the field, there's a good chance at the bad stuff (raw sewage, spilled petroleum etc, etc, etc) that is picked up / spilled during the flood is now on the crops. Consumer beware.

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    I read a similar warning from the USDA. Where this garden is there's little threat of sewage or petroleum contamination and this isn't a commercial garden so liability is no concern. I'm more interested in the quality of the potatoes themselves. I figure I'll give 'em a try. The fragile skin comment is appreciated. Maybe they'll taste like mud. I'll report in a few days.

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    I think both andweav and Frostbitten hit the basics, and assessed the issues properly.

    Depending on how long your spuds were submerged, and whether or not the average temperatures were such that they were still making an effort at growth over any significant period of time, you may find some of the symptoms associated with excessive watering; specifically, hollow, dark-ish/brownish areas inside the center of the flesh. For those spuds that acquire this symptom, they -can- (not always, but -can-) rot from the inside out. Similar to how many veggies out-grow their skin due to too much moisture, creating abnormalities in formation/growth.

    How long were they totally saturated?

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    The potatoes are in perfect condition and taste great. They were under water for 6-7 days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    The potatoes are in perfect condition and taste great. They were under water for 6-7 days.
    Excellent!

    When I've seen the brownish, hollow conditions in some of our spuds has typically been when we've over-watered through the more rapid growth season; warmer, longer days.

    I also should've added earlier that when this has occurred, if the inside of the spuds haven't accelerated into the 'rotting phase,' we've simply trimmed out the brownish hollowed area, and used them first. We do the same for the vole-damaged spuds, too, making sure to trim back sufficiently from where ever they've been gnawing.

    But any of our damaged spuds get used first; the others will keep better, and we hate to waste any of the effort.

    Glad your effort wasn't badly affected.

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