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Two potato plants in separate rows stopped growing. I dug up one the other day and one today. One had a reasonable-sized new potato which was mushy inside and had small white coiled ? worms.

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What has happened to my potatoes? Two plants both in different rows stopped growing.On examination one 2 " long potato was still formed but completely mushy inside with tiny coiled-up worms which seem to have tiny regular brown lines across them.The nextdoor neighbour 'helpfully' keeps talking about the eelworms she had on hers some years ago !! All the other plants keep producing more and more leaves and its hard to keep on top the earthing-up but Im worried that the same will happen to them too. I am a total novice gardener starting this year on Holy Island.



At risk of boring you to tears, I am going to quote directly from Collins ' Guide to Pests, Diseases and Disorders of Garden Plants, p.134, as I'm pretty certain you do have Potato Tuber Eelworm. Your symptoms are described, then it continues:-
' Plants grown from infested tubers fail to establish and eventually die. Also attacks some bulbous irises...Occasionally attacks dahlias, gladioli and tigridia, producing similar symptoms.
Treatment. ....remove suspect plants during the growing season. Destroy immediately by burning or burying . Do not grow susceptible plants on infested areas for at least two years, and control weeds. No chemical treatments are safe for garden use.'
Unfortunate start to what can be a fascinating and rewarding occupation. Don't let it discourage you. All the best

4 Jun, 2009

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