Potato problems - black speckles on leaves, yellowing and dying

ryan_tnMay 27, 2010

I started noticing some tiny black spots on my potato vine leaves but didn't think much of it because they were still pretty green and looked alright otherwise. Now the branches(?) are turning yellow and dying off over the course of a couple days. Is this characteristic of a fungus? Perhaps a nutrient deficiency? I've included some pics of the problem below.

Pardon the fogginess... I ran from the nice a/c inside into the humidity outside before work to snap these, and bam! insta-fog. Didn't realize it until I uploaded them.

Bonus points to anybody who can offer some suggestions about why the cos lettuce in the upper right hand side of one of the pics has been roughly 1" tall for about a month now. (brand new gardener here slowly learning!)

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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

What's the soil mix?

And have you used any fertilizer? If so, what, when and how much?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 3:19PM
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The soil is a mixture of equal parts organic humus and composted manure, a comparatively smaller amount of peat moss, and then a couple 1/2 cu ft bags of sand. Bed is 8x4.

Everything was thrown in and mixed well last October. My wife and I planted some rows of seeds just to see what we could grow out of it even thought it was late into the season. As expected, very little growth. After about a month I covered it with black plastic until the start of this season. I remixed the top foot or so around and planted this year's seeds. The direct sown seedlings weren't growing well compared to the seedlings I bought at Lowe's, so I bought some composted manure (20% composted manure) and spread just enough around everything to barely cover the existing surface hoping that would help. Now I'm kinda stuck and am not sure what else to do, if anything.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 1:59PM
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Good job setting the table, but you forgot the food. You need fertilizer. For the fastest fix, get some fish-based stuff and drench with a strong mix. Then look around for an organic fertilizer and start using it according to label directions. You will see a huge difference. All that organic matter you have will help hold onto nutrients and become a trustworthy soil, but first it needs an initial food supply. You'll need less as time goes on.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 5:17PM
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Common problem with new raised beds I am not sure on the potato, but the rest of the garden looks way low on nutrients. I use Miracle Grow type water soluble fert. or If you want organic then go with planatus plan. It is not the fog it is the pale color of all the plants.


    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 9:24PM
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hmmm, looks like a disease to me. Maybe early blight exacerbated by under fertilization?

and then a couple 1/2 cu ft bags of sand

Wonder what your pH is now? An alkaline pH can tie up nutrients causing stunted growth and chlorosis.

I'd yank those potatoes, apply a soluble fertilizer to the onions and lettuce and then get a soil test. Try the potatoes again next year, lil earlier maybe.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 1:58AM
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It is just blight. Pull them and dispose of them, and plant something other than solanaceae there.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 1:19PM
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