Potatoe damage would like your help with

dirtguy50 SW MO z6a(6a)May 7, 2012

Growing potatoes in 18 gal containes and has been enough rain not to dry out. Noticed some leaf damage today and found a few small green worms under some leaves. They are about 3/4" long and move like a cat, meaning hump up as they move. Would appreciate any input as I am new to this totally. Hope the pics turn out okay. Thanks to everyone!

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dirtguy50 SW MO z6a(6a)

Maybe the damage will help. Thanks everyone.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 8:30PM
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You have an inchworm or 'looper' there, and cabbage loopers are able to digest potato foliage. Also, it has been a huge year for green inchworms that live in trees in the east, so a few could have blown in and are making the best of where they landed. It looks far, far short of a serious infestation, which you can easily control with hand picking. The pest to watch for is a striped beetle that lays yellow eggs, the colorado potato beetle. Squashed my first one this week.

Here is a link that might be useful: cabbage loopers

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 8:40AM
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Hey Dirtguy - your potatos look great. My question is how do you plan to store them? That is where I get lost. Anyone have suggestions?

As for your loper worm, it does not look that bad. I'm in SW MO also and discovered a large infestation of army worms in my buffalo's pasture last week. Think of what a tomato worm does in the garden - that's what army worms do to a pasture. I went out a few days later and found loads of 'mummy worms' that parasites had killed. When you use pesticides for worm control, you kill those good insects also - so try to avoid unless all else fails.

Yesterday I noticed and extrodinary number of lady bugs in my tomato patch. Under close inspection, there were aphids on my tomato plants. I had never had that problem in the past. Looks like the lady bugs are working on the problem and the tomatos are growing like weeds, so hopefully can outgrow the damage.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 8:52AM
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dirtguy50 SW MO z6a(6a)

another buffalo, we will eat most of the potatoes as they become available since we don't have all that many plants. I will can whatever is extra for storage.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 1:14PM
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dirtguy50 SW MO z6a(6a)

Thanks for the information Barbara. I only found 3 so far but there must be a few more from the damage in different areas of the plants. I will keep searching for the little critters. Love your website! Thanks again.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 1:19PM
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dirtguy50 SW MO z6a(6a)

Well, found 5 more of those little green worms today. I'll just keep checking for more and for any evidence of any potatoe beetles as well. Thanks all.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 6:24PM
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That's still minor feeding, and may help trigger the plants' general self-defense systems. Probably a single mother moth scattered her eggs on your plants, so it's probably a temporary, one-time thing thanks to your intervention.

Buff, I have a garbage can buried horizontally into a slope that makes a decent place for late summer potato storage.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 8:17PM
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dirtguy50 SW MO z6a(6a)

Thanks for help me to feel better planatus. This is the first time in years I actually started paying daily attention to my garden. Really a result of lurking around this forum and absorbing all the great information. I am sure I may react too quickly but am trying to let the plants grow like they should and not over-react to a few bugs here and there. Well, except that tomoato hornworm.lol There is sooooo much wonderful and informative information here that it makes me want to pay more attention and also let the plants grow naturally. Thanks again. I am learning patients and let the plants tell the story.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 11:26PM
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