The dry rot of the potato

The dry rot of the potato

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Harvesting potatoes can happen to find the tubers with rot, even if we are not in the presence of stagnant water or high humidity that could have caused them. This is not the classic mushy, wet rot, but a

different type of pathology.

This potato tuber problem is called dry rot or mummification and can greatly damage the crop. It is recognized by the rotten patches inside the tuber, often accompanied by holes and not verified in the presence of excess humidity.

Fusarium rot and brown rot

Most likely the rot is the work of fusarium, a fungus that affects many of the plants in the garden and is present in numerous varieties.

Bacteria too can cause rot, which however, they are recognized by the smell, while fusarium dry rot does not stink. Bacteriosis rot is called brown rot and you can definitely smell it.

Causes of rot

When the potato fusarium hits the tuber, it is usually because there is something that has weakened it, making it attackable inside, the spores in fact struggle to take root on the skin.

Once the fusarium spore hits the tuber, the potato undergoes dry rot or mummification if there is no humidity and the problem remains limited in some areas (patches), if instead there are stagnant water the spores proliferate and the problem extends to complete rot.

The attack of the fusarium may therefore be due toaction of worms such as elateridia (also called ferretti) that open the way to the fungal disease by piercing the potatoes underground. We have written a post on how to fight elateridae and it can be helpful in preventing fusarium and preventing dry rot from affecting our potatoes.

Also it splitting of the tuber or the hollow heart potato can pave the way for fusarium. In this case it is a matter of physiopathies that are usually due to deficiencies or excesses of water and are avoided with the necessary irrigations. The hollow heart can also be caused by too much nitrogen in fertilizing, this condition too can be avoided by being careful when fertilizing.

How to fix it

Dry rot can also occur after harvesting the tubers, during storage, especially if the tubers are damaged by picking them up, for example by tearing them with a fork.

Fusarium is fought with Bordeaux mixture, but equally important to avoid dry rot is to be careful of underwire, imbalances in water supply and fertilization and not to damage the tubers during harvesting.

It is advisable not to go back to growing potatoes for a few years on the ground where you find fusarium, because the spores remain active and spread.

Video: How Treat Dry Rot


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