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Old May 14, 2020   #1
GoDawgs
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Default Potato Problem...Anyone recognize this?

There are two plants in the potato bed, one each of Kennebec and Yukon Gold, and they each have one wilted branch. The plants are not next to each other. In fact, they're each close to their respective end of the bed.



They were planted March 12 so they shouldn't be ready to dig until around the end of June. I'm pretty sure the wilt is not the beginning of the usual plant decline before harvest.

Does anyone have any input on what's going on here?

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Old May 15, 2020   #2
GoDawgs
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Yesterday I started researching this potato plant branch wilting thing and came upon a lead in one article I read. Fire ants. When I searched that specifically I found more information. So I went down to the garden to have a look.

I reached in and started pulling the leaf mulch from the base of one of the wilted branches and here they come! Fire ants. I quickly withdrew my hand and started frantically brushing ants off my hand before they could start biting. Around here that becomes an automatic reflex!

Well, I know that a gallon of my "death from above" mix of dishwashing liquid and water really decimates an ant mound and the mix is friendly to plants so I doused the wilted branch on each of two plants. It can't hurt. We'll see if that arrests the progress of the wilt. Meanwhile I need to check the other potato plants for the start of wilt and check for ants if I find any.

Another experiment!
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Old May 15, 2020   #3
kath
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Glad you were able to diagnose the problem...and hopefully, you applied the remedy. I had wilting of potato branches last year but it was climbing cutworms doing the damage.
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