Growing potatoes is satisfying and fun. But sometimes, bugs can make a meal out of your potatoes leaving you with dead plants. Try the following steps to help get rid of potato bugs.Know More
Picking off the bugs by hand may be practical if you have a small garden or if you have a small infestation of potato bugs. The Colorado potato beetle, for example, is large enough to be seen. Use the tips of your fingers to remove these bugs. Don't just throw the bugs off to the side. Put them in a bucket of soapy water to kill them.
Add beneficial insects that eat potato bugs to your garden. The more diverse your garden is and the better the quality of its soil, the more beneficial insects, such as butterflies, honeybees, ladybugs, lacewings, pirate bugs and ground beetles, you will attract. Ground beetles prey on many bugs and insects including the Colorado potato beetle, so attract them by planting ground cover and using mulch. Prevent disease and infestation by rotating your potato and other nightshade crops.
A variety of insecticides can help alleviate or control your bug problem. Always protect your eyes and skin when applying insecticides. Spray neem oil to a small area on one plant before spraying the rest of your garden. Wait a full day to see how the plant reacts to the neem oil. Spinosad is also effective against potato bugs and should be sprayed directly onto the bugs. Reapply the spinosad every few days to obtain maximum results.
Potato diseases include infestations of the root, leaves and tubers caused by bacteria, fungi and other viruses. Common potato diseases include potato wart, soft rot and potato blight, according to the American Phytopathological Society. A complete list of potato diseases can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture website.Full Answer >
To plant potatoes, cut apart seed potatoes, and plant them in a trench after the last frost. Use certified disease-free seed potatoes, and avoid grocery store potatoes, which often are treated to prevent sprouting.Full Answer >
To harvest potatoes, dig up a test plant, test the skin for maturity, and remove the vines and mulch. Next, lift each plant with a potato fork, pull off the potatoes, replace the plants and gather the potatoes. This process requires a rake, a sickle, a potato fork and baskets.Full Answer >
The ideal time to plant potatoes is no earlier than two weeks before the last frost date that is expected for the area or as soon as the ground is workable. Potatoes are a cool-weather crop, and they can withstand the light frosts that come at the end of winter.Full Answer >