Potato Planting Question

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My father-in-law told us that if we fertilized our potato patch with manure, which we did, the potatoes need to be treated with formaldahyde before planting or they will scab. Is this true, and if so, are there any alternative means of treating the potatoes besides using formaldahyde? Thanks in advance...

-- Laurie in Wisconsin (trad_cath_mom@hotmal.com), April 14, 2001


I have never heard that one before. I just cut, make sure each cutting has an eye, and plant.

Blessings, Maylene

-- Maylene (zedanka@aol.com), April 14, 2001.

Nitrogen/manure does indeed promote the formation of scab.

Scap is a soilborne disease that causes blemishs on potatoes and beets. It will not reduce yields, but does devalue the crops.

Severity of scab can be reduced by maintaining adequate soil moisture during early tuber development.

Different potato cultivars have varied resistance to scab. Russets tend to be more resistant than smooth-skinned clutivars. Russet Burbank is generally considered tolerant.

This information in part comes from the paperback book "Integrated Pest Management for Potatoes in the Western United States."

I have not heard of the formaldahyde treatment.

-- Notforprint (Not@thekeyboard.com), April 14, 2001.

put old manure in row, mix with dirt before you drop your potatoes in the row. We have used last years manure. I never use fresh manure because of scab. Hope this helps. Never put anything on my potatoes otherwise.

-- lexi Green (whitestone11@hotmail.com), April 14, 2001.

Fresh manure will cause scab on some varieties. Cobblers, in my experience, but not Pontiacs, Kennebecs. You can get away with it if you lime well. Scab is not really a problem if you just want the potatoes for fresh consumption. I never heard of formaldehyde treatment.

-- David C (fleece@eritter.net), April 16, 2001.

Fresh manure is not a wise choice to use on the garden you plan to plant immediately anyway. Best choice is to mix it up with other stuff and let it perc a year or so.

-- Donna M. Davis-Prusik (Seven9erkilo@knoxcomm.net), April 16, 2001.

I'm no expert on scab, but there are answers here to address that.

Why on earth would anybody WILLINGLY eat something treated with formeldahyde????? Geeez, they tell you not to even use shampoos with the stuff. (Of course... have you ever tried to find a shampoo without it??? hard to do!!)

Of course, folks are still drinking soda with Aspertame and Nutrisweet....

-- Sue Diederich (willow666@rocketmail.com), April 16, 2001.

How can you tell if shampoos have formaldahyde??? Do they disguise it under another name?

-- Tina Durie (jtdurie@frontiernet.net), April 17, 2001.

Only time we had trouble with scabs is when we put the wood ashes on too heavey.

-- michelle (tsjheath@ainop.com), April 17, 2001.

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