This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

a sad story about potatoes

Yesterday I visited my parents and we dug potatoes from their garden. We were looking forward this. But we didn't have very good luck :(

Dad dug, I sifted through the soil and grabbed the potatoes, and Mom washed them. But there were hardly any. And the ones we did find were half eaten! Another critter! Its too bad. They had little tiny tooth marks and very large portions of the potatoes were missing.

I thought the critter was maybe a mole. My sister suggested a pocket gopher might be more likely to eat potatoes. She says moles are more likely to eat worms and other insects. What the heck is a pocket gopher? Are there gophers in Massachusetts? And why didn't we have at least a hint there was an animal down there eating or potatoes?

Rodents eating vegetables seems to be a garden theme for me this year....

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Blogger Salix said...

Last year voles (that's what I thing it was)ate quite a few of my potatoes - just like that, while they were still in the ground. So between the early blight and the voles - last year was a bad year here.

August 12, 2010 10:53 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Yes, voles maybe what it was in my parents yard too. I read that they eat tubers and "their excellent burrowing and tunneling gives them access to sensitive areas without clear or early warning. A vole problem is often only identifiable after they have destroyed a number of plants." That's what happened to us.

I don't think we'll plant any more potatoes in this location.

I hope your potatoes are better this year.

August 12, 2010 11:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We did potatoes this year in containers. Only two smaller containers...but still we ended up with 6.5 pounds of new potatoes. A bigger container would mean a bigger harvest. Just a thought...

August 12, 2010 11:17 PM

Blogger meemsnyc said...

Ugh, critters! How frustrating! I don't think it's a mole either. Moles like bugs and birds.

August 13, 2010 12:28 AM

Blogger takaeko said...

Sorry for your potatoes...

They are so sensitive for sounds.
I use "pinwheels" made of pet-bottles which can make noise for expelling and keep moles away from potatoes.

The homepage shows how pinwheels works out. It's written in Japanese but photos and videos can describe how it works.

August 13, 2010 5:05 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a note, rabbits aren't rodents.

August 13, 2010 8:14 AM

Anonymous Dalila said...

That's too bad! I've always been one to think that leaving potatoes in the ground is pretty safe. Thanks for the heads up!
I've had rodent problems this year, so far mice in my peas. Now I'm worried they'll move to my tomatoes! I hope not!

August 13, 2010 9:37 AM

Blogger kathy said...

Rabbits aren't rodents! They're in the horse family - of course! (I didn't know this until a minute ago.) But they are "critters", I'm pretty sure.

August 13, 2010 2:36 PM

Anonymous Jay said...

Too bad about the potatoes.

This was our first year planting the potatoes.

When we went to dig up, we didn't think we would get any but to our surprise we had a good count.

Better luck next time.

August 13, 2010 3:44 PM

Blogger Jackie said...

I bet it's gophers...they ate ALL of my potatoes one year. Now I have to protect everything with buried wire.

August 13, 2010 7:52 PM

Blogger Stratoz said...

sorry to hear about your disappointment, experienced this once with sweet potatoes which looked amazing above ground... This week I pulled some plants out of a large pots and amazed my students with two of the smallest blue potatoes I have ever seen ;')

August 14, 2010 11:12 AM

Blogger vmills said...

Definitely voles. We had major damage from them a couple years ago and got some barn cats specifically to control the voles - and they do!

Watch out for the rest of your garden. I declared war (and decided to get the cats) when I went out to the garden one fall day to see all six parsley plants wilted and flat on the ground. Voles had eaten *all* the roots right up to the soil line.

This was well after the potato damage and before they ate the roots of 8 of my 16 alpine strawberries. I don't like voles!

August 17, 2010 11:05 AM

Anonymous Chris OBanion said...

Moles are insectivores so the would not be interested in eating the potatoes. But if they were tunneling through the garden they may have created a path voles to easily access the potatoes. Or gophers/ chipmunks could be to blame as well.

June 15, 2015 2:34 PM


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