With the weather being so great over the past few weeks I’ve been contacted by many a back garden grower about ‘Tomatoes’ growing on their potatoes.
Questions include “What’s these that have appeared on my Potatoes?” and “Are these edible?”.
These small tomato-like fruits appearing on the potatoes are actually the pollinated flowers of the potatoes.
Potatoes flowers are pollinated by wind and where conditions are dry you tend to get more of these fruits appear on your crop. The only people that are interested in these seeds are plant breeders who may gather these seeds to develop new varieties of Potatoes.
by DD Gardening Correspondent Gareth Austin
I would advise you to pick and remove these fruits from your plants before they start to ripen and turn red.
Not only do they waste your plants energy by utilising energy to produce unwanted seeds but the fruits themselves are poisonous – these oblong cherry-tomato like fruits contain high concentrations of Solanine (which you find in potatoes which have been left in the sun and went green), consumption of this is sore on not only your digestive system but can give you bad headaches too.
So simply by removing these fruits you’ll remove any temptation for the kids to have a taste.
In small garden production is actually beneficial to your crop for you to remove the flowers as they appear, indeed removal of the flowers can give you a marked improvement in your harvest, around 7% increase.
Also within potato growers with the drier conditions there has been much more Magnesium deficiency being shown on the foliage of the Potatoes, especially where they are beingg grown in sandy soils or where the ground is well aerated and dry.
To many folks the black spots on the leaves can be mistaken for signs of Potato Blight and many will start spraying or increase spraying for disease with little effect, instead a foliar application of Epson Salts is best applied to your crop.