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What are the White Spots on Potatoes?

When gathering your potato harvest you may notice little white spots covering the spuds. The common misconception is that blight has effected the crop and I’ve heard of some gardeners throwing these spuds away, but what a waste of a crop.

The little white spots are just simply a sign that the crop has been overwatered during the season. The technical term for the spots are Lenticels.

Lenticels are one of many raised pores in the stem of a woody plant that allows gas exchange between the atmosphere and the internal tissues. If the crop is overwatered or we have a particularly wet season, these pores become blocked and swell to reveal the little white spots.

I’ve know of many gardeners who don’t water their potato crop at all – which is wrong. Potatoes are like any other crop and need to be watered. Because they are tubers I think the general thinking that it has its own water reserve somehow. It’s surprising how the wrong information can be passed down through the generations. Treat potatoes like all other crops and water, but not too much or you’ll get lenticles.

About Sean James Cameron

Based in London, Sean has been gardening since being a teenager. Although vegetables and fruit is the main passion, there is also room for flowers.

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