a sad story about potatoes

Root Vegetables

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….

12 Comments. Leave new

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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…

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

  • 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.


  • As a note, rabbits aren't rodents.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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 ;')

  • 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!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed

Previous Post
harvests: basil, onions and beets
Next Post
a happier potato story