Tuber Splitting – Why?

potato_splitPlot holder David Dimmock has presented us with an interesting question. Potato tuber splitting – why?
Variety; Rocket
Date planted; 1st April 2016
Soil condition; Clay
Additives;  Soil improver as a base dressing

Local gardening expert John Negus has responded with advice; “The usual cause of split tubers is heavy rain after a long dry spell. All you can do is add loads of organic matter to improve the soil’s texture and its water-conserving qualities. Best wishes, John”

john-negus8

John Negus

Research on the internet throws up a range of results – too dry – too wet.

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=716
Cultivation problems
Second growth is caused during dry spells in late summer tubers cease to grow only to resume after rain. This can lead to misshapen, split and hollow tubers. Growing drought-resistant cultivars and watering can help to reduce this problem.

http://www.yara.us/agriculture/crops/potato/key-facts/agronomic-principles/
Overwatering can result in tuber splitting.

http://www.gardenadvice.co.uk/advisor/gardening-tips/splitting-potatoes/
Another of many problems that occur when growing fruit or vegetables is splitting. When growing potatoes this problem can originate in most cases due to the lack of water followed by heavy rain. The same problem can be seen with many fruits such as apples. The solution is to dig into the soil a lot of organic matter such as spent mushroom compost as well as planting mulch in the soil.