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Potato blight


by Pippa Greenwood

I have a horrible feeling that potato blight is just around the corner. The weather has been just perfect for this horrible fungal infection to wreak havoc on everyone's home-grown spuds.


Foliage displaying symptoms of potato blightHere we are in early July and I have a horrible feeling that potato blight is just around the corner. The weather has been perfect for this horrible fungal infection to wreak havoc on everyone's home-grown spuds. By the look of the weather right now - varying between warm and wet - conditions should now be perfect for blight infection to occur. It looks as if I won't be able to bank on a continuous crop of home-grown potatoes this winter.

I'm watching the weather with a degree of grim resignation, shears at the ready! The shears moment I see the first signs of blight, I'll be out there like a woman crazed, chopping off the haulms. I'll just remove those that show the tell-tale grey brown blotches at first, but unfortunately the neighbouring plants are likely to need the ultimate short back and sides soon after. By cutting the infected haulms off promptly, preferably before it rains, I can hopefully prevent the spores from the haulms washing down and infecting the tubers below. True, the crop that I lift will be considerably smaller than it could have been, but if it is free of blight spores, the tubers I do harvest should last perfectly well.

Oh dear. A minute ago it was raining and now the sun is out - perfect conditions for potato blight!



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Gardeners' World Web User 09/07/2009 at 20:17

I've seen blight on most potato crops on my allotment site. As for my own crop of earlies, I've recently sheared them all, dug up half of them, and will shortly dig up and store the remaining crop. What I've harvested so far have been great and delicious. I'm reluctant to grow maincrop spuds, for fear of the dreaded plague. Still, you can't beat a good crop of new potatoes!

Gardeners' World Web User 10/07/2009 at 05:46

Our biggest problems were with Colarado Beetle, it meant going out each morning and picking the adult beetle's off and squashing them and also the eggs on underside of leaf. Not a nice job before breakfast. We bought un-chitted potatos on 14/03/08, they chitted and were planted 11/04/08 we are now harvesting, started yesterday. Good crop although on the small side. We also given on 13/04/08 a tray of small chitted potatoes, which have faired a bit better and are cropping well. Watering was a big issue here in Bulgaria. I agree you cant beat a good crop of home grown new potatoes

Gardeners' World Web User 10/07/2009 at 08:43

I'm in the NE of Scotland. Should my Charlotte potatoes be ready by now? There is loads of foliage, but no flowers. Am I just impatient, or have they gone wrong?

Gardeners' World Web User 11/07/2009 at 08:21

I am new to gardening and I would love to grow potatoes for christmas but when would I do that would I want to start now and where would I get the seed potatoes

Gardeners' World Web User 12/07/2009 at 21:34

Live in Mullingar, just outside Dublin. Just spent the last 30 mins cutting down my potato plants....what looked so good only a week ago was quickly going black.....ahhhh all that work gone to waste.....first year giving this a go

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