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Tomato and potato blight


by Pippa Greenwood

My garden has been so humid; if it wasn't raining then the air was positively dripping. So, I'm amazed at just how little blight I've seen on tomatoes or potatoes.


Tomatoes affected with tomato blightThe temperature and humidity levels in my garden in the last few weeks have made for ideal blight weather. Blight (Phytopthora infestans) is a fungal disease which thrives in warm, damp conditions. My garden has been so humid; if it wasn't raining then the air was positively dripping. So, I'm amazed at just how little blight I've seen on tomatoes or potatoes.

There was some blight on a few of the potato varieties I've been growing this year, but even then the brown patches on the leaves remained as tight blotches, rather than the foliage-wrecking lesions that result in the whole haulms flopping downwards. With the first signs of blight we always cut the haulms off any infected plant, which helps stop the spread of the infection down to the tubers. This year my son did the hard labour, which has done the trick. I've been digging up tubers in any spare moment I have, and as yet there is not a trace of blight damage on them. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we've seen the worst.

I've planted many tomato varieties outside out this year and despite the wet weeks they too remain clear. This is the first year in ages that I 've not grown any of the tomato varieties marketed for blight resistance. I've really asked for problems; everything is squeezed into tight spaces, and many tomatoes are positively smothered by the rampant squash plants, all helping to increase the mugginess of the air around those ripening fruits.

I'd love to know how you have fared with the dreaded blight on your spuds and tomatoes this year. It can’t be just me who has fared so well. I've not been bombarded with the usual array of blight questions either, perhaps they’ll all be waiting for me at the next recording of Gardeners' Question Time.



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Gardeners' World Web User 08/09/2010 at 18:40

The tomatoes in our greenhouse were destroyed by blight last week. This is the first time ever, that we have had blight. Last weekend was spent making all sorts of chutney from the green tomatoes, and we currently have more jars than most supermarkets. Would have been a bumper crop.

Gardeners' World Web User 08/09/2010 at 22:14

My outdoor tomatoes have had a touch of blight this year.The last two years the blight was worse, so I think I have got away lightly this year.I too have been making chutney with the green tomatoes this week.I love this time of year.

Gardeners' World Web User 09/09/2010 at 10:42

No blight at all on my outside tomatoes after two blighty years - gloriana!

Gardeners' World Web User 09/09/2010 at 15:32

I've still got Cara growing. Masses of new stems came after the drought conditions broke. not a sign of blight yet.

Gardeners' World Web User 09/09/2010 at 16:00

i have lots of green toms, could i have your recipe for chutney please? Bev

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