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Potato blight


by Pippa Greenwood

Aaargh! Blight has struck my spuds! And I bet it's appearing in gardens everywhere too.


Aaargh! Blight has struck my spuds! And I bet it's appearing in gardens everywhere too. I'd been rather proud of the fact that, despite it having hit a friend's plot the other side of the village a week ago, my potatoes (including the varieties I'm growing for the Gardeners' World Magazine series) seemed to be as happy as Larry.

Potato blightThat will teach me to be big headed, last night I found it - evil blackish brown blotches just starting up on the leaves. Luckily it has finally stopped raining so the spores shouldn't carry on spreading. But I'm off to the plot now, armed with a big black bin liner and a pair of secateurs to cut off the haulms before the problem spread to the, as yet, untouched varieties.

Now of course I can't compost it so I wonder if I'll be able to sneak it into the dustbin?!



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Gardeners' World Web User 24/07/2007 at 08:45

I have just started my own little veggie patch in the garden and I keep getting all these tiny little caterpillars that eat all my strawberries and my mum says that I'm not allowed to use pesticides or anything like that so how do I stop this problem?

Gardeners' World Web User 24/07/2007 at 09:11

Glad to see we are not alone - but it is a perfect season for blight, isn't it?

Gardeners' World Web User 25/07/2007 at 12:13

In reply to John phillips comment: The answer is yes tomatoes are affected by blight. Sadly my tomatoes grown outdoors have just gone down with it. Interestingly, even those growing close to the potatoes took a while longer to get it, and they were not so badly affected. You may be able to save the fruits if you pick them off very promptly and try to ripen them in a paper bag with a freckly banana - that's what I'm doing!

Gardeners' World Web User 25/07/2007 at 12:13

In reply to Toni's question: The best thing is to put a fine mesh net or some fleece over the crop as soon as flowering is over. Then the butterfly won't be able to get to the plants to lay her eggs, so there will be no caterpillars. But caterpillars are not a regular problem on strawberries so you may be OK next year anyway.

Gardeners' World Web User 28/07/2007 at 12:10

Can it happen to any plant?

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