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I planted some seed potatoes in October, purchased as 'will be ready for Christmas'. We've had a period of heavy rain but, before this, the plants that were starting to grow had healthy green leaves. When I was at my allotment at the weekend, the green had all disappeared and, of the 2 plants that had anything left, the stems were soggy and collapsed. Is this potato blight?
cold and frost ???
When I have tried this in the past, I was advised to plant the potatoes in deep bags in the greenhouse. I did get a small crop at Christmas, but I wouldn't bother again. Potatoes are sensitive to frost, and potato blight is unlikely at this time of year. I think archiepem is right.
what i do is keep some back from the main crop . and but in layers in deep pots cover with compost . and put somewhere with a bit of shelter . and check christmas week . any problems i get a few packets from sainsburys and bury again and dig up christmass day the family never twig
The frost has killed off the foliage - if you look here
http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/Profile.aspx?pid=593 there is information for growing potatoes for Christmas - I wouldn't attempt to plant potatoes to harvest at Christmas unless I had a frost-free greenhouse.
Bob Flowerdew in AG magazine recommended growing potatoes at the normal time. When you dig them up select the best potatoes, put them in a tin with sand or compost. Bury the tin (and remember where), dig the tin up at Christmas time and they should be like new potatoes. Disclaimer: I haven't tried this myself.
I remember someone on GW a very long time ago - possibly Geoff Hamilton, suggesting the same thing.
I've tried growing for Christmas in a potato barrel thinking it would be warmer than a sack, put it in unheated greenhouse, tended as required but they just didn't grow. They were chitted. I've no prob's growing at correct time.
I really did it as an experiment as I usually still have Pentland Javelin stored in a sack in the garage.
I think Archie has the best plan.