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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?
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!
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.


I grew brilliant and many tomatoe seedlings this year - a real success. I had at least twenty plants in the garden and six in the greenhouse. I've nourished and nurtured and done all that I'm supposed to do. They were dripping tomatoes and I was so pleased. By the end of July, every single plant in the garden was affected by blight. It even spread to the three hanging baskets of tumbling tomatoes that I had. The only ones that haven't suffered are the ones in the Greenhouse. The funny thing is that my potatoe patch doesn't see to have been affected.
I have tried to grow potatoes in a container and although they look the part on boiling they turn to mush! Have tried two different varieties with the same result. Any suggestions please?
I to have had the mushy potato problem, having grown three different varieties last year and a different three this year. Part boiling them then sautee and roasting (and mash of course) seem to be OK as they get a nice crisp skin, but leaving the skin on or off and just boiling they do seem to explode. At least I have had a crop I guess, although I lost all 12 Tomato plants to blight, whether they were in the green house in pots outside or a raised bed.
I want to grow early potatoes next year in large patio pots, what variety would give best results and best time to plant.
Roger, I had great success this year with 'Cherie' in pots, lovely little red oval potatoes with a very good flavour. Lorraine & Talleen - have you tried steaming, usually works really well and taste is better.
I have just come back from a week away and am devastated! My 40 potato plants have collapsed! They were great when I went away last Saturday but tonight they are flat and look rotten! I will lift some tomorrow but as I am a novice I wondered if there is a reason for this happening as it was a bit of a shock!!! Also does anyone know how I can store potatoes for future use? I have feeling I could have a lot and don't want to waste them as long as I don't go tomorrow and discover they have all had it!Loads of thanks! me
Hi, living in Africa and never had any problems with my potato crop. All organic. But this year too much rain, ok fine can handle that, but how can I combat ants (black and white ones, I think these are mini termites) that are killing my plants/roots? Also when I pull out the dead plants I find white round eggs all over. Where does that come from? Help needed. Thank you.
I'm afraid I cannot really advise you about exactly what to do with a potato crop problem in Africa as the pests, pathogens, conditions will often be very different to those over here! However I suspect that the ants are causing problems of drought as they are dislodging the soil around the root systems of your plants, if indeed they are ants! The white things you are seeing may well be eggs of the ants but you really would be best off trying to get some more local comment! sorry!
Hi, I want to grow some jersey mids and jersey royal potatoes, I used to help my grandad when i was a child and i know it seems late to start but he always insisted the middle of may was the right time and the crop was always perfect and the taste out of this world. I cant remember exactly how he planted them nor when they were ready to dig up and eat so any advice would be appreciated, thanks pauline


Ive grown potatoes for years, however, this year I decided to try two early varieties, I've never tried before, Accent and swift, the swift are looking fine, but the accent don't look good at all, leaves are full of holes, and some Shaw's are dying off, I have just been out having a look at them, one of the Shaw stems was broken, but you could hardly see the broken end, for ants, loads of them, they seemed to be at the sap, Ive never experienced this before, I'm 71 years old, and never knew ants to attack my potatoes before, any suggestions? please.
Decided to give up on the accent, Ive lifted them, with the view to using the ground, to plant some swede for the winter, and transplanting leeks, However when I lifted them, I found that a lot where cracked, and miniscule white parasites where in the cracks, I segregated the best of them for use, and decided to burn all the bad potatoes and Shaw's, however a couple of the ones that looked OK to start with, started splitting AFTER they where lifted, I don't think I will be trying this variety again, I`ll be going back to the old faithfuls.
Don't know what happen to my pear tree, I find lots of the leaf have turn black - like they have been burn but they are still fresh and grossy and not dry at all. Is it because it has been too hot or something else? This is a very special tree to me and I hope someone can help me with this. I don't want to lose this tree as it means lots to me.
I am growing two varieties of salad potatoes for the first time. Until yesterday it was going well but this morning I found that most of them had blown over (I suppose it is Friday 13th). Not many actually broken but they had grown very tall despite much earthing up with good compost. They haven't flowered yet and I am struggling to find advice on what I have done wrong and what I can do to repair the situation apart from staking them? Please help.
Does this blight affect strawberries ive only had the one fruit now the tips of the leaves are going brown