Latest posts by Italophile

Problem bamboo

Posted: 14/09/2012 at 08:19

Gardenguy, if possible, I'd have a word with the neighbours about the problem. It's only going to get worse and there's nothing much you can do. As fast as you dig it out, more will follow. Barriers are of limited use. The runners grow underneath - and even around - most obstacles in their path. I write from bitter experience.

Tomato probs

Posted: 14/09/2012 at 08:06

Colin, do the symptoms look like this?


 If so, it's Late Blight.

Passion Fruit Vine

Posted: 14/09/2012 at 06:51

Presumably they're in containers? How often have they been fed and what with?

Tomato probs

Posted: 13/09/2012 at 13:14

Any chance of a photo, Colin? It sounds like a fungal problem. If the spread from foliage to stems to fruit has been rapid, it could be Late Blight. If not rapid, it could be a number of things. There are even fungal problems specific to greenhouses that are rarely found with outdoor toms.

Anyway, given that it's probably fungal, you can never guarantee against it ever happening. Fungal spores are airborne, they travel on the breeze, they're everywhere in the air, and invisible to the naked eye.

One option is preventive spraying, which means spraying before the spores arrive. Once they have arrived - when the symptoms are starting to show - it's too late. It means spraying about once a week from not long after the toms are planted out.

If you don't fancy spraying, you have to concentrate on a housekeeping routine that aims to minimise the fungal spores' chances of getting a grip.

In a greenhouse, ensure as much air circulation as you possibly can. The closed environment can be an incubator for disease.

Keep as much space between plants as you can for air circulation purposes.

Try to avoid great clumps of dense foliage developing on plants by judicious pruning of excess foliage and branches. Again, for air circulation purposes.

Keep a gap of at least a foot between the lowest foliage and the soil. Fungal spores can and will fall from the foliage to the soil and can be splashed back up again when watering causing re-infection. The gap will help against this.

The bottom line is that you can't avoid fungal spores. All you can do is try to minimise their impact.

Allotment Potato Blight

Posted: 13/09/2012 at 07:19
HomemanLL wrote (see)

Thanks so much, Can we put Blight free potatoes such as Cara in the infected ground next year, and also some plot holders are asking about liming the soil over winter.?

Cara is a blight-resistant variety rather than blight-free. There's a difference. They will still become infected if the pathogens arrive on the breeze and the weather conditions are conducive. They will just battle on a bit better than non-resistant varities. But, to answer your question, you can certainly plant them.

I'd only lime the soil if the soil needs it. Spuds like soil slightly acidic. Lime will send the soil's pH in the other, wrong, direction. It's a good idea to invest in a soil pH test kit and test the soil before amending it.

Allotment Potato Blight

Posted: 12/09/2012 at 13:17

Okay. Presumably the diseased produce and plant material was destroyed. The soil will be fine if you choose to plant again.

Allotment Potato Blight

Posted: 12/09/2012 at 11:29

If it's Late Blight, the spores don't live on in the soil. The only danger of re-infection is from diseased produce and plant material left lying around. If you get Late Blight again next season it will be a new infection. The spores are airborne, they travel on the breeze, and can travel for miles.

seeding potatoes

Posted: 12/09/2012 at 06:31

On the whole you're better off using certified seed potatoes to be sure they're disease-free.


seeding potatoes

Posted: 11/09/2012 at 17:29

They won't keep. Enjoy them now.

moving blackcurrant bush

Posted: 11/09/2012 at 13:23

I've moved redcurrants successfully. I left it till very late winter/very early spring just prior to them waking up. All you can do is make sure you get the whole root ball without disturbing it too much.


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