Thursday, June 19, 2008

Potato Blight!


The weather recently has been warm and humid (some days)! This can lead to blight on potatoes and tomatoes. We were told that blight had been seen on some allotments ...not ours, at the end of May. I have been told by more experienced gardeners that the 15 th of June is the time to be on the look out for blight.

We have two beds of potatoes, one of second earlies and one of main crop. The main crop are to the left of the embryo scarecrow in the photo. I had hot footed to the garden centre to get the Bordeaux Mixture which is recommended for organic spraying and sprayed the early bed two weeks ago as these were in flower. I was told the flowers are a sign that the potatoes have set in the ground when the flowers develop on the plant, they are not just decorative!

We had our open day on Sunday and we had a great turn out of very interested gardeners. Some were interested in growing and a few had land which they were thinking of setting up in allotments. It was very informative both for the visitors and ourselves as a lot of them were very knowledgeable and passed on lots of tips. One man I was speaking to had a look at our allotment and thought there were signs of blight on one or two the main crop of potatoes!! I got the spray on Monday morning and I sprayed them ( 16th June) and did the early bed today 19th June. The spray has to be reapplied every two weeks so it will be done religiously from now on! We should be digging the earlies the beginning of July and hopefully have a good crop. I am looking forward to freshly dug spuds for dinner!!
The red onions to the right of the embryo scarecrow are another story! I knew the red onions had bolted by Sunday. They started off just one here and there ,but by Sunday they had all bolted. I was told to bend them down to the ground and the bulbs would continue to grow a little. I mentioned this to the same man who had spotted the blight and he advised to pull them all and just use them as salad onions, as they were not going to improve and to utilise the bed for something else while there was time.
He advised setting seed of white turnips which would grow and crop within 10 weeks. I pulled all the onions on Monday, redug the bed and set 3 rows of seeds.
I also mentioned our garlic problem to him, he said we did not have a problem! The garlic was doing what garlic does at this time of the year ....it stops growing because it is a winter vegetable! It should be planted in September, it grows through Winter and Spring and the leaves die back and turn yellow now because it is ready to harvest.
I also bought a tray of Celery plants and put them in on Monday.
This Blog will be handy for ourselves to keep track of what and when we plant in the ground.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just been perusing your "Potato Blight tale of potential woe" mam, and I noticed that you forgot to mention anything about you trying to remember the name of the spray for the potatoes!... Beaujolais? I'm not going to let you live that one down for quite some time yet! And FYI, the baby garlic you gave me was quite simply DIVINE! Havent tried the onions yet, but it's warm chicken salad for dinner tonight so I'll let you know what we think!
Aisling xxx