I obviously hope you enjoy browsing through the postings on here - do feel free to leave comments as it's always good to see who's visiting and to hear about other people's experiences - after all you never stop learning do you?

If you've any gardening questions or you live in Brittany and are looking for some gardening help - be it design work, planting or general gardening or you simply would like some advice, please don't hesitate to CONTACT ME or call me on 0033 661 77 23 89 (from UK) or 0661 77 23 89 (from France).

Happy gardening!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Look on the Blight side!

Whilst watching the TV programme Coast last weekend I was reminded of  the horrors during the Great Famine in Ireland during the mid 1800's or perhaps better known as the Potato Famine?  It was said that approximately one third of Ireland's population were dependant on the Potato crop for food and as Potato Blight ravaged their crops resulting in over 1million people dying and another million emigrating - cutting the country's population by up to 25% causing devastating effects.

Phytophthora infestans is the fungus responsible for Blight and can affect both Potatos and Tomatoes alike - brown patches develop on the leaves, and the fruits of the tomato start to go brown in patches until the whole fruit shrivels and unless the affected leaves of potatoes removed in time, the fungus will get into the soil and wipe out your whole potato crop as it did in Ireland (although maybe on slightly smaller scale!).  The fungus seems to strike predominantly in moist or wet weather in mid to late summer and does not take long to take hold.

With potatoes, I've found that if you remove all the foilage above ground, then usually the potato tubers will carry on and develop okay without being affected.  Obviously there is the option to spray the plants but I prefer not to.  With tomatoes, many people will opt for growing them under cover or if grown outside the best thing is to remove as many of the diseased leaves and fruit as quickly as possible and in many cases plants will recover.  ONE IMPORTANT THING - do NOT compost any of the diseased plants or fruits - dispose in a rubbish sack.  If this goes into your compost, the disease is much more likely to become a real problem especially where the compost is added to planting areas where you will grow potatoes or tomatoes the following year.   

  • Do not to grow these two crops in close proximity to one another.
  • Try operating a good crop rotation system which helps avoid pests and diseases getting established.
  • Ensure the plants are correctly spaced out.
  • Try growing more blight resistant varieties if this is a problem. 
  • For potatoes; earth up the tubers well - this will offer greater protection for your crop.


Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR said...

Miranda, I just came across your blog. What a great site you have! I am now your newest follower. I hope you will follow back! Be blessed!

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Shenita - thanks so much for visiting my blog - and many apologies for taking so long to reply to your kind posting - work is keeping me more than busy at the moment - just waiting for some wet weather like today to give me some spare moments to catch up with comments and all the many lovely blogs there are... hopefully I'll get a bit more time for this over the winter! Will pop over to your blog now and see what I've been missing... take care Miranda

Steve said...

Hi Miranda

As I have special tomato blog, you and your followers might like my section on blight

Regards Steve

Dave Christensen said...

Hello Miranda -

We live in the east central part of New York State (in the U.S.). Summer of 2010 was very wet and we did encounter some kind of blight on our tomato plants that caused black markings on the fruit and killed the leaves.

I read that there was a likelihood that it would overwinter and be a problem in the following year. But, it didn't happen. we got lucky. Really lucky when you consider we had the wettest summer in decades in 2011.

Anyway, I see you're pretty good with that camera. I like the shots of that fox in a recent post.

We live adjacent to the woods and get a lot of deer coming through in the autumn looking for our apples. I bought a so-called trail camera that I strapped to a tree and got photos of a few deer at night. One was so close to the camera I could hear him munching. :)

It's interesting to see what's lurking in the darkness 100 feet from our bedroom window.

Compliments to you on your great looking blog. I'll check back soon to see what you've been up to.

Best regards,
Dave from Home and Garden 911