About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Things I have learnt about blight

Since my potatoes got blight, I have learnt a few things about this condition.
  1. DO NOT dig the potatoes up immediately. Oops. The reason for this is that the fungus spores will fall off the infected leaves straight onto the tubers, given half a chance.
  2. Instead, cut the tops (haulms) off and remove them, preferably burning them. If you're being really fussy, cover the ground at this stage to stop any spores from washing into the soil when it rains. Leave spuds in the ground for a couple of weeks and then dig them up.
  3. A minor infection on a tuber is no big deal. It may show as a brown patch on the skin, which can be cut off easily and the rest of the spud is fine.

  4. Blight on potatoes, slightly more serious on the right hand one, but both possible to cut out and use the rest of the potato.
  5. If caught early, blight is essentially a storage issue. Blight spores on the tubers will make themselves at home, more quickly if the skin is damaged, and gradually ruin the crop. If the spuds can be used quickly enough, it really isn't a problem.
I lifted about half of my potatoes straight away, so they're no goood for storing. This meant that either we had to eat 45 lb of spuds in a few weeks... or I had to think of some other way of preserving them. The answer could only be chips!

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this - nice short points which are easy to remember!

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  2. horsetail is your friend were blight is concerned. I managed to stop blight dead in its tracks using my 'weed' (which normally really annoys me - but now we are best friends ;) )

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  3. Ooh, thanks for that tip! I googled 'horsetail blight' and your blog post was the second thing that came up :) The first also listed some varieties that are particularly prone to blight, which included two that I planted this year, so it's no wonder they got struck down. Unfortunately(!), amongst the many weeds that colonise my garden, I don't seem to have horsetail.

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