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Recognising BlightRecognising Blight

Controlling Blight

Non-chemical control
  • Infected material should be deeply buried (more than 45cm deep), consigned to the green waste collection or, ideally, burned never composted composted.
  • Earthing up potatoes provides some protection to tubers.
  • Early-harvested potatoes are more likely to escape infection.
  • When infection levels reach about 25 percent of leaves affected or marks appear on stems cut off foliage (haulm) severing the stalks near soil level and raking up debris. When the skin on tubers has hardened, after about two weeks, the tubers are dug up and stored. To prevent slug damage avoid leaving tubers in soil after this time.
  • Operate a rotation to reduce the risk of infection, ideally of at least four years.
  • Destroy all potatoes left in the soil and waste from storage before the following spring.

The genetic population of the fungus is ever changing and new findings have shown that one dominant new strain seems to have overcome major gene resistance. In the past some potato varieties had shown some resistance, these included ‘Cara’, ‘Kondor’, ‘Orla’, ‘Markies’ and ‘Valor’, but this is not currently effective. The ‘Sarpo’ range exhibit more effective resistance than other cultivars and can be grown satisfactorily without fungicide protection.

Some old favourites are very susceptible, eg ‘Arran Pilot’, ‘King Edward’, ‘Majestic’, ‘Sharpe’s Express’. Varieties that were previously rated resistant have been retested against this new dominant strain and the results have been published.

Tomatoes are generally very susceptible, but the varieties ‘Ferline’, ‘Legend’ and ‘Fantasio’ are claimed to show some resistance, but will eventually succumb in wet, warm weather. It is probably best not to rely on host resistance for blight control in tomatoes.

Chemical control

Because infection is so dependent on certain combinations of temperature and rainfall that periods of high risk (blight infection periods or Smith Periods) can be predicted accurately. Advisory services issue warnings for commercial potato growers on which they can base their spray programmes.

Gardeners are able to access these warnings (visit the Fight Against Blight website), but must rely on a more restricted range of protectant fungicides containing copper (Bordeaux Mixture or Fruit and Vegetable Disease Control), since the more effective systemic products are not approved for home gardener use. A fine spray covering all the foliage will give the best protection.

When wet weather is forecast from June onwards, protectant sprays are advisable, especially for outdoor tomatoes. However, in wet periods the fungicides sold to gardeners will only slow the spread, and not prevent infection. In dry seasons good control can be achieved.

Perrywoods Garden Centre 
HPAA sponsored company - Perrywoods Garden Centre
Thank you for your recent donation of a raffle prize with raised money for our funds!

Read more about Perrywood here

NSALG National Allotments Week

Category: Recipes

Filo Pie with Swiss Chard, Ricotta Cheese and Tomatoes

Filo Pie with Swiss Chard, Ricotta Cheese, and TomatoesFilo Pie with Swiss Chard, Ricotta Cheese, and Tomatoes

 Stuck for an idea for how to use Chard, well why not try this dish?

 

Oca or Potato Homity Pie Recipe

Homity PieHomity Pie

Homity pie is a traditional British open vegetable pie. The pastry case traditionally contains a filling of potatoes and an onion and leek mixture, which is then covered with cheese.  It has a history that dates back to the efforts of the Land girls of the Second World War and the restrictions imposed by wartime rationing.

 

Pasta with Asparagus and Courgette

Pasta with Asparagus and CourgettePasta with Asparagus and Courgette

 Asparagus and Courgette are made for each other in this dish!

Category: The Growing Season

Jobs to do in July

Jobs to do in July

Harvest should be bountiful and the allotment is in full swing

Now is the height of summer, the days endlessly long, temperatures usually at their peek and you should be reaping the rewards of your hard work in the preceding months. Watering in this month is crucial to stem off premature bolting, tomato blossom end rot and splitting skins.

 

Jobs to do in February

Jobs to do in February

Time to do some groundwork

We get a glimpse of the early signs of the arrival of Spring this month. The soil begins to warm up around the middle of February and we can see for the first time this year the buds beginning to swell on fruit trees and bushes. Overwintering vegetables begin to look less sorry for themselves and they start to produce new growth.

 

Jobs to do in March

Jobs to do in March

Spring is starting and the new season is here

 Hopefully by now we are now standing on the threshold of Spring and the new gardening season. The days are beginning to lengthen and although it may not feel like it at times the temperatures are slowly increasing day by day. More importantly the longer days are the real trigger to new growth and you will find that with the help of a little protection you can really go for those early sowings

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