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Talkback: Potato blight and Bordeaux Mixture

I've used Bordeaux mixture but not Dithane simply because GO reluctantly recommend it as the fungicide of last resort. I'm never happy about using it though.

I've also tried Sarpo Mira and Axona varieties - they're phenomenonly resistant to blight, but I've found their taste is nothing to write home about. I'm trying some of the other Sarpo varieties this year to see if at last there might be that happy combination of resistance and taste.

I also grow lost of earlies to get round the problem. Of course most of these don't store for as long as maincrop, but I've found that Harlequin does seem to be better than most. And it tastes wonderful :)


  • Thanks for the tip on Harlequin VP.
    My friend in Ireland says the Sarpo varieties still succumbed to blight. Agree there are other potatoes I like more flavour-wise.
  • Bristol has been bad for blight recently so i am trying some resistant varieties but also growing more earlies and making dinners to freeze with them so I can still have their taste even past their keeping date. I grow all my tomatoes in the conservatory now because of the blight.
  • I know this is nothing to do with potatoes but can someone help me with my grape vine. Its 3 years old now and I know I have to prune it but how hard do I prune and is it safe to prune now?

    You all helped me last year with my raspberries for which I am extremely gratefull - they turned out to be lovely yum!
  • My dahlias have been reduced to a pulp. I did some exploring beneath the surface to check there was some growth only to find the tubor turned into a hollow mush. There was a series of tunnels leading off to other parts of the garden. Any ideas?
  • On the other hand slugs do not like copper, so that is an advantage. Really it all depends how much you value that crop and as you get older the you live in this year rather than what next will bring. I'm growing Belle de Fontenay - a salad variety, it is susceptible to both early and late blight so I will have to spray.
  • Last Friday night Toby planted a Golden Hop. i think he should have made the public aware that they are very poisonous for dogs. If chewed by dogs they can be lethal and being as most people who have a garden also have a dog this is vital safety information.
  • I have a hyperactive springer spaniel, that chews slippers, bones, and sometimes the postman's ankle, but so far has not touched the Humulus Lupus Aureus, I will warn both the dog and the hop plant and keep a careful watch on both! Thanks doodlyn for the warning.
  • Reply to doodlyn: We're not aware that golden hop is in any way harmful to dogs, and to be honest I've never found my dogs nibbling the golden hop in my own garden. If you can let us know where you heard this information we'd love to know. Yes, stems can prove an irritant, and cause an allergic rash if they scratch the skin, but hop is actually edible to humans.
  • BLIGHT - As with the gooseberry mildew, partially rotted matter in the soil is a big factor. Things like Blood Fish & Bone are actually uncomposted, if you sprinkle it in your compost so it gets a chance to break down and only dress your plants with it when you can no longer recognise any of the composting materials and it all looks like fine humus, the breaking down fungal activity has finished and doesn't get drawn up into the plant sap.

    Again Nettle tea is helpful, and companion plant like Archangel (white deadnettle) growing close by. Foxgolves growing near also strengthen other plants, but some plants adversely affect potatoes growing near them, especially fruit trees.

    Potatoes with stinging nettles growing among them seem to resist blight - if you can bring yourself to actually plant your potatoes in a nettle bed!
  • Angela, I think it's a bit late to prune your vine now, I would leave it leave till Jan or Feb, then you can have a good look at the structure.
    Big Arch: buy some new dahlias!
    I lost some too this year. In previous years I didn't protect them and was lulled into a false sense of security, last winter was just too harsh. You'll still find some dahlias at garden centres now, you can plant them directly into the ground when you get them.
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