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Talkback: Potato blight

I have just started my own little veggie patch in the garden and I keep getting all these tiny little caterpillars that eat all my strawberries and my mum says that I'm not allowed to use pesticides or anything like that so how do I stop this problem?
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  • Glad to see we are not alone - but it is a perfect season for blight, isn't it?
  • In reply to John phillips comment: The answer is yes tomatoes are affected by blight. Sadly my tomatoes grown outdoors have just gone down with it. Interestingly, even those growing close to the potatoes took a while longer to get it, and they were not so badly affected. You may be able to save the fruits if you pick them off very promptly and try to ripen them in a paper bag with a freckly banana - that's what I'm doing!
  • In reply to Toni's question: The best thing is to put a fine mesh net or some fleece over the crop as soon as flowering is over. Then the butterfly won't be able to get to the plants to lay her eggs, so there will be no caterpillars. But caterpillars are not a regular problem on strawberries so you may be OK next year anyway.
  • Can it happen to any plant?
  • I grew brilliant and many tomatoe seedlings this year - a real success. I had at least twenty plants in the garden and six in the greenhouse. I've nourished and nurtured and done all that I'm supposed to do. They were dripping tomatoes and I was so pleased. By the end of July, every single plant in the garden was affected by blight. It even spread to the three hanging baskets of tumbling tomatoes that I had. The only ones that haven't suffered are the ones in the Greenhouse. The funny thing is that my potatoe patch doesn't see to have been affected.
  • I have tried to grow potatoes in a container and although they look the part on boiling they turn to mush! Have tried two different varieties with the same result. Any suggestions please?
  • I to have had the mushy potato problem, having grown three different varieties last year and a different three this year. Part boiling them then sautee and roasting (and mash of course) seem to be OK as they get a nice crisp skin, but leaving the skin on or off and just boiling they do seem to explode. At least I have had a crop I guess, although I lost all 12 Tomato plants to blight, whether they were in the green house in pots outside or a raised bed.
  • I want to grow early potatoes next year in large patio pots, what variety would give best results and best time to plant.
  • Roger, I had great success this year with 'Cherie' in pots, lovely little red oval potatoes with a very good flavour.
    Lorraine & Talleen - have you tried steaming, usually works really well and taste is better.
  • I have just come back from a week away and am devastated! My 40 potato plants have collapsed! They were great when I went away last Saturday but tonight they are flat and look rotten! I will lift some tomorrow but as I am a novice I wondered if there is a reason for this happening as it was a bit of a shock!!! Also does anyone know how I can store potatoes for future use? I have feeling I could have a lot and don't want to waste them as long as I don't go tomorrow and discover they have all had it!Loads of thanks! me
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