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Talkback: Potato blight

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  • Hi, living in Africa and never had any problems with my potato crop. All organic. But this year too much rain, ok fine can handle that, but how can I combat ants (black and white ones, I think these are mini termites) that are killing my plants/roots? Also when I pull out the dead plants I find white round eggs all over. Where does that come from? Help needed. Thank you.
  • I'm afraid I cannot really advise you about exactly what to do with a potato crop problem in Africa as the pests, pathogens, conditions will often be very different to those over here! However I suspect that the ants are causing problems of drought as they are dislodging the soil around the root systems of your plants, if indeed they are ants! The white things you are seeing may well be eggs of the ants but you really would be best off trying to get some more local comment! sorry!
  • Hi, I want to grow some jersey mids and jersey royal potatoes, I used to help my grandad when i was a child and i know it seems late to start but he always insisted the middle of may was the right time and the crop was always perfect and the taste out of this world. I cant remember exactly how he planted them nor when they were ready to dig up and eat so any advice would be appreciated, thanks pauline
  • Hi Pauline, uyou may find these How to projects useful for growing potatoes:

    How to chit potatoes

    How to grow potatoes in a bag

    How to grow potatoes in a bin.

    Good luck!

  • Ive grown potatoes for years, however, this year I decided to try two early varieties, I've never tried before, Accent and swift, the swift are looking fine, but the accent don't look good at all, leaves are full of holes, and some Shaw's are dying off, I have just been out having a look at them, one of the Shaw stems was broken, but you could hardly see the broken end, for ants, loads of them, they seemed to be at the sap, Ive never experienced this before, I'm 71 years old, and never knew ants to attack my potatoes before, any suggestions? please.
  • Decided to give up on the accent, Ive lifted them, with the view to using the ground, to plant some swede for the winter, and transplanting leeks, However when I lifted them, I found that a lot where cracked, and miniscule white parasites where in the cracks, I segregated the best of them for use, and decided to burn all the bad potatoes and Shaw's, however a couple of the ones that looked OK to start with, started splitting AFTER they where lifted, I don't think I will be trying this variety again, I`ll be going back to the old faithfuls.
  • Don't know what happen to my pear tree, I find lots of the leaf have turn black - like they have been burn but they are still fresh and grossy and not dry at all. Is it because it has been too hot or something else? This is a very special tree to me and I hope someone can help me with this. I don't want to lose this tree as it means lots to me.
  • I am growing two varieties of salad potatoes for the first time. Until yesterday it was going well but this morning I found that most of them had blown over (I suppose it is Friday 13th). Not many actually broken but they had grown very tall despite much earthing up with good compost. They haven't flowered yet and I am struggling to find advice on what I have done wrong and what I can do to repair the situation apart from staking them? Please help.
  • Does this blight affect strawberries ive only had the one fruit now the tips of the leaves are going brown
  • when do you know its time to harvest potatoes
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