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Potato blight already?

Hi, just joined the site to gather some advice. I first tried growing potatoes last summer with second cropping Charlottes but they died off through blight in late sept/early oct. So I tried again this year with mainly first earlies and thought I'd be safe till late summer, I dug up a bag of swift two weeks ago which were lovely but I've noticed today that some of the others (arran pilot, int kidney, epicure) appear to have the first signs of blight in leaves yellowing and drooping and the stems having a purplish shade. Now it's been very wet and humid the past week or two (greater glasgow) and I've read this is perfect conditions for it to spread.

I've picked off the affected leaves and stems and chucked them in the bin. Is this the best option, just to keep on top of any signs or should I just go for the nuclear approach and dig everything up?

Any advice gratefully received, Picked a few arran pilots yesterday which were nice, just a bit hacked off because I was looking forward to picking the rest over the next month or two. Incidentally most of the plants have been in bags for the best part of three months so should be nearly ready, the youngest though have only been in for two months.

Posts

  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 5,553

    Are you sure it's blight? There are quite a lot of things that make potato leaves go yellow or brown, including lack of food or water?

    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,535

    You can sign-up here http://www.blightwatch.co.uk/

    and get an email alert if the conditions for blight are happening in your postcode area.

    I had a first alert a couple of weeks back.

    If you have a pic of the leaves/plant other folk here may be able to advise. I don't grow spuds..

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • martinw25martinw25 Posts: 3

    Thanks for the replies, I'll keep an eye out for more of this and post a photo or two. I've registered with blightwatch and according to the calendar there's been three red days for my postcode in the past 10 days so hey-ho just have to hope it's not what I think it is.

  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 5,553

    If it is blight then taking the stems off to stop it getting to the tubers does help. You can nurse them along if you've caught it early. Even once all the stems are gone on a plant the tubers may still be fine if you've been on top of it, so worth trying to harvest them, to see what can be salvaged.

    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • martinw25martinw25 Posts: 3

    Umm kinda embarrassed now, everything seems to be ok-ish. The plants look the same and if it was blight they'd be looking very sick by now. I emptied an Arran Pilot bag and a couple of the tubers were b-i-g, the largest wasn't far off baking potato size, unfortunately it was damaged with a couple of splits and a mushy end so ended in the bin. On reflection maybe I've let them go on too much and the yellowing droopy leaves at the base is just an indication they were ready, I'd been waiting on the flowers that never showed. I've cut the haulms off some of the others, the tubers should be ok in the ground for a couple of weeks?

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