Potato Peril!

It feels like weeks since I got a chance to do some work down on the allotment.  I’ve spent the better part of two weeks fighting off a cold that’s been going around the office, and that C has had at home too. My days have been spent just about getting through work, then coming home and falling asleep. I was determined to get down there today though, and spent a peaceful couple of hours pottering away on my own.  Not all is well on Plot 132 though.

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The first thing I noticed was something has been munching through my lettuce. I found a couple of slugs hiding away and threw them in to the nettles, I’ve pulled a couple of plants out because they were so thoroughly nibbled, and it’s given the others some room to breath (and hopefully grow). After a bit of searching later in the afternoon I came up with a slug trap – a couple of old drinks bottles with a hole cut in them, filled with a mixture of water, sugar and yeast. Fingers crossed for my lettuces please.

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I carried on with my pottering.  I’ve planted up the tulip bulbs I ordered earlier in the year.  As we’ve not decided on a firm plan for the plot yet I’ve planted them in a couple of old crates I had at home so I can move them around as needed. I’ve lined them, put stones and gravel in the bottom, and used a mixture of normal topsoil and bulb compost to plant them in.  I’ve also dotted a few ranunculus in there as well, I couldn’t resist them when we went to the garden centre last weekend. I’ve also managed to get the onions planted at last, with spacing measured out with my trusty Opinel knife.  This whole allotment is going to be measured out in Opinels eventually.

Gardeners, help! Do my potatoes have blight?! 😧

After that I got on with weeding around the potatoes, and discovered something rather unpleasant looking.  I think our potatoes have blight! One of the plants was pretty much rotten so I’ve cut it back completely, the other patches are small, but from what I’ve read once blight appears there’s not much stopping it. I fear this might be goodbye to our potato jungle, and I’m so disappointed.  I know we’ll have many more failures along the way, but these plants were looking so good and I was so proud of them!  Still, onwards and upwards. Our seed catalogue order went in last week, and C ordered a huge pile of wild flower seeds online as well, so even if we don’t have potatoes we should have a few bunches of flowers next year.

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4 thoughts on “Potato Peril!

  1. Blight is rather annoying but if you are quick and remove the foliage above ground, you may have the potatoes below!

    For slugs have you tried nematodes? The guy on the plot next to them swears by them for saving his crops. I tend to use slug pellets.

    • Thanks! I cut down all the foliage on the plants that were showing signs of it yesterday, and will keep an eye on the others too. I’ve read in some places to leave the potatoes in the ground for a couple of weeks before digging them up, so will try that.
      Yeasty slug trap is my first attempt, as this is the first time I’ve had a problem with them!

      • I would dig up the potatoes in a couple of weeks. If they seem to be OK, I would eat these first before moving onto your non-blight potatoes. The ones with blight tend to rot quicker than the others.

        If you have chickens, I can recommend catching the slugs in a jam jar with a tempting treat inside and then giving them to the chickens.

      • Excellent, I’ll wait a couple of weeks before digging to see if anything grew! We only planted them a month or so ago so I won’t hold my breath!
        No chickens for us – live stock not allowed on our allotments. I’ll stick to throwing slugs in to the bushes!

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