Watch out for potato blight

The Kendal Grow Your Own Group is advising local potato growers to be on the look-out for potato blight.  This fungal disease likes the warm and wet weather that we have recently had, and if unchecked will soak into the potato tubers where it will cause a nasty smelling rot.  The rot can spread in store, too.

The first signs are brown patches on the potato leaf, usually on the edges, with a lighter green margin. Eventually, the leaf will rot, and it can spread to the stems.

Blighted potatos

“If you suspect you’ve got blight on your potatoes, the best thing to do is to remove any leaves and burn or dispose of them well away from the garden or allotment” says Ros Taylor of the Grow Your Own helpline. “If you don’t do this, spores will drop onto the soil and spread to the potatoes themselves. If you remove the tops, the potatoes can be dug up for immediate use, but you can leave them in the soil for 2-3 weeks without them coming to any harm and they will have a chance to form a skin and so store better.  If your potatoes already have blight, you will see it when they are dug up.”

Potato blight

The Grown Your Own scheme offers advice and northern know-how and its volunteer advisors can be reached by telephone or email (07980 325804 )

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