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Archive for May 31st, 2008

2007 was a blight year, in the UK. for gardeners this means blight hits your potato and tomato crops.. and did it ever. The books say that greenhouse tomatoes will be safe, but the blight got into both my greenhouses. We were lucky with the spuds, and did get the crop in, albeit on the small side. The toms were badly struck, and only picked up once the rain (it seemed to rain all of July) stopped and the sun came out. We got a very bad tomato crop and mostly picked only green ones from the outdoor plants.  The upside is that I did invent a really nice sweet curried green tomato chutney, which we loved so much, that we made jars and jars. It was popular with friends and family and the recipe swept around a local allotment, where I hear they are planning on growing green tomatoes on purpose this year! So every cloud has a silver lining and all that…

So how to fight the blight and not have a repeat this year? well sometimes there is nothing you can do.. if it’s a blight year.. then that is that.. but there are some precautions.

Crop rotation is the first.. so we are not growing spuds on the same spot as last year.. the disease lurks and lingers in left over potatoes; any that appear get pulled and deposited in the council compost bin.Also its a bad idea to grow outdoor tomatoes next to your potatoes.

What to do about the greenhouses though?  We dug out a deep layer of soil and replaced it later with compost. We washed and disinfected the glass with citrox (organic disinfectant), and also treated the poles and plant pots with the same stuff. We left the doors open on frosty days, as cold kills the spores..so they say.

Will it be enough… I don’t know – we watch anxiously for signs. But we certainly have tried.

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