Thursday, 17 July 2014

Saving Blighted Potatoes

Posted by Rosie

Some of the potatoes at Eco-Gites of Lenault have blight.  In all likelihood the rest of them will be suffering from it in a very short period of time as it is a disease that spreads very quickly.


Blighted potatoes

Blight, a disease that brought famine and mass emigration to Ireland and can reduce a crop of potatoes to a pile of black slime in no time at all.  Blight is NOT a nice disease to have.  However it is not the end of the potato crop and if you act soon enough you can save your potatoes.  The trick is to be vigilant and act as soon as the blight hits. In fact act before blight hits if you know it is in the area.  

The brown patch is the first sign of blight. Act now to save your crop.

 

Saving Blighted Potatoes


1. First cut off all the haulms (potato tops) and dispose of them, preferably by burning and never compost them.  
2.  Do nothing for 2 weeks, after which time you can dig up the potatoes removing any as you go along that that have the tell-tale black marks and smell of blight.   
3.  Allow the potatoes to dry, away from the veg patch, for a few hours or a day.
4.  After they have dried, carefully brush off any excess mud and check each potato.    
5.  Remove any potatoes that are damaged.  Eat these as soon as possible. Damage can include:

  • Spade/fork damage
  • Slug holes
  • Signs of blight (usually inedible)
  • Signs of any other sort of rot
  • Signs of fungal damage
  • Scabby skins

5.  Store all healthy looking potatoes in hessian/jute or thick paper sacks in a cool, dark and frost-free shed.
6.  Check the stored potatoes regularly for signs of blight.

I have used this method now for several years and have always managed to store the potatoes through to when we run out in late winter or early spring.  


Healthy Potato Tops ... but for how long?

So not the best week at Eco-Gites of Lenault but certainly not the end of the world.  How is your garden doing this week?   For more garden inspiration visit the How Does Your garden Grow linky with Annie at Manneskjur.

And for anyone who is still wondering what the mystery plant was I showed last week - it was an Aubergine plant!


Manneskjur

22 comments :

  1. Oh my goodness another great post i must pin great advice #HDYGG

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  2. Sorry to hear about your blight :( I'm going to grow potatoes next year so I'm bookmarking this advice just in case. Hope you the potatoes you can salvage are tasty.

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    1. We tend to get blight every year and it's is a case of how early or late! You can spray against it (which I don't like doing) and also grow more resistant varieties but I like the ones I grow which are sadly not resistant.

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  3. this was so insightful!! i had never even heard of bllight. sorry you had to deal with it but sounds like you are a pro!

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    1. It is the disease that killed the potatoe plants in Ireland between 1845 and 1852 leading to the Great Famine. Many farmers only grew potatoes after being advised to do so and when the crops were decimated, famine and mass emigration followed. Now we know more about it but it is still a major problem and I expect to get it every year.

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  4. sorry to hear your spuds have the lurgy. hope your tomatoes are ok.

    I don't subscribe to the waiting part, but dig and wash the spuds straight away - has worked for me

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    1. The one year I tried that method I lost the lot but every other year I have used this method - maybe Devon blight is different from Normandy blight! I generally find the tomatoes get blight later on too, but it only badly affects the leaves and most of the fruits survive if I keep picking regularly.

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  5. We have blight here as well :(


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    1. Do you use t his method to save the tubers?

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  6. Truly awesome what you are doing. It must be an extraordinary life. I have to admit that I am totally clueless, Rosie, when it comes to gardening ... I seem to kill anything green - flowers, plants ... a beautiful tree we were given for our balcony ... :(
    I think you got me hooked!
    HUGS <3

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    1. Aww - I would be really pleased if my blogging could get you growing!

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  7. Oh no, great advice but how rubbish it has affected your crop

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    1. We get it every year - it's a case of when rather than if.

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  8. Amazing info! While reading this I feel the hurried feeling! like you have to move or lose them. Thanks for sharing. #hdygg

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    1. You do have to be quick but if you are you can usually save most of the crop. Vigilance is the key.

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  9. Oh no, I hope you get rid of the blight soon x #HDYGG

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    1. We cannot get rid of it once it hits and we get it every year - but acting quickly should ave most of the spuds.

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  10. thanks for the information! every little bit of knowledge passed along helps in this gardening journey.

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    1. Hopefully you will never get blight so will never have to use this particular piece of gardening information!

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