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Author Topic: Poorly potato Dunluce  (Read 158 times)

wonky

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Poorly potato Dunluce
« on: September 22, 2015, 11:32:12 AM »

A few of my Dunluce 1st early potatoes are looking like this and don't half pong as well. I'm presuming its blight?
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Big Gee

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Re: Poorly potato Dunluce
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2015, 12:27:10 PM »

I'm afraid so Wonky - it certainly looks like it. What you have there is a 'blighted' tuber. The key is your reference to the 'pong' - blight stinks!

Whether it's soil borne or air borne I don't know. If it's air borne that's gone down to the tuber then you would have noticed the symptoms on the haulms a few weeks back. If it's soil borne it hits the tubers first and then the haulms just wilt as the plant dies.

Click on the button for a Blight Fact-File that I have on my main allotment site. When I have time I'll transfer the info. to the 'Gardening Wisdoms' section of the Chat-Shed.

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wonky

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Re: Poorly potato Dunluce
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2015, 11:52:41 PM »

I didn't see anything when the 1st earlies were dug up but about 2 weeks ago did notice that the haulms on the 2nd earlies and first row of main crop were looking blighted so immediately cut them all off and dug the 2nd earlies out last weekend. Today I took a look at the last 2 rows of main crop potatoes and they were also beginning to show signs of blight so all the remaining haulms have been removed as well. Guess I will be lifting the main crop this weekend as well. So far it just seems to be the Dunluce where the tubers have been affected - fingers crossed!
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lottieguy

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Re: Poorly potato Dunluce
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2015, 10:41:14 AM »

Hi Ya, I was under the impression that blight was airborne and liked damp conditions. We have been lucky here though I have had a chap ask why some of his spuds went pop when he lifted them like a balloon. I put that down to blight on a main crop so I have always grown 1st earlies. Would there of been tell tale signs on the foliage? I always thought the foliage got hit and the rain washed it into the soil and onto the tubers. I did advise a fellow plotter past year who asked me what the brown was on the leaves and I told them blight so cut the leaves off and leave foe a week before lifting. As it was early stages they got away with it and had some lovely spuds. Oh well you live and learn.
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Big Gee

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Re: Poorly potato Dunluce
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2015, 12:20:48 PM »

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Hi Ya, I was under the impression that blight was airborne and liked damp conditions. We have been lucky here though I have had a chap ask why some of his spuds went pop when he lifted them like a balloon. I put that down to blight on a main crop so I have always grown 1st earlies. Would there of been tell tale signs on the foliage? I always thought the foliage got hit and the rain washed it into the soil and onto the tubers. I did advise a fellow plotter past year who asked me what the brown was on the leaves and I told them blight so cut the leaves off and leave foe a week before lifting. As it was early stages they got away with it and had some lovely spuds. Oh well you live and learn.

Blight is a complex fungal disease. Sure you can contract blight on a previously 'clean' plot by microscopic spores being carried by the wind often over great distances and landing on your potato haulms. This is how blight spreads. Those spores have originated where an infected plant has produced spores & they've been blown elsewhere by the wind. Under the right conditions (humid, dull & warm) they infect a healthy plant and the process continues it's cycle.

Oospores from an infected plant also enter the soil, which is then contaminated. Reservoirs of potential blight spores accumulate where dumps of infected potatoes are left. They then later sprout and the cycle continues as the next generation of spores are produced by those infected tubers. That's why it's SO important that blighted haulms and tubers are totally destroyed - by burning. It's pathetic to see the number of allotment growers that leave heaps of infected haulms to rot in heaps on their plots. A sure source of future blight outbreaks, not only on the allotment site but possibly many miles away in a field of potatoes. Commercial potato growers are not 'happy bunnies' over that!

Volunteer potatoes are another source of blight spore production. That's why it's so important to remove every last tuber when lifting your crop - as if left in the ground and given the chance to grow again the following season they can become the source of very early outbreaks of blight.

As I say it's a complex disease, and when you start delving into the pathogens involved it becomes even more complicated. The genetic population of the pathogen is ever changing. Until the 1970s in Britain there was only one mating type. New findings have shown that a new dominant strain, called blue 13, is more aggressive and fitter than most other strains. The Potato Council is conducting new research to identify the differences between strains and the possibility of these strains mating to give oospores, which are a third type of P. infestans spore. These are thick-walled spores that can survive in soils over long periods.  It's an ever increasing problem and a depressing one for us gardeners.

Fun isn't it?  ::)

You can download the Potato Council's 'Gardener's Advice' brochure that will explain it all to you. Just click on the button:

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Regarding the tubers - as you quaintly put bit, that "went pop", They were probably tubers that had been infected by blight and then became susceptible to a secondary weak bacterial infection that breaks down the cells inside the tuber - they usually ooze a creamy coloured gunge once the skin in puncured (they also stink to high heaven!)


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Westheathdave

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Re: Poorly potato Dunluce
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2015, 03:50:19 PM »

 spf:-(  Oh dear Lottieguy that is terrible news, oh dear what a blow, have to keep vigilant next year and hope you can catch it early if it happens again next year.  Angry:-{
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wonky

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Re: Poorly potato Dunluce
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2015, 09:32:13 PM »

Had a little bit of a bonfire today and destroyed all the haulms and a few other bits n pieces so feeling very righteous at the moment! Just have to lift the main crop but hopefully they will be fine.
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Big Gee

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Re: Poorly potato Dunluce
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2015, 10:23:11 PM »

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Had a little bit of a bonfire today and destroyed all the haulms and a few other bits n pieces so feeling very righteous at the moment! Just have to lift the main crop but hopefully they will be fine.

Good for you Wonky. That's the way - I hope all the others on your site are as sensible as you.
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Big Gee

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Re: Poorly potato Dunluce
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2015, 10:33:13 PM »

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spf:-(  Oh dear Lottieguy that is terrible news, oh dear what a blow, have to keep vigilant next year and hope you can catch it early if it happens again next year.  Angry:-{

Ahem! I don't think it's lottieguy that had the problem Dave, but a 'fellow plotter'.

As sure as God made little green apples it will hit again next year, like it has for many years now. The disturbing thing is it's starting to come earlier than usual, so even sticking to earlies doesn't help that much. Trouble is, you can't store 'new potatoes' for the winter.

It's just down to a disease management strategy really. It's become part of life now when it comes to spuds. Not many allotment growers manage to dodge it. It's not a question of IF it will strike, but WHEN - the later the better of course.
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Poppa Tommo

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Re: Poorly potato Dunluce
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2015, 07:55:01 AM »

It's all very depressing really. Just about every gardening book and journal insist that, as Gee says, we remove every last one from the plot, NEVER use save overs from last year's crop. Only use tested, blight free seed  potato from a reputable seedsman.

There are always the few who think they are smart when they break this rule and then it is always they who protest their innocence loudest and try and blame someone, or something, else.

There might be hope on the horizon, though. As with the delicious, blight free tomatoes (same family as potatoes), Crimson Crush, that I have grown this year, I am sure that work is being done to get the relevant genes into our wonderful but humble spud ( no, not you Mick ).

By the way, I've just put a load of Crimson Crush saved seed in the jar for fermenting so there will be some up for grabs if anyone wants some. I highly recommend them.
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Big Gee

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Re: Poorly potato Dunluce
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2015, 11:44:48 PM »

That's an interesting point you make Tommo. Tomtoes & potatoes being of the same family could indeed have a common gene that could be introduced to reduce blight infection (we're not talking GM crops here, although a GM variety of blight resistant tomato has been released in the US, but I'm not happy with GM crops, besides the regulations in Europe prohibit GM crops).

There are of course already available so called blight resistant varieties of potatoes that have been bred from plants that appear to have a higher degree of immunity, most of these originating from varieties found naturally in Eastern Europe - more prominently Hungary. Alas no tubers are yet totally blight resistant. There are many varieties around that claim to be blight resistant but the new strain of the disease, known as Blue 13, has changed that.  Varieties that had shown reasonable resistance are now far more vulnerable.

The Sárvári family from the Lake Balaton region in Hungary have been breeding potatoes for high resistance to late blight for over 40 years.  Breeding started when Dr Sárvári Snr was director of Keszthely Research Institute (now University of Pannonia Georgikon Faculty of Agriculture, Potato Research Centre).  His Soviet bosses wanted a hardy strain of potatoes for growing across the USSR which would survive the ravages of climate and disease.

 Using South American and Mexican wild potato material from the Vavilov collection, genes conferring resistance to common viruses (including PVX, PVY, PLRV) were soon bred into his stocks. Resistance to late-blight disease took a little longer but eventually, exceptionally high resistance was achieved.  The breeding was continued privately by Dr Sárvári and his wife.

The good work continues with sons Dr István Sárvári Jnr., Dr Balázs Sárvári and their mother, Dr M. Sárvári.  Promising new clones are sent to the Sárvári Research Trust (in Bangor North Wales) to allow them to be finally selected for commercialization.

The only downside I have found is that these 'blight resistant' strains are not of the same palatable standard as the spuds we have come to recognise and enjoy.

For more info. check out the
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Interestingly Tig (Brenda) one of the growers on our allotment site tried the heralded practice of watering her tomato plants with a water solution containing asprin this year. Indeed her tomatoes do seem much healthier than usual. Another one worth exploring perhaps?

I would like a pinch of seeds from that Crimson Crush Tommo, will you save some for me please? Thanks.
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