Welcome to our plot!

I'm Hazel, and in Nov 2006 my friend Jane and I took on a half plot at Hill Allotments, Sutton Coldfield - we want the satisfaction of growing and eating our own fruit and veg, and to improve our diet (and fitness!).

This is the story of what happened next...........

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Warning - Scenes of Carnage Ahead!

I'm afraid that tonight’s trip to the Hill brought no better news on the blight front – in fact the tomatoes were a real disaster zone. The potatoes looked somewhat less devastated, but still with some signs of blight infection.

I saw rhubarb Brian as I got the green bags & secateurs out the car to start the grim task of chopping down the tomatoes. “Oh, they look terrible,” he said accurately, but unhelpfully. I nodded, “I’m worried about the potatoes too – they look to have started with blight as well”. He came to have a look & said dismissively “Ach – but mine look like that!”

I give him a quick lesson in potato blight and its catastrophic consequences, citing the Irish potato famine of the mid 1800’s, & the subsequent starvation of the about a quarter of the population. Spread a little happiness, eh?

I finished chopping down & bagging the tomatoes – I don’t want to put infected greenery in the compost bin – & started on chopping the potato foliage down to the ground, which should stop blight spreading down to the tubers. I think they should be ok - the stems still look good.

I’ve read that you should leave the potatoes safe underground for a couple of weeks so that they don’t pick up blight spores from the surface of the soil, so although I had thought to dig up the last of the second early osprey potatoes to get them safely away, I’ve left them cuddled up where they are for the time being.

I was cheered up enormously once I'd stopped being the Grim Reaper & started picking some wonderful FRENCH BEANS (emperor of russia & triomphe de farcy) & a COURGETTE (yellow golden), which were delicous for tea when I got home.


  1. Oh Hazel - how horrible, I have had that feeling for the past 3 years now and am beginning to consider buying tomatoes from the supermarket next year!

  2. Yes, Clare, it's a bugger, isn't it? I'm yet to have much in the way of tomatoes - although the ones in 10l buckets at home in the courtyard are still looking fine...at the moment!
    *touches wood

  3. Are you more susceptible to blight at a lottie because of proximity to other plants, maybe some folk put infected stuff in compost, etc?

  4. Yes, Bilbo, I think that is a contibutary factor - although, growing miles from anyone else hasn't helped Clare...


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