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.