Gareth Austin on potato blight
Allison from Stirling asks: My potatoes have suffered from potato blight, although I did get a fairly good crop. Is it safe to sow salad leaves or some winter veg in this soil?
Answer: Hey Allison, the dreaded blight... it's a major problem for many gardeners. The secret with potato blight is to prevent it rather than to seek cure. Quick tips:
- If sowing in ridges, face them narrow end onto the prevailing wind.
- Work in plenty of sulphate of potash or log ash when planting.
- Choose varieties which are blight resistant (look out for 'Orla')
- Only use certified seed.
- Never water the foliage.
- Apply an organic control such as Bordeaux mix regularly from mid-July onwards at fortnightly intervals.
Or be like me and be lazy and just grow 'early' varieties. These are typically harvested before blight is about so you save on a lot of work. In your case, after harvesting you can plant really any other crops as long as there not potatoes - so winter cabbage, salads, and so on are all okay. However, carrots and parsnips will do very well in this soil so I'd plant them.