Monday, May 8, 2017

Potato blight?

A few days ago, I noticed what looked to me like early blight on one of my potato plants.  I removed the leaves and sprayed the plant with some organic neem oil spray.  If I have a crop failure, it won't affect my livelihood, nor will I go hungry, but I did pause to think about commercial growers or people who are feeding their families on what they can grow themselves.  Yesterday, I saw one other leaf on that plant that was affected.  I removed it this morning.

One article I read about early blight said, "Despite the name "early," foliar symptoms usually occur on older leaves."  I got a chuckle out of that.  That sounds like something a plant pathologist would say.  A farmer or gardener, on the other hand, might call it early blight if it generally appeared early in the growing season.
I did notice on another plant (in the second potato bed), some black curled edges on a new leaf.  I'm not sure what that was, but I removed the leaf and sprayed with neem oil.
Overall the potato plants look pretty good, I think.  I mounded the soil around each plant, added more compost (and a little 10-10-10 since I'm only "mostly organic"), and then added some mulch in the form of some of last year's stilt grass that was growing in an untended area.

The problem I have coming up, though, is that I have no suitable place to store the potatoes.  My folks always store theirs in the cinderblock building that houses the well.  It's in a shady area with a concrete floor, so it's not too hot in the summer and doesn't freeze in the winter, and it's dark.
One might think a crawl space would be good, but ours is susceptible to flooding.


  1. I have never grown a potato but have seen a few, those hills look good to me.
    Driving thru Idaho I kept thinking their barns were under ground. The tractors would go down into a barn that you could see only the roof. I thought it was because of tornadoes at first, then realized that is where they stored the potatoes. (I'm a little slow!)

  2. PS: They were harvesting with potato diggers. Now that is one dirty job, the dirt and dust around the unit was THICK!

  3. We plany out potatoes in containers. Since there are only two of us, we do three containers and they provide plenty of taters for us.
    We love them.