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Warwickshire, United Kingdom Gb

Hi everyone,

I have been growing potatoes for the first time this season. Heard lots of scary stories about potato blight and hoped I would be spared. This week I noticed some brown freckles on leaves (more on one variety and almost none on the other). One of the bushes remains unaffected. This weekend I emptied all sacks except for the healthy looking one. Not many tubers but all look good. Is there any chance it was not a potato blight? Can I use used compost from those sacks as mulch or add to my compost bin? It seems a waste to through it away...



'Brown freckles' would only be the very early stage of potato blight, if at all. Potato blight causes large brown spots which turn grey and 'melt' the foliage. It would be very early for potato blight to affect them anyway.

5 Jul, 2010


Thank you for your comment. I just hope that there is another explanation to those brown spots other than knowing that my little garden is now infected. My last potato plant still has no single spot on. All of potato sacks were standing close to each other.

6 Jul, 2010


It probably isn't blight but I would still destroy, by burning and putting in your wheelie bin, all the potato tops. I would also not use the compost again as if it was the beginnings of blight the soil will be infected.

6 Jul, 2010


I agree with MG. I have a photo of potato blight in my photo collection. Page three bottom row, there is one pic of a tomato with the dreaded stuff and another of potatoes. Check these out and if it looks anything like them then get rid of everything that was in contact with the plants. (The soil, the plants themselves and the sacks!) DO NOT ADD TO YOUR COMPOST HEAP as it can survive in the soil for years!

6 Jul, 2010


Thank you everyone. Ian, spots on my potatoes didn't look like stuff on your pictures. There were a lot of them but they were spots that by themselves didn't change. Never mind, I am eating saved potatoes now whatever it was. Also wanted to ask. Potato plants were very tall - about 80 cm above the soil level and that was after I filled sacks with compost to the top. Maybe the compost was too rich so plants put all energy into foilage? I only followed the advice supplied with potato planters. Did I have to use soil rather than compost?

6 Jul, 2010


If they were main crop potatoes and you lifted them early then there would not have been a lot on them. Had they even flowered?

6 Jul, 2010


I had 3 varieties - Swift, Charlotte and Vivaldi. 2 of them have already flowered and on one plant there was even a green berry. Third variety didn't have buds yet but when I emptied one of the planters with that sort the result was more impressive in terms of the size and number of tubers than the early ones

6 Jul, 2010


I think it was just that you emptied them early, also I feel the yield is lower in containers than the open ground in any case. Particularly if it is a dry summer.

6 Jul, 2010

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