The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Blight prevention

Pulled up potato plantsOnce you've been gardening in an area for a while, you'll start seeing volunteer vegetables.  Unless they're impinging on the space of a beloved crop, I often leave volunteers at least for a while, as a sort of insurance against catastrophe in other parts of the garden.  But Mom reminded me that blight overwinters in left behind potatoes, and that my volunteers are vectors of infection.  Oops!  I ripped out those volunteers as fast as I could, hoping I hadn't let the blight loose on our farm again.

On the other hand, I've also read that the blight can overwinter in weedy nightshades, which we have several of around the farm.  In the spring, the spores can travel several miles through the air, infecting all potatoes and tomatoes in their path.  There's no way I can destroy all of the nightshades even on our farm, so I'm just hoping that the blight control measures I've put into place will be enough to protect my tomatoes.

Too much water is bad in the spring, but is never a problem in the chicken coop.  Keep your chickens well hydrated with a homemade chicken waterer.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Perhaps you could explain weedy nightshades to some of us who don't know what they are.
Comment by zimmy Wed May 19 11:25:35 2010
My mom just asked me the exact same question. I guess I know what I'm going to post about tomorrow! :-)
Comment by anna Wed May 19 11:46:33 2010
I have so much to learn -- thanks for this info on blight!
Comment by Emily on the Southern Prairie Thu May 20 10:55:58 2010
I think we have a lot to learn too. So far, eliminating the blight feels a lot like guesswork.
Comment by anna Thu May 20 14:15:48 2010

Hi Guys,

I came across this video on pruning tomatoes today and thought you may like the info as well. It makes good sense and may help with blight. I just did this to my own tomatoes today. We will see if it is true. They look like small palm trees now :0. Here is the link.

Not sure if I signed in correctly as it has changed.


Comment by id [] Fri May 21 19:52:30 2010
Thanks for sharing! We're not to the bloom stage yet, but that does seem to make a lot of sense --- I never thought about removing those lowest leaves since they tend to be the wettest.
Comment by anna Fri May 21 20:12:05 2010

Dear Anna

I couldn't help getting some Peruvian Purple Potatoes recently. Now I am wondering are these purple potatoes blight resistant regarding late blight and tomatoes?

Comment by Maggie Mon Feb 27 14:45:23 2017

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