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Growing pains: What's with the dud spuds?

PUBLISHED: 13:44 13 September 2010 | UPDATED: 17:49 20 February 2013

Jayne Lindill's taters are in tatters down on the allotment

Jayne Lindill's taters are in tatters down on the allotment

Whats going on with potatoes? For two years now Ive carefully selected my seed potatoes high quality, double certified from reputable suppliers only to be disappointed.
Last year, most of my crop was attacked by blight and this year things are not much different.
I got the earlies and most of the second earlies out of the ground just in time, but my main crop is a sad affair. The plants keeled over weeks ago and while the tubers are sort of okay, the yield is poor and the spuds are small. I suspect they stopped growing once the tops died off.
Im not alone fellow allotment holders are in the same blight er plight. So if anyone can shed any light on blight and how to prevent it, Id love to hear from you.
Meanwhile, other crops are doing nicely. Were enjoying sweet carrots, some excellent beetroot, tender runner beans, kale, red and savoy cabbages.
My sweetcorn is struggling a bit the cobs look promising, but theyre slow to develop. We could be eating them in October at this rate.
And the less said about courgettes the better. Memo to self: plant two plants only next year to avoid glut of giant marrows.
One of the most enjoyable things about running an allotment is planning what youre going to grow and as the summer crops come to an end I start to map out the plot for next year. Of course theres a lot of hard work in between digging, clearing up and composting but its all part of the fun (oh yes it is).
Ive decided to allocate quite a bit of space to perennials next year the kind of plants that attract bees and insects, which will help pollination and provide some cut flowers for home.
I already started this year with some lavender, little self-sown seedlings which I harvested from home in spring and popped into one end of the allotment. After a warm summer I now have the beginnings of a lavender hedge, which, come spring, will be alive with bees and ladybirds.
Now theres a thought to get me through winter . . .


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