This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Friday, July 03, 2009

wet July potato plants

rain guage potato leaf spots 1
potato leaf spots 8 potato leaf spots 2

My rain gauge says almost 4 inches of rain in the past week! Wow!

After reading about Late Blight in the news letter from Piccadilly Farm (my post from yesterday), I took a close look this evening at my potato plants. They look great overall, but there are a few nasty leaf spots here and there. I suppose it could be late blight starting in my patch.

I'm planning to start my potato harvest this weekend. Most of my varieties have finished blooming and are fruiting already. (Love those cute little potato fruits! photo below) A good time to start digging early potatoes. Especially the Fingerlings (volunteers from last year in my path), Red Norlands, and Red Golds. I'll leave the Russets and Green Mountains a while yet.

potato fruit
This is a POTATO fruit!

I also checked on my tomato plants today, which are also susceptible to late blight and other wet weather problems. They seem fine. No moldy spots. A few yellowing lower leaves that I removed. Lots of weeds I pulled and lots of sucker growth I removed. (Several of my Opalka plants seemed to be especially yellow on the lower leaves.) Overall OK. The plants are about 2-4 feet tall now. Flowers, but no signs of any fruit yet.

potatoes (Solanum tuberosum)
late blight (Phytophthora infestans)



Blogger vuejardin said...

Too much water can be trouble for tomatoes.

July 03, 2009 11:21 PM

Blogger AnnF said...

My potatoes haven't shown any signs of blooming yet - well the ones that were planted properly. The ones I just left on top of an old planter are flowering.

July 04, 2009 12:41 AM

Blogger Matron said...

I'm on blight watch here too. At the first sign I am going to cut all the foliage off my potatoes whether they are ready or not! I'll just leave them in the soil till I need them.

July 04, 2009 4:49 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, Kathy, the grass is always greener ... we've had less than 2 inches of rain since January 1 - too bad we can't share! Yesterday started at 89 degrees and topped out at 107. My tomatoes are tired of all the heat but I'm still getting strawberries (they live under the lemon tree).
Happy Fourth!
- Daisy and Pixie in Arizona

July 04, 2009 10:39 AM

Blogger Dan said...

I badly need to prune my tomatoes too. I wasn't going to this year but they are so thick I don't think I would find half the tomatoes. I am also experiencing poor growth on my paste tomatoes, I am growing jersey devils.

On the topic of potato fruits, Vegetable Heaven has sown seed from last years fruit and they look like they will produce tubers in the first year. Here are some links:

July 04, 2009 2:10 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Great idea Dan. I think I'll collect a bunch of potato fruits for seeding next year. Probably easier to store than the tubers (since I'd eat them).

July 04, 2009 6:18 PM

Blogger Wayne Stratz said...

I am quite uncertain that next year will bring the perfect amount of rain for all our plants. hang in there.

July 04, 2009 9:53 PM

Blogger Kelly said...

I was in horror when I went outside for a garden check yesterday, something nasty has hit half od my potatoes too, BAD! I think blight or wilt maybe. I have been at the beach enjoying the sun and am now afraid it is too far gone, that will teach me to never ignore the garden for a week staright again!

July 05, 2009 9:53 AM

Blogger kathy said...

Kelly that sounds terrible. But the beach sounds great!

July 05, 2009 9:36 PM

Anonymous Patrick said...

It does look like your potatoes are starting to get blight. Better harvest soon...

If you want some of my early tomato seeds let me know. The taste was not the best, but you have the chance to impress everyone in your gardens by having the first tomato, maybe beating others by weeks.

July 06, 2009 10:57 AM

Anonymous Soilman said...

Oo-er... the blight already? Don't usually see it here until late July at the earliest. Is this normal in your neck of the woods, or is it just an unlucky year for you?

July 07, 2009 12:00 PM


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