2021 – A bad year for blight

A supposedly resistant tomato variety showing bad signs of blight in its stem.

The extended periods of rain and cool weather we had in June and part of July have helped blight spread quickly throughout the allotments this year, badly affecting both potatoes and tomatoes. For some of the non-resistant varieties of tomato, such as ‘Gardeners Delight’, this has meant having to pull up whole plants, while even some of the more resistant varieties, such as ‘Mountain Magic’ F1 have needed affected areas pruned out to keep it from further spreading. Thankfully, we have since had a bit of a heatwave, which should hopefully prevent, or at least slow down, further spread, but it’s worth knowing about a Blightwatch Service that monitors incidences and spread of blight throughout the country.

The Blightwatch service is available to all users free of charge and you can register for the service by going to the ‘Join Blightwatch’ section on their homepage by providing a name, email address and up to 10 postcode regions that you would like to receive alerts for.

Sadly, there are very few ways of controlling blight, other than ensuring good crop rotation and cutting out affected parts of plants. Let’s hope next year is better!

Published by Nick

A plotholder on Craven Vale Allotment since 2010. I'm particularly proud of my expanding vineyard, which in a good year creates litres and litres of red and white wine! I love our site for the fabulous views over the sea and Downs, as well as the wealth of wildlife that can be found here. It really is a bit of countryside in the heart of the city. I feel very lucky to have my plot.

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