Onions, Potatoes and Organic or Chemical Control

Sorting Potatoes

Last years potato crop are reaching the end and Val spent the sunny afternoon sorting through them. One sack for us, which will carry us through until this years crop arrives and one sack for the compost heap. Plus the parsnips stored in peat are trying hard to grow and have gone soft so to the heap with them as well.

Digging and Rotovating

The patch by the beans on plot 5 that I cleared recently needed turning so got the Merry Tiller to work. Unfortunately it just bounced along the surface so it was back to digging over. 150 square feet of heavy clay by hand in the heat worked up a bit of a sweat. At first the tiller kept running away over the surface then I realised I hadn’t lowered the rear skid. That helped a lot and I ran over the patch about 4 times so it”s pretty well broken down into a reasonable tilth.

Onions, Blight, Chemical or Organic?

I?ve mentioned the weird yellowing and dieback problem with the onions. I?m not the only one on the site – one chap seems to be losing his shallots and so I called John Carver who is a vegetable show judge and chair of our district association of the National Vegetable Society. His suggestion is Dithane 945 spray. So, do I lose at least half of my onions and possibly all or try a chemical spray? After some thinking, I decided to spray. It was a hard choice but I think justified in the circumstances.

There is also a blight spreading across the site?s potatoes. Some people are badly affected although I?m clear as yet. So I sprayed my potatoes (except the Sarpo, which are near enough 100% resistant) as well as a preventative.

The ‘organic? spray is Bordeaux mixture but that is copper sulphate based so I?m not sure that?s any safer really.

Oh well, I?ll probably lose the onions anyway the way this year?s going.

Pretty tired after the digging, but it might make me fit. I?m afraid we?re beyond keeping fit

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