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my potato plant leaves are going black is it serious or not



Yep, serious as it gets, Chris. It sounds as if they have blight, not unexpected in this wet summer. We have the same; I am cutting the infected stems down to the ground and getting rid of them to the council landfill, not compost. This is to try and stop the blight getting down to the tubers. The downside is that once the stems hae been cut the tubers won't get any larger and may not store as well as expected. It is not that you have done anything wrong, just the weather conditions so try to salvage what you can.

4 Aug, 2012


Although I agree with you Bulba it's this bit that worries me;

Quote; getting rid of them to the council landfill

I always do the same with my " diseased" plant material, but now that recycling is taking off, I am wondering if it is the right thing to do?

I watched a documentary on the subject on TV and the "bragging rights" of the compost producer was;

"It only takes six weeks from the gardener putting his/her rubbish in the skip until it is bagged up for resale!"

OK the Producer showed the compost heap as a big steaming heap but " six weeks" that's seems a very short time to me?

Now I don't doubt that a lot of the disease is taken care of by the great heat developed but I am not sure if it ALL will be, particularly in such a short time!

What the TV didn't show was the number of times the heap was turned,which I am sure it was,but even if this was 'many times' there is always the potential for the disease people like you and I put into the mix not to be eliminated, meaning we potentially buy back diseased compost!

So as I see it , and have seen, for the last two or three years, the "compost issue" is a minefield!

I have heard through the grape vine that a major supplier is being taken to court for selling "diseased" compost

What grieves me is ; some of the very people who have always advised you in the past (e.g.The RHS for one) to;

NOT put your diseased plant material into your compost heap( the reason you and I do as we do)

are indirectly encouraging you to just do that by putting it into the "municiple compost heaps"

The mind boggles!

I could go on and say a lot more on this subject, such are my feelings on the subject, but I will stop here for now, but I am sure this subject will arise regularly in future!

4 Aug, 2012


I am worried also, Teegee, about this municiple composting thing. We now have an extra bin from the council for green waste and 'waste food'! We are told to put all green and cooked food, including meat, into their composting bin. I refuse to put cooked food or meat into ours but I am sure that most people in the area do as asked. The Soil Association, Garden Organic and DEFRA are all looking at the regulation of composting and what is supplied to gardeners but 'peat free' is all they seem to hear. As a peat free gardener I find this all very problematic.

4 Aug, 2012

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