Saturday, July 11, 2009

Nooooooooo!

Dean came to me in a panic this morning, showing me this article on a spreading potato blight in the northeast US! This cannot be happening. The diseased plants (tomatoes, mostly - tomatoes and potatoes are from the same family, solanaceae; you can tell by the similarity in their leaves) are being sold in garden centers! We got our seed potatoes from a grower in Alberta, so I'm sure they were healthy, but a diseased plant in someone else's garden could spread widely and infect our plants. We can only hope that it doesn't get this far north, and the plants sold in Canada were clean before they arrived at the garden centers (that's where I got my tomatoes).

It's all due to the UNUSUALLY COLD AND WET summer we're having, as global warming continues to wreak its deadly havoc on the planet.

This confirms a plan I'd been discussing with Dean last week - to switch away from growing potatoes next year. Maybe we'll grow a small patch of them in the Old Garden, with some bins, but I want to give the New Garden a break from growing potatoes, just to ensure that we don't have any potato pathogens incubating in the soil. They say this is best, and we have grown potatoes in the same place 3 years in a row now, so we're tempting Fate a bit already. I think next year we'll try growing corn - the climate is good for it, since there are cornfields all around Ottawa, and the garden is big enough to allow the large plants. It'll be interesting to try something new.

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