Monday, 12 September 2016

The Dreaded Blight

After moving house last year I ended up with three tomato plants which I planted in a big container out on the patio. Without much care or attention we enjoyed a good crop, a mix of varieties but all of them tasted great. This simplicity  restored my faith in growing tomatoes, having suffered blight in previous years I did briefly consider giving them a miss and putting the space to use for something else.

This year started off so promisingly, some Black Russian plants were given to me to add to the Gardeners delights that I had grown from seed myself. Of these the strongest twelve were planted out in grow bags along the back fence in the sunniest part of the garden. Come early July fruit was starting to set and I was beginning to think of all the things I could use them for in the kitchen.

However it wasn't to be. Due to the wet July within the space of a week what I was worried looked like blight on one plant soon engulfed all twelve and drastic action needed to be taken.

If like me you have suffered blight before you know there's no half measures. Any affected foliage needs to be taken away from the site and preferably burned to stop the spores from spreading further.

I do have a brilliant recipe for green tomato and fennel chutney which I was hoping not to make this year, instead I've got another pile of jars full of it. the best of a bad situation I suppose and it is particularly good.

For the past three weeks I have been looking after some cows for a friend who has been abroad on holiday. Not much required, topping up their water, moving them from field to field as the grass gets low, it's actually be a pleasure. By chance whilst showing me around he pointed to greenhouse full of tomatoes asking if could keep them watered and of course help myself to any that ripen while he's away. What a stroke of luck!

So I haven't gone without, just without my own.

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