Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Tuesday 24 June 2008

Question about blight on the INEBG forum

A friend on the INEBG forum has posted up a question about possible signs of blight on her early spuds....

and I ( and others) have replied, suggesting possible reasons for what she is seeing...

I have said I don't think it IS blight and that I think it is Magnesium deficiency...

I have posted a reply with some hopefully helpful information on how to help with suspected mineral deficiencies! Suprise, suprise, the best way is to apply COMPOST!

Manganese and iron deficiencies are quite common! Yellow leaves (known as chlorosis) and browning are a good indicator that hese two are lacking. Hard water can cause this! ( thats my problem here.....) or planting acid loving plants in less acidic soil....

You can acidify soil or you can get sprays of manganese sulphate....but thats more for commercial growers I think!

I think this might be Magnesium deficiency as you get this kind of discolouration from that...and THAT can be caused by acid soils, sandy-textured soils or using lots of chemical fertilisers

BUT also lots of rain can wash out magnesium AND soil compaction can cause it to be less well taken up than normal...which we have certainly had the first one here...and I have a similar thing with the bottom leaves on some of my earlies....

A treatment could be to apply magnesium sulphate (Epsom salts), to the soil or as a foliar spray to remedy a lack of magnesium.

Not enough calcium causes blossom end rot in tomato and pepper fruit or bitter pit in apples. This is not a lack of the element more not enough in the right place so to get it moving increase ventilation ( inside) and regular watering helps here.

BUT ( surprise surprise.. .)Most element "lacks" can be solved by improving the quality of the soil structure with added compost.. ..and stuff like bonemeal/wood ash/Hoofmeal etc can help, also...( but not for you the bonemeal I guess!)

Seaweed adds back all the trace elements needed...so how about that??

You can get liquid seaweed in the OGC...use as a feed to water it on...also comfrey tea...

manure tea is good also?

I have picked off and burned the offending leaves on my earlies...and am watching them closely......

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