How to avoid blight? By growing blight-resistant Potatoes
The dreaded blight. Every grower’s worst nightmare.
Even if you are new to growing potatoes, you will have no doubt heard about blight. Stories of entire crops being decimated abound, but with a little planning, you can reduce the risk of this happening to you by growing some of the best blight-resistant potatoes.
Potato and tomato blight (late blight) is a disease caused by a fungus-like organism that spreads rapidly in the foliage and tubers or fruit of potatoes and tomatoes in wet weather, causing collapse and decay.
Some summers are worse than others and it is most common in wet weather. While we can’t control the good old British Weather, we can control what we plant. No variety is completely blight-proof, however modern potato varieties are bred to be more blight resistant and independent trials bare this out. We have the official results on each of our variety pages. Here are some of our best blight-resistant potatoes. Vitabella – a first early waxy, Sarpo Mira – a main crop floury and Gatsby – an early Main floury. This list is by no means definitive and you can search all our varieties by blight resistance.
The Best Blight Resistant Potatoes – Vitabella
Vitabella is high blight resistance variety with long harvest window and excellent storage capability. It produces great flavoured light yellow oval tubers, with yellow flesh. Perfect for boiling and chipping.
Another great blight resistant Potato – Sarpo Mira
Renowned by many for its resistance to late blight and even blight recovery, this red skinned tuber is oval in shape with pale flesh. High yielding and long storage capacity makes this both a grower and cooker favourite. The original Sarpo and still the most widely known.
This potato variety has been awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit because it has proved to be reliable in appropriate conditions and a good performing plant. For more information on RHS Award of Garden Merit plants visit .rhs.org.uk/plants
The Best Blight Resistant Potatoes – Gatsby
It is a cross between Saxon and Valor with high resistance to dry rot and powdery scab. Gatsby has long oval tubers with white skin and cream flesh. It produces a high yield of tubers and it is an ideal baking variety.
How to avoid blight? By growing Early Potatoes!
Blight generally occurs later in the summer and another way to avoid this is to grow “early” potatoes. The term “early” refers to the length of time for the crop to mature. If you plant some earlies in March or April then they will be ready to harvest in around 10-12 weeks and hopefully before the blight arrives.
Don’t be put off!
The main thing to note is that if you like a variety with low blight resistance, go for it! Experimentation is what growing your own vegetables is all about. Blight usually travels from the leaves to the tubers and so if spotted early enough, you can still harvest your potatoes by removing the leaves as soon as you see any signs of blight. Depending on when they were planted there should be something there. The yield and the individual tubers smaller but still delicious! A great example of a variety with low blight resistance is Lumpers which is infamously connected to blight and crop failures on a large scale in Ireland however on the plus side it is a great potato for poor soil and tastes wonderful.
This list is just some suggestions for you. However, you can browse all the earlies and our entire blight resistant varieties. We have lots of information to help you chose which potato to grow, as well as a great FAQ on how to grow potatoes. We are here to help at any time with your potato questions.