Soil Problems?

Harvesting and preserving your fruit & veg

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snooky
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Soil Problems?

Postby snooky » Wed Nov 10, 2021 11:49 am

I grew three varieties of potato this season.Rocket,poor yield;Charlotte,good yield and clean;Desiree,good yield but scabby.Reading Dr.Hessayon"Vegetable Expert" it seems that Desiree are very susceptible to scab disease and there is no treatment.Shame because I like the Desiree potato and they were very scabby.Or it may be that it was just that part of the plot as it was in the lower half of the plot on the opposite side to where I grew potatoes last year and they were scabby too but not as bad as this years.
My crop of Parsnips,Hollow Crown,have a bad bout bout of Canker.Of what I have pulled so far about a third to half have been badly affected by it,The Parsnips were sown in the same part of the plot as the potatoes,next crop down as a matter of fact.I've checked Dr. Hessayon and read other Gardening books and Googled to find out whether or not the two diseases are linked but no answer to the problem.
I am given to understand that the soil which I am growing in is topsoil which was imported to make up the, now gone,so-called raised beds and am told that it was between 10 and 20 tons put into these beds.The soil is very light,sandy and gritty but fortunately I can make about a ton of compost/leafmould every year so by incorporating it I am hoping it might help solve any problems.The Ph is,home testing, 6.5 and that is a good mark for growing vegetables but I might give the plot a heavy liming this year to see if it will "sweeten" the soil.
Only second year growing on this plot so I am still learning about it.I had my plots in Cardiff for over 30 years so I knew where(and rotating) I could plant crops and get the best yields but it still took me about five years to "learn"where and what I should do to get best results.
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oldherbaceous
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Re: Soil Problems?

Postby oldherbaceous » Thu Nov 11, 2021 5:43 pm

Good evening Snooky, as far as i’m aware, Potato scab and Parsnip canker are two different diseases…I don’t get Potato scab but, I have always suffered with Parsnip canker and that’s despite trying them on different allotments….some years are a lot worse than others and early sowing seems to make it worse too!
Lime and wood ash can trigger Potato scab off but, this normally only happens when the ph gets above 7, so you could make things worse by liming heavily.
I think it may well be the sandy soil that is causing the scab problem so, your compost/leafmould should help hugely to reduce the problem….hope this helps a little.
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Re: Soil Problems?

Postby Primrose » Thu Nov 11, 2021 7:53 pm

May not help your rotational problems Snooky but certainly I find parsnip canker seemed to happen more with me when the soil was continually too moist. I don't have much experience growing potatoes. I can only suggest you perhaps lime one part of the plot only and try growing your potatoes in two different locations so you can compare the results grown in limed and unlimed areas.

This year has seen heavy rainfall in a lot of areas and of course it may have been heavy moisture levels which have caused your problem rather than the soil composition itself. Every year we start off again in unknown territory - the soil can be in perfect condition but if the weather,s against you, you can still end up with damaged crops and a poor harvest unfortunately. I certainly suspect that too moist conditions can encourage diseases like canker to develop and spread.
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Re: Soil Problems?

Postby snooky » Fri Nov 12, 2021 4:45 pm

Thank you OH and Primrose for your comments and observations.I realise now that my writing of heavy liming of my plot was a silly statement and that we have moved on from"old school gardening".I shall most certainly keep putting the leaf mould/compost onto the area where I intend growing potatoes next season but will try an area with lime as per your suggestion ,Primrose,as a bit of an experiment.I shall also try a scab resistant variety of potato as well.
As for the Canker,OH,it is probably in the ground and I'll not be able to do much about it other than sow later than usual and if the weather is a factor hope for a drier year.
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Re: Soil Problems?

Postby oldherbaceous » Sat Nov 13, 2021 8:59 am

Some varieties of Parsnips are a lot more resistant than others, Snooky….but I do make a rod for my own back, as I always grow the free packets of Parsnip seed, that appear from various sources…. :)

I’m sure if you grow a scab resistant Potato, this will help hugely,
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