All that rain could help spread the mold that caused the Irish potato famine

Jennifer Forman Orth alerts us that state officials are on the lookout for late blight disease, a mold that kills both potatoes and tomatoes. She says it's already been spotted in Massachusetts and that people growing either type of plant should watch for it - and report any suspected cases to the state:

Symptoms of late blight include small olive green or brown lesions on the upper surface of the foliage or the stems. Under moist conditions, there is a white, fuzzy growth on the underside of the leaves where the lesions occur, but the absence of this growth does not rule out late blight. Eventually the lesions turn black, leaves start to die, and then the entire plant dies.

The disease is caused by Phytophthora infestans, which killed off much of the Irish potato crop in the 1840s. And guess how it spreads?

[T]hrough splashing rain or wind currents. Spores can disperse from one to several miles from the point of origin, with the infection spreading most efficiently in conditions of high moisture and temperatures ranging from 60° to 80°F.

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    How the ass am I supposed to tell

    By on

    if my plants have that particular brown rotty stuff versus regular old spongy brown rotty patches from being hellaciously overwatered over the past two weeks? MOST of my plants have brown rotty patches right about now.

    (The plants that don't mind water, on the other hand, are ginormous and are about to eat my deck chairs.)

    http://1smootshort.blogspot.com

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    Will look out for it

    My tomatoes are fine and growing like crazy, but they have all these non-ripening fruits. The peppers are the same - big fruits forming, no ripening.

    Then again, they are facing due south on a well-drained hill.

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    Oh No, Not Another Bad Statue?

    By on

    Oh no...does this incessant rain and the possibility of a potato blight hereabouts raise the possibility that we will soon be subjected to ANOTHER bad statue in Downtown Crossing?

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    I hear that the Dublin economy is rocking

    By on

    Perhaps they'd accept refugees fleeing the Boston famine.

    We already have a commemorative statue that we could bring with us as a symbol of our gratitude.

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    going soon, will report back

    I will say that tickets and accomodations are cheaper and easier to book this year, given the economy and the stronger dollar.

    We are headed over soon: I'm going to a conference, the family is coming along. Will report back on whether they can take refugees.

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