Late blight comes to north Wales - late.

I can't remember when blight was this late showing its evil intent around here.  We have had quite a few Smith Periods of blight-conducive weather especially down on Pen Llŷn, the Llŷn Peninsula, where the humidity is higher and the nights warmer.  At Henfaes Research Centre on the north coast we have had cold nights, falling below 6C on several occasions recently.  This certainly slows the spread of the blight a lot. So it is not a big surprise that the first outbreak in north Wales is from Pen Llŷn.

I have been checking my normal hot spots - weedy crops and allotment sites where it usually turns up first but all crops have been healthy until now.  I guess there must be a lot more blight around now and it will show up and become widespread only too soon.  The Potato Council map shows the national picture.  It is obvious that few outbreaks of the disease have been noted (only 12 by the end of July) which is much like 2013 and a lot less than the average at this time of year.

I was hoping to assess our new blight-resistant tomato, Crimson Crush, but the plants I set out in the field are pathetic - they stopped growing and the foliage is showing the blue colour due to cold-induced potash deficiency.  I am hoping that the weather improves and the plants recover. However, fruit that was set before planting them out has ripened so it seems to be an early variety but not cold resistant!