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The Editor's Tutorial

.Autumn

  In order for the tuber to build up it's resources in preparation for dormancy it requires recharging, think of it as a battery.
   Yellowing of the leaves will indicate that the plant is starting to die back, it does not mean that it can be abandoned for the season.

 
 
Towards the end of September all remaining flowers should be removed and the growing tips pinched out, as the leaves yellow and fall watering is reduced.

Excelsior

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Mildew is a frequent visitor at this time of year, spray with a fungicide.
Remove all late flowers and pinch out the growing tips. Gradually reduce watering but do not allow the compost to dry out. A late feed of high potash fertilizer will assist in ripening the tuber.

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Stem rot is another problem that may well be encountered in the autumn, particularly if plants have been bunched together after flowering to give more room for the season's cuttings.
Treat affected areas with green sulphur powder.

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As leaves yellow and fall gradually reduce watering further until when only the stem is left the compost is almost, but not completely, dry.

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By late Autumn only the odd stems will remain and soon the tubers can be harvested.  Once the stem has fallen I remove the compost that was added earlier in the season as a top dressing.  The tuber then remains in it's pot for two or three more weeks to allow the skin to ripen.

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