The Agricultural Magazine and Journal of Scientific Farming (1846) Page 65.

SOOT FOR POTATOES.
J. Prideaux.

Not at all agreeing with those who advise a decrease in the cultivation of the potatoe, I still think it unnecessary to occupy your columns with arguments for its continuance; believing that its importance will be too much felt in practice, to admit any great danger of its being neglected. A far more desirable object appears to me the restoration of its health and hardiness.

The history of the potato disease, from its first appearance, a hundred years ago, is that of an increasing tendency to putrefaction and decay; and what else could have been expected from a plant, set year after year, with its cut faces in contact with fresh or fermenting dung, the juices of which, thus mix with those of the plant, crop after crop. What other vegetable has been subjected to such putrefactive treatment?

The obvious remedy appears to be, antiputrescent dressings. And how have these answered, where tried?

Peat is eminently antiseptic; and potatoes grown in peat, how little, comparatively, they have suffered; and how highly they have been esteemed for seed, for the greater part of a century! Next, those grown on Stinchcombe farm, from soot, (described in Morton's treatise on soils), where they grow their own seed successfully for thirty years. Even last year, when the rot was at the worst, see Mr. Barnes's small experiments, reported in Johnson's Gardeners' Almanac, where potatoes dressed with soot and charred refuse, both antiseptic, turned out mostly sound (and still continued so at the last report), whilst with all other dressings they took the rot. But if soot is the most promising remedy for the present potato disease in this country, it is also to be had more abundantly here than elsewhere; so that it may be used freely (say twenty bushels per acre, with the requisite inorganic salts,) especially where growing for seed, for which purpose peaty and high ground should be preferred; and thus we may reasonably hope that the tendency to decay would be thrown off much faster, with the help of vital action, than it has been brought on, by the admixture of putrescent dung juice with the sap of the plant. It is needless to occupy your columns with reasoning that has been already several times repeated. The principle is simply the application of antiseptic dressings to remedy the tendency to putrefaction.