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Video: Choosing A Potato Variety And Preparing It For Planting
Getting ready for planting potatoes
The last growing season turned out to be extremely unfavorable for potatoes, as a result of which the harvest was not only about 2-3 times less than the previous one, but the seed was laid for storage, to a large extent infected with late blight and bacteriosis.
There are several reasons for this: cold spring during planting, lack of heat during the entire growth and development of plants, epiphytoty of late blight and active development of bacterial soft rot (warm July with sufficient moisture), significant precipitation in July-August (soaking and puffing of tubers). This phenomenon was observed both in the gardens of summer residents and in large seed-growing and farms.
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It is hardly worth hoping that during the coming season it will be possible to quickly rectify the situation with the level of gross harvest of tubers, so many gardeners will have a problem with acquiring good potato planting material.
What practice has shown
Last year I had to simultaneously observe the "behavior" during the growing season of a number of potato varieties in the Pskov and Leningrad regions, therefore, summarizing the observations, I can draw several conclusions. The dry period of the first half of the growing season contributed to the too rapid onset of flowering of adult plants, which significantly affected the yield. The very high-yielding Belarusian variety Skarb, which is widespread in the Pskov region and "penetrating" into our region, turned out to be severely affected by late blight, as a result of which it was significantly inferior in yield to the Charodey variety (north-western selection), which is characterized not only by high resistance to this mycosis, but also resistance to a number of viruses, drought and short-term waterlogging of the soil.
Although in an unfavorable year (and in the Leningrad region a similar phenomenon is observed every 2-3 years), the Charodey still turned out to be the most productive. True, he was seriously attacked by the Colorado potato beetle (especially in the Pskov region), which loves this highly starchy variety. Therefore, I could not fully demonstrate my potential (up to 500-600 kg / weaving).
The nematode-resistant variety Naiada also showed a good yield. It is also considered resistant to viruses, late blight, and relatively resistant to the Colorado potato beetle. This is important, because nematode diseases are becoming more common every year.
The seedlings of the Riddle of Peter cultivar in the first weeks were uneven, but then they leveled off and gave a good harvest in a wet area. However, this variety, when used for 3-4 years, accumulates a lot of viral infection.
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For example, tubers of the Shaman variety are characterized by a long dormant period: for a relatively long time they do not germinate in indoor (warm) conditions. This factor is very important for the residents of St. Petersburg, because many gardeners of the city are forced to keep their crops at home in the first half of winter. But, according to my observations and the observations of many colleagues and friends, this variety requires very careful care (a lot of dressings) and attention, otherwise there will be many very small tubers in the harvest.
Approximately the same requirements are presented by the Skazka variety, which has a beautiful shape and interesting color of tubers. The potential in this variety for the formation of 30-35 tubers in a bush does not always allow turning them into qualitatively full tubers for consumption (especially in dry vegetation). One gets the impression that the early maturity of the variety does not allow to cope with the sufficiently complete maturation of most tubers in the bush. But with favorable soil moisture, good feeding with a solution of complex mineral fertilizer and hilling at the beginning of flowering (the latter method lengthens the growing season of the variety), the gardener increases the chances of getting a decent harvest of tubers of this variety. It is even better if, during this period, foliar feeding is carried out on the tops with a weak solution of organic fertilizer.
But the plants of the susceptible early Dutch variety Latona last summer, the disease literally "mowed down".
The high-yielding variety Zarevo (starch content is 18-25%), which gives a good harvest on loamy soils, tolerates arid vegetation painfully. In this weather, in addition, viral diseases are activated on it.
A comparatively good result this year on a fertilized field (judging by the harvest from their plots) was also shown by the varieties - early Lark, mid-early Elizaveta and Lisetta.
Cooking tubers for planting
I hope that gardeners remember that mid - late April is the time when vernalization of potato tubers begins, which takes up to one and a half months. As a rule, the optimum for planting potatoes is heating the soil to 8 … 10 ° C to a depth of 10 cm (according to the popular calendar, the beginning of work coincides with the opening of leaves on a birch, and the end - with the formation of a full leaf of poplar). Thanks to high-quality germinated tubers, you can get an excellent harvest. It has been verified that potatoes planted in unheated soil sit in it for a long time without signs of development, then germinate slowly, and its shoots are more often than usual affected by rhizoctonia (the tips of the shoots turn brown because of this, turn black and often die without coming to the surface of the soil).
To get a very early harvest, you should use early potato varieties - Zhukovsky early, Lark, Lisetta, Pushkinets, Skala, Snegir and others.
It is known that vernalized potatoes and planted much later than non-germinated or unheated tubers overtake excessively early planting from such tubers, and also provide friendly, even shoots without lunges. Such potatoes are more likely to get away from the most harmful disease in our zone - late blight. A good supply of moisture in the soil, which has not yet had time to evaporate from spring, will also contribute to the successful early formation of the crop. According to experts, well-germinated planting material forms a crop 2-3 weeks earlier (with an increase in yield by 50-60%) than non-sprouted tubers.
For vernalization, healthy varietal tubers of sufficiently high reproduction are taken (they can be of different sizes). If potatoes of unknown origin are used, then the tubers are thoroughly washed from the ground; it is also better to support them for 15-20 minutes in a 1% solution of boric acid or in a slightly boric solution of potassium permanganate.
Tubers are laid out in one or two layers in diffused light (direct sunlight causes surface burns). For the first 1.5-2 weeks, tubers are kept in a warm room at room temperature, and then transferred to a room with a temperature of 10 … 14 ° C. Due to this temperature difference, the majority of the eyes hatch at the same time in the tubers (such tubers give powerful multi-stem bushes).
If germination is started at a low temperature, only the eyes of the upper half of the tubers awaken. Correctly sprouted tubers have strong, thick, two to three centimeter sprouts with a green top and a base of numerous root tubercles, from which a root system is formed after a few days. In such potatoes, the sprouts do not break off during transportation and planting.
After germination, diseased tubers are discarded: they activate pathogens and manifest them in plant material. Tubers that form very thin sprouts are discarded - this is a sign of viral diseases.
When tubers are grown in a moist, air-permeable substrate (peat, humus or sawdust) at a temperature of 15 … 22 ° C, an even earlier harvest is obtained. A substrate 2-3 cm thick is poured onto a layer of tubers, then the next layer of tubers is applied (up to 4-5 layers can be placed); keep it this way for 2-3 weeks. The substrate is moderately moistened with water, it is possible with a weak solution of complex mineral fertilizers. At the same time, sprouts of several centimeters and a fully developed root system are formed. It is necessary to plant such potatoes immediately in order to prevent overgrowth of the sprouts (it is better that they do not exceed the diameter of the tuber) or excessive drying of the roots during transportation.
If gardeners plan to cut large sized tubers, then, firstly, the knife should be constantly disinfected in a concentrated solution of potassium permanganate, and secondly, this operation should be performed 2-3 hours before planting (for healing-corking of the cut), and thirdly, it is necessary to cut in such a way that each part is at least 40-50 g and with 2-3 sprouts.
If one of the gardeners plans to get a potato crop through hybrid (F1) seeds and seedlings (similar to growing a tomato), then he must remember that young plants should not be pulled strongly, as they take root less well when planted in open ground.
Any gardener knows that potato varieties differ in early maturity. If you are interested in medium-late (Zarevo, Nikulinsky) or late varieties, which need 100-110 or 110-120 days to form marketable crop production, respectively, then you cannot do without long-term vernalization.
It is very important for every potato grower to know the characteristics of the potato varieties that are most suitable for your zone and the soil of your site. More detailed information on the characteristics of the most acceptable and promising varieties for the conditions of the Leningrad region can be obtained from my reference and practical brochure "To be with the potato harvest in the XXI century. Potato varieties for the gardener and farmer of the North-West region of Russia".