Table of contents:
- Sowing potato seeds
- What to sow potatoes into?
- Further farming techniques in the room
- Planting potato seedlings in the ground
- Caring for potatoes after planting
Video: Growing Potatoes From Seeds - Agricultural Technology
Read the previous part. ← Growing potatoes from seeds - is it worth it?
If you nevertheless decided to experiment with potato seeds (and, as far as I know, there are already a lot of such vegetable growers), then you will have to come to terms with the fact that growing potato seedlings will take you no less effort and nerves than growing seedlings of the same, for example, tomatoes.
If you read various modern articles on growing potatoes from seeds, then there are always two methods: seedless and through seedlings. From my point of view, sowing potato seeds in the ground is pure madness. And not only because of the short summer - for this reason there is simply no chance of getting normal seed. But primarily due to the fact that potato seeds, as noted above, give very small shoots, develop very slowly, preferring to get sick at the first opportunity, and are extremely thermophilic. As a result, most likely, you will not even find seedlings, or the single seedlings that appear will die from cold or disease, or from both combined. And if you are very lucky, and the seedlings will nevertheless appear somewhere by the end of June, then they will definitely not be able to bloom and tie tubers. This is where the whole experiment ends.
Plant nurseries Stores of goods for summer cottages Landscape design studios
Sowing potato seeds
Potato seeds should be sown in the usual way in February, but this period is rather relative and can be shifted to mid-March and even to early April. It all depends on how early you can plant the seedlings. Obviously, if you are going to plant seedlings in open ground, then sowing before mid-March and even the end of March is pointless, because the plants will stretch out, intertwine, exhausted and will not live to see planting. On the other hand, by sowing the seeds in mid-February, you will get the highest yield possible.
At the optimum temperature for germination (20 … 25 ° C), seedlings appear 7-9 days after sowing. All this time, the soil (or sawdust) should be kept moist.
What to sow potatoes into?
It should be admitted that this issue is quite controversial. According to official recommendations, potato seedlings should be grown without picking and, accordingly, sow seeds immediately into peat pots or cassettes measuring 6x6 or 8x8 cm, sowing one or two seeds in each pot. Based on my experience, I think that this is not effective enough. It has already been noted above that potato seedlings grow very poorly in root mass and react more strongly to a lack of soil looseness. Therefore, I have been growing them for a long time in clean sawdust, because this allows at the initial stage to quickly form a huge mass of roots. And then the seedlings need to be carefully planted in separate pots with fertile soil, and they will quickly grow.
Further farming techniques in the room
Well, then there is nothing special. Of course, light potato seedlings require much more tomato seedlings, and this factor must be taken into account. This means that to give it the most sunny place, it is imperative to supplement it with fluorescent lamps and spray with a growth stimulator Epin, without which it is simply impossible to grow normal, not elongated seedlings in the conditions of our apartments. The feeding system for growing potato seedlings is the same as for tomatoes and peppers. Before planting in the ground, it is hardened by exposing the seedlings to a glazed loggia and accustoming them to real sunlight.
Planting potato seedlings in the ground
It should be noted that good seedlings are 12-15 cm high and have 5-6 true leaves. True, I do not adhere to these principles and plant plants that have already reached a height of 15-20 cm. It is necessary to plant seedlings exactly when the threat of frost has passed. True, in the Urals, the problem is that frosts last until mid-June, and by that time the seedlings are already exhausted to the last degree.
Therefore, in any case, it will have to be planted under shelters in May, but whether shelters will help to keep tender young potato plants from frost is an open question, due to the fact that the soil in the open ground is cold and does not warm from below. And therefore it will not be warm under the shelter. I honestly admit that until I started planting seedlings in a greenhouse, every year part of the seedlings froze in freezing, although I planted it on a warm ridge (there was biofuel below), covered it with hay and on top with still thick covering material.
And planting it on a regular (and therefore not insulated) potato plot, from my point of view, is generally meaningless. In the greenhouse, there are no problems, and it is possible to plant with a favorable spring and preliminary heating of the greenhouse with biofuel even in the last days of April or in early May.
If the greenhouse is well warmed up, the biofuel has already warmed up and there is an additional shelter on the arcs, then no frost will be terrible. Of course, I admit that the idea of growing potatoes in a greenhouse at first glance will seem wild to almost everyone: "Some potatoes - and in a greenhouse ???". And such a reaction is quite understandable, because for the majority, what can we hide here, it is customary to assign the worst areas for potatoes. It is not customary to water it, and many still believe that it does not require care. They planted, huddled, dug - and that's all. Only in reality it is not so. That is why they bring potatoes to Russia from Poland.
And if we go into the language of numbers, then, according to statistics, in Russia 0.23 kg are obtained from one potato bush, in the USA - 0.58 kg, and in Holland - 0.72 kg of potatoes. Don't you impress? And all because the potatoes are looked after there as it should be. As for seed potatoes, in Holland they are grown only in greenhouses, otherwise it is unproductive. And only then, next year, the potatoes move to an ordinary field. So, maybe we should act on the same principles, you see what happens? At least, having withstood a real battle with my pets and having won half a greenhouse for potatoes from seeds, I finally became convinced that from about a couple of dozen weak potato plants you can grow more than two buckets of excellent seed tubers and in one fell swoop solve the problem of planting material for the next year … But, in general, of course,then it's up to you - where to plant: in a warmed open ground or, like me, in a greenhouse.
The planting is carried out according to the "tomato technology", i.e. the potato plants are laid horizontally. It is more convenient to first dig long holes at a depth slightly deeper than the size of the pots in which the plants were, and then evenly distribute the existing plants over the holes. Then cover with earth so that only the tops with a height of no more than 10 cm remain on the surface. And finally, mulch. Of course, before planting, the pots with seedlings should be dipped in warm water and held there for 3-5 minutes until completely saturated. As for planting density, according to official data, in order to obtain a good standard seed material, the planting is very thickened - at least 30 stems must develop per 1 m². It is rather difficult to translate this to individual plants, because each has a different number of stems. But there is only one conclusion - seed potatoes are planted several times thicker than ordinary potatoes for food.
Caring for potatoes after planting
In principle, caring for potato plants from seeds in the ground is no different. You also need to huddle, fight weeds, water, feed (usually one feeding with a mullein with ash at the beginning of the growing season and one feeding with potassium sulfate before flowering is enough) and mulch. It is not necessary to spray with drugs for late blight, because potatoes do not get sick with it in the first year. Therefore, I will not dwell on this issue in detail. I would only like to return to growing potatoes in a greenhouse, but from the point of view of further agricultural technology. The fact is that you cannot sprinkle potatoes in a greenhouse in the usual way - its size does not allow it to be done.
Therefore, I just cover the plants with humus with a layer of about 10 cm when they grow up after planting, and this will be in early June. You don't need much humus, because the area is very limited - my half-greenhouse is only 3 square meters. So it's not a particularly hard job. And then you need to mulch, preferably with leaves collected in the fall. After that, you will no longer need to loosen or fight weeds, just water and feed a couple of times. As a result, in the fall, when digging potatoes, you will see that the entire top layer of the greenhouse is a continuous layer of tubers. Honestly, I have never seen such a miracle before in my life. As a result, I did not dig the potatoes, but conscientiously shook the soil with my hands and chose the tubers.
Try and spare a small corner of your greenhouse or greenhouse - and the potatoes will thank you with the harvest.
How to get high-quality seed potato tubers from seeds
A new experience of growing a crop of potatoes from seeds