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Three Secrets Of Productive Potato Tubers
Three Secrets Of Productive Potato Tubers

Video: Three Secrets Of Productive Potato Tubers

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Video: Tips to Be a Successful Potato Farmer 2023, January
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Boris Romanov on growing potatoes

By trial and error

growing potatoes
growing potatoes

Potatoes are one of the most important foods for humans. I happened to read the opinion of scientists that in the 21st century the problem of providing the population with food will be solved with the help of potatoes.

"Antoshka, Antoshka, let's go dig potatoes …" - each of us knows this song since childhood. But does everyone know what needs to be done in order to dig up the amount of tasty, healthy and large potatoes necessary to meet the needs of the family and at the same time receive some part of it at an earlier date? I think that only the most experienced gardeners can cope with this task. I'll tell you about how our family does it on their site.

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In our opinion, success is possible if three problems are solved. Firstly, it is necessary to provide good soil for planting, and secondly, to apply normal agricultural techniques, i.e. monitor plantings throughout the growing season. Thirdly, to have good planting material. Taking into account all these requirements, you can get a decent harvest of delicious potatoes.

For 19 years of work on the earth, we have tried various methods and methods, selected the best every year and tried to learn from our mistakes. The main goal that we set and set when growing this crop is to get very high-quality potatoes: healthy, even, tasty. Taste has always come first. We have achieved this goal.

At the second stage of mastering potato agricultural technology, we wanted to achieve even more in terms of the amount of yield, but without compromising quality. We have already achieved some success here, and there are still reserves and ideas in store for the implementation of our plans.

To find our way in growing potatoes, we have tried many ways. For example, early potatoes were grown under plastic. To do this, we used a high box with a size of 2x3.5 m with biofuel, which served as hay and all plant waste - weeds, only without seeds and roots, remains from flower beds (just not fresh manure). Everything was laid in three layers. In March, the soil was heated in this box, covering it with a film; at the beginning of April, they planted potatoes and made mini-greenhouses over the box with a height of 40 cm at the edge. We planted sprouted tubers and already in June they received an early harvest. The film had to be rolled up in warm weather during the day, and it was removed completely after the end of the frost. This method has proven to be very time consuming.

Potatoes were also grown in seedlings, for this they were germinated in cups, which were placed in a greenhouse covered in early spring; tried to germinate in moistened sawdust. Potato seedlings were planted in early May in the depressions from the ridges, so that there was an opportunity to huddle the tops from frost. We have always had ridges for potatoes in high places. With this method, we also achieved early harvests. Already in the second decade of June, there were young potatoes with dill on the table. But even these methods turned out to be very laborious and unprofitable.

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A tall warm bed is the key to success

growing potatoes
growing potatoes

Since we have a close location of groundwater on our site, we use the cultivation of potatoes in boxes to obtain the main harvest. This method has two goals: raising the level of the ground on the site and increasing the fertile layer, as well as at the same time obtaining a very good harvest with high taste.

Next to our site, neighbors suffer in their beds, not even collecting an average harvest on them. We convince them by our own example. The best way out of this situation is high ridges.

We have the same technology for growing potatoes with all methods. We put one or two layers of hay and vegetable waste in the boxes, depending on the height of the box. Places where water stagnates are unacceptable for potatoes, they cannot be planted in low-lying and damp places, even temporary flooding of plantings leads to the death of roots and stems and to a loss of taste. We place the boxes from north to south, making sure that areas that are shaded on the east and south sides are also unacceptable for potatoes. For example, we had two boxes of potatoes in the shade of the house: one on the east side, the other on the south side. Elongation of the stems was observed in the shaded areas, the yield there was obtained later and much less, although the same potato variety in the illuminated area gave a higher yield.

We were convinced by experience that the best dimensions of the boxes are 1.8-2 m wide, the length can be arbitrary.

This width allows the tubers to be planted in three rows and to achieve maximum sun exposure to the foliage. The outer rows of potato tops fall behind the bed onto the paths (their width is 80 cm), the middle one grows on the bed - we get the maximum illumination of the plantings. Planting potatoes in warm beds and proper care give us bushy plants with widely spread thick-stemmed tops.

We prepare the summer harvest in the fall

So, we have fulfilled the initial conditions for our potato planting: there are high ridges, good illumination of the site for planting and high-quality cultivated soil. We begin preparing the ridges for planting in the fall, because at this time more time can be allocated for such work, in the spring there are a lot of other important things. The last layer of hay and earth, if we do not have time in the fall, can be laid in the spring. In late April - early May, we make ridges - depressions, we fold the earth taken out of the furrow along the edge of the ditch, we get ridges and three rows - depressions.

Sprinkle the bottom of the depression with ash mixed with superphosphate, sprinkle it with earth a little. The value of ash is that it contains potassium without chlorine, it contains many trace elements, and it increases the resistance of potato plantings to frost, this all has a good effect on the quality of potatoes. Phosphorus has a very positive effect on root development and tuberization; without it, plant development can be delayed.

At the bottom of the depressions we lay out the sprouted seed tubers at a distance of 30 cm from each other and sprinkle it with earth from the top, about a layer of 5 cm. Sprinkle some mineral fertilizers (Kemira or Azofoska) on the sprinkled potatoes. They are needed for rapid initial development (as we say, for the "first push"). These fertilizers contain many nutrients in an accessible form and provide food for the potato early in its development. In the second phase of development, our potatoes are fed from organic fertilizer, which is placed inside the box in the fall.

Planting tubers in depressions-ridges gives us the opportunity to more often sprinkle sprouting potatoes with heated soil from the ridges, in this regard, the zone of tuberization increases. This method is also good because in the case of recurrent frosts, you can protect potato seedlings from the cold by hilling.

Be sure to focus on the weather conditions when planting potatoes. It is with them taking into account that we can have a landing date both in the first days of May and in the second decade of the month. For example, in 2000 on May 15 it was still cold, the weather was rainy, sometimes it was hail, and then the weather was good, and we planted the first tubers only on May 18. In 2001, at the end of April, the weather was summer, although by May 1 it became cool, but we planted the first potatoes on May 4.

So the weather must be taken into account when landing. Many are guided by folk signs: a birch leaf should be on the trees for a pretty penny, or when the bird cherry blossoms.

Now about watering. If the weather is dry for a long time, then the plantings must be shed 1-2 times. Be sure to water once when the potatoes grow en masse.

As the potatoes grow, we huddle the planting 2-3 times: loosening the soil is very beneficial for this crop - its air regime improves. With our method of cultivation, there are practically no weeds on the plantings, because all the time we add a heated layer of soil from the ridges, which is very good for growing tubers. Hilling is best done after watering or rains. After this procedure, potato stems form new adventitious roots, which means additional tubers. It is necessary to huddle carefully, not breaking shoots and not breaking off leaves, in general, without injuring the plants.

Not always, but if we have time, then during the growing season of potatoes we carry out foliar dressing 1-2 times along the tops with a solution of microelements. Such spraying really has a positive effect on the quality and yield of potatoes, its tops after treatments last longer healthy, which means that tubers from healthy tops receive additional nutrition. As far as possible, we also cut off flowers and buds, since we believe that this also leads to an outflow of nutrients.

The appearance of buds, the overgrown crown of the tops - this is evidence that further tillage should be stopped, since the stems can be damaged, and feed to the tubers through them, you can also spoil the tubers in the upper layers of the soil.

Harvest varieties

Another secret of the harvest is full-fledged seeds. We believe that high-quality planting material should be purchased only from organizations that specialize in its production, or from seed shops. Tubers intended for planting should be free from fungal diseases and viruses. It is better if the planting material is zoned in our region of the variety. Different varieties produce different yields in different years. We have tried many varieties on our site: Vesna, Pushkinets, Nevsky, Ostara, Elizaveta, Charodey, Petersburg, Borodyansky, etc. You can find kind words for each variety. For example, in the late 90s we planted the Ostara variety. He gave us a very large crop in the first year, and the tubers were all very large. It was a Finnish seed potato.

Every year we plant several different varieties on the site. Neighbors ask: which variety is the most productive and most delicious. It is very difficult to single out the best variety, one is more productive, the other tastes good.

True, there are such adjustments: another variety behaves better in a cool summer, another in a dry one. Therefore, we always plant 5 to 7 different varieties.

Last year, for example, the following varieties were planted: for an early harvest - the Baltic variety Early yellow, the tubers were smooth, large, the taste was good. They began to dig in early potatoes in the middle of summer, we could have started earlier, but we still had a supply of last year's tubers.

On other beds, we poured potato tubers of the varieties Kholmogorsky, Vdohnovenie, Skarb, Russian beauty, Latona and Naiada. Probably, we were lucky last year, the potatoes in all the beds grew excellent, the tubers were all even, clean, large, oval in shape. There were very, very few small ones.

The yield of potatoes of the Naiad variety turned out to be a little worse, but we planted it in less quality soil than other varieties. In addition, he also grew shaded. But a year ago the same variety gave us an excellent harvest.

Last year, according to the taste and quality of tubers, we singled out the variety Russian Beauty - it is mid-season, the tubers are oval with pink skin, the taste was excellent.

The Kholmogorsky variety pleased with its ripening terms, it also has oval tubers with red skin, there were from 10 to 12 tubers in the nest, and it turned out to be at its best in taste.

We constantly purchase planting material, since we do not have conditions for reliable storage of seed tubers.

The purchased seed material must be germinated before planting. We begin to do this in late March - early April. We lay out the planting tubers in boxes in one row and keep them at room temperature in diffused light. Do not forget to turn them over regularly. In this case, you must ensure that the sprouts do not break off. Then, before planting, we keep the sprouted potatoes in a cooler place in the same boxes.

Previously, the planting tubers were treated with micro and macro elements: they made the desired solution and dipped the tubers in it. This procedure was performed the day before planting. All this also leads to higher yields, but now we do not have enough time for this.

Get away from phytophthora

All gardeners are very afraid of the defeat of plantings by late blight. All fields and vegetable gardens are infected with this disease. To be honest, we do not spray our potato plantings with remedies for this disease. We try to protect ourselves from it with the correct agricultural technology. To do this, we use the following techniques: knowing that the disease is also transmitted through the soil, we try not to plant potatoes in one place for more than two years, i.e. we alternate cultures. The second method is planting potatoes early, which means that at an earlier date our tubers are ready for harvesting - before the onset of the rainy season. Also, depending on the weather, we remove the tops two weeks before digging the tubers, preventing it from being affected by the disease. Some gardeners often see potato plantings affected by late blight, and they drag on with the harvest, not understanding the simple truth that potatoes no longer grow without tops.And their tops are already all black.

Without foliage, potatoes only form a thicker skin, but this is provided that they are healthy in the ground. And what can potatoes get from infected tops? Only a disease that spreads to the soil and tubers. What kind of harvest to expect from this field next year, and how will these tubers behave during storage? Therefore, we harvest potatoes in mid-August, but this, again, pay attention, depending on weather conditions.

Of course, we have an expensive option for growing potatoes, because every year we purchase new planting material, and now it is not cheap. But even with all this, we remain a winner, always collect a consistently high and high-quality crop, do not waste precious time on bulkhead tubers, they are very well stored with us, there is never any waste.

Of course, it is desirable to have your own planting material, but you need to be able to select and save it correctly, especially since potatoes can pick up diseases from contaminated soil, and this will result in losses in the yield. Therefore, we still prefer to buy planting tubers from serious companies. And we plant 5-7 varieties, knowing that some variety will certainly not fail with our diligent care.

With our method of growing, the costs of planting material are minimal. The total area under the boxes with potato plantings is about one hundred square meters, we planted 270 pieces of small fraction planting tubers, 5 of them did not sprout on this area. We got a harvest of about 500 kg of large potatoes, there were very few small tubers. Why do we allocate only one hundred square meters of land for potatoes? And because only such an area can we properly prepare. But even from one hundred square meters we get a harvest that is quite enough for our family.

And if more potatoes need to be obtained from this area, we will apply more intensive care, we still have such developments in stock. But our main desire is to get high-quality tubers, therefore we dig out the potatoes before the main August rains, dry them well before laying them for storage.

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