Table of contents:
- Our favorite second bread
- The chemical composition of tubers differs in different early maturity potato varieties
Video: Choosing Potato Varieties. Part 1
Our favorite second bread
On October 12, 1492, warships led by Christopher Columbus reached an unknown land, the discovery of which marked the beginning of the development of not only new relationships between the countries of the world, but also gave farmers many new plants.
The most unusual way to our table was with potatoes, which have now rightfully become in many countries, including Russia, "the second bread".
The potato is a perennial, widely cultivated plant of the Solanum family of the genus Solanum, section Tuberazium. It began to be cultivated about 5 thousand years ago by the inhabitants of Peru. Today there are over 150 known wild species native to South and Central America. The most common cultivated type of potato is the tuberous nightshade (Solanum tuberozum), which is cultivated in almost all countries of the world.
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The highest and consistently high potato yield is obtained in Great Britain, the Netherlands and Switzerland - up to 500 c / ha. In Russia, the potato yield reaches only 90-110 c / ha.
The world assortment of potatoes has more than three thousand varieties, including 230 varieties in Russia. Domestic potato varieties compare favorably with foreign counterparts, especially in terms of their adaptability to diseases, the content of dry matter and starch, which determine stable indicators of the taste of tubers. One of the outstanding achievements of domestic breeding is the creation of potato varieties that combine a high level of resistance to late blight with early and medium-early ripening.
The technological basis for potato production in Russia is the correct selection of varieties, taking into account the production goals, natural and climatic characteristics of the region, phytosanitary conditions and economic opportunities of farms and each specific owner.
The following groups of varieties are distinguished in terms of potato ripening:
Early (early ripening) - 60-70 days of growing season. In this case, the wilting of the tops begins 70-90 days after germination. The sum of active temperatures (days with a temperature of 10 ° C or more) during the growing season is 1000-1200 ° C.
Mid-early varieties ripen with the formation of a dense rind on the tubers in 70-80 days, and the tops wither 100-115 days after germination. The sum of active temperatures for these varieties is 1200-1400 ° C.
Mid-season varieties ripen in 80-100 days, the tops wither in 115-125 days. The sum of active temperatures is 1400-1600 ° C.
Mid-late varieties ripen in 100-110 days, the tops wither in 125-130 days. It is necessary for their growth to be 1800 ° C.
Late varieties ripen at 110-140 days, tops wither at 125-150 days. The sum of active temperatures for potato growth reaches 1800-2200 ° C.
In the North-West of the Non-Black Earth Zone of Russia, the average long-term sum of active temperatures ranges from 1400 ° C to 1800 ° C. Only this most important weather indicator determines the choice of varieties with an early and medium growing season.
The most favorable values of the average daily air temperature during the growing season of potatoes are in the range of 15 … 22 ° С with the amount of precipitation not less than 300 mm during the period of tuberization.
Given these features, potato growers should give preference to early, mid-early and mid-season varieties, which corresponds to the agro-climatic conditions of most regions of the country.
Late varieties of potatoes usually do not have time to ripen in our country, as a result, the tubers are severely damaged during harvesting and, as a rule, are poorly stored. Especially large losses occur during storage of unripe tubers with mechanical damage.
For example, in the conditions of the Leningrad region, this was observed with the Belarusian variety Temp. With a long daylight hours, a sufficient amount of heat and moisture, it blooms with pleasure even in September, and with a decrease in positive temperatures, nutrients from the leaves and stems do not have time to enter the tubers. As a result, small tubers are formed under the bush, which gardeners call "peas".
The chemical composition of tubers differs in different early maturity potato varieties
Early and mid-early varieties are characterized by a low starch content (7-15%), and mid-season and mid-late varieties are characterized by a higher (15-25%). Their taste is usually higher; they have a more crumbly softness when cooked.
In addition to domestic varieties, Dutch, Polish, German and Finnish varieties have been widely grown in the Northwest in the past 20 years. In 1985, the Agrotekhnika state farm in the Tosnensky District of the Leningrad Region for the first time in Russia began to grow potato varieties from Holland and Germany. These are now widely known varieties of Fresco, Adretta, Romano, Sante. Moreover, the amount of starch in their tubers, even in early maturing varieties, exceeds 20%.
I had a chance to try in my garden in 1986 an ultra-early-ripening variety Amazon of Dutch selection. On the 45th day after germination, by July 1, 5-7 identical tubers were formed under the bush. The stolons (underground shoots) of this variety were very short, and the tubers were compactly distributed in the soil, which is very convenient for digging. There is three times more starch in this variety than in early domestic varieties (23%). Of course, this is the success of the breeders.
However, when growing foreign varieties, it must be remembered that they require special agricultural techniques and the introduction of large amounts of fertilizers, and the fight against late blight.
Domestic potato varieties are more reliable when cultivated in our area, because better adapted to local soil and climatic conditions.
In mid-April, potato tubers must be put on vernalization - preferably for 40-50 days. In this case, the first 15-20 days, potatoes should be at a temperature of up to 20 ° C, and on the following days - up to 12 … 14 ° C.
Such conditions will promote the formation of strong and short shoots. And, of course, there is no need to rush to planting, but to calculate the planting time in such a way in order to avoid damage to seedlings by frost. The last frosts in the Leningrad region are observed on June 12th. Therefore, the end of the third decade of May is the optimal planting time. Vernalized tubers sprout in 10-14 days. But this is possible only in warm soil.
In the last snowless and warm winters with early spring, I planted various varieties on the largest areas on April 1, April 18 and 25, and on any day in May. If there are dry beds, garden aisles, early planting can be carried out, but it is necessary to monitor the coming frosts. Therefore, we received the harvest of fresh tubers of the Nevsky variety on June 16-20.
Therefore, any gardener can get a stable harvest if he selects the right variety. It is necessary to purchase clean, healthy tubers of higher reproductions. Such planting material can be purchased in specialized stores and farms in the region.
Read the next part: Choosing potato varieties. Part 2 →