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Video: How We Grow Good Potatoes
How to ensure a good potato crop
More recently, many gardeners conscientiously engaged only in gardening, growing various vegetable crops in their beds, which then went to the family table.
But our life has changed, store shelves are filled with vegetables, and as a result, some land owners have reduced their gardens, while others have left at least a minimum on the beds - they grow a few green crops on them.
Gardeners are actively engaged in creativity - the arrangement and improvement of their garden territories. On the site of the former potato plantations, decorative ponds, alpine slides and lawns are now located.
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But our family is not yet ready to remove the vegetable beds from the site, although we are also trying to transform our territory, but apparently we have a different path. We have not parted with potatoes and we continue to grow them. We have never grown it for sale. It's just that everyone in our family loves the taste of their own potatoes. The reason for such love for his potatoes also lies in the fact that our grandson suffers from allergies, and when we started buying and cooking store potatoes, he had an exacerbation of this disease.
Actually, on our site, we allocate an area of no more than half a hundred square meters for potatoes. At the same time, we are not fond of, like many others, chemical fertilizers. We always purchase elite planting material in special stores or at exhibitions. We, of course, understand that this is an expensive purchase, but since we do not have the opportunity to properly preserve potato seeds during the winter, we have to put up with the costs. A positive factor here also lies in the fact that every spring we buy new seed, and therefore our tubers always have high sowing qualities, and potato plants are less affected by diseases.
For more than twenty years of growing this culture, we have tried a lot of varieties: Spring white, Early yellow, Nevsky, Elizaveta, Pushkinets, Madam, Santa, Lada, Petersburg, Lugovskoy, Detskoselsky, Svitanok Kievsky, Peter's Riddle, Dobrynya, Inspiration, Skarb, Snow Maiden, Bullfinch, Naiad, In Memory of Osipova, Russian Beauty, Kholmogorsky, Ostara, Latona, Luck, Shaman, Fresco, Borodyansky pink, Bambino - this is not a complete list of them.
The yield of a particular variety can vary significantly depending on the prevailing weather conditions. For a long period of growing this culture on our site, we have especially singled out varieties for ourselves: Inspiration, Russian Beauty, Memory of Osipova, Ostara. These varieties gave us a very good harvest of tasty tubers.
We usually buy seed potatoes in the first half of March. In 2009, we bought seeds from VIR - these were the varieties Elizaveta, Drop, Virinka, Concord, Rumyanka, Malinovka and Svitanok Kievsky. All the tubers at home were laid out in one row in vegetable boxes, in which the potatoes germinated by themselves. In May, we transported boxes of planting potatoes to our dacha.
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Five boxes were prepared for planting tubers since autumn, each of them measuring 2x4 meters, and the height of the sides of the beds is 40 cm. Boxes for planting potatoes on our site from year to year "drift" from place to place. Usually we place potatoes in those places where before we had garden strawberries. At the beginning of August, two beds of old strawberries are united by a wooden edging. We mow its leaves, but we do not dig up the planting.
On top of the cut strawberry plants, we pour a thick layer of hay, then there is a layer of fertile soil from under zucchini, pumpkins, cucumbers, watermelons and melons. A warm ridge with these crops is always placed according to the plan next to the intended box for potatoes. The soil from this ridge is poured under potatoes 20 cm high.
In late August - early September, we sow winter rye on the site of future potato beds to improve the soil. Any perennial crops, for example, sorrel, flowers after dividing and placing them in a new place, can be the predecessor of potatoes.
The box serves mainly for 2-3 years. After the first year, having harvested the crop of tubers, we put a thick layer of hay into this box again, and on top - the earth according to the already known principle. Potato boxes that have served their time will fall apart again in 2-3 years, making space for the beds where we will plant other vegetables. So all potato plantings slowly wander in a circle on the site, not staying long in one place. This method allows you to build up the fertile soil layer from year to year. Now, instead of the initial layer of sod 10-15 cm thick, lying on the clay, we have formed a layer of black soil with an average thickness of 60 cm in 24 years.
Many boxes after growing potatoes served to create new ridges. The soil there was chosen to the clay, on which we laid chips with a layer of 15-20 cm, then the box was filled with coarse contaminated soil, the next layer was made of a large amount of hay, and fertile soil was again poured on top from under the pumpkin crops. And again we grew potatoes in this box.
This method allows us not only to build up a thick layer of fertile soil, but also to isolate crops from cold clay. In fact, we get two benefits - delicious potatoes for the family and increasing fertility every year.
Now about the very method of growing tubers. In May, we mow winter rye in boxes, and then cut three furrows with a hoe with a long handle. We do all the work from the paths, trying not to compact the earth on the ridge with our shoes.
We usually plant potatoes early, in early May. But last year, a neighbor at the dacha said that in a broadcast for gardeners on the radio, they recommended May 22 as the most favorable day for planting tubers. Since we were already pretty tired of sowing in other garden beds, we decided to postpone planting potatoes until this date.
The furrows made for potatoes dried up in two weeks, the mown rye there turned into hay, which we evenly distributed along the furrows. And they began to land. We have 11 tubers in each furrow, and 33 tubers in each box.
When planting, we poured a tablespoon of Potato Giant fertilizer into each hole. It is very convenient to add granules, in addition, they contain nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium and all other necessary trace elements, as well as humic acids. True, this fertilizer was enough for us only for four boxes, and in the fifth we had to use the Giant Universal. On top, we sprinkled the decomposed tubers with a small layer of soil. I will note right away that after harvesting potatoes, we did not notice any difference in yield from the use of two types of fertilizers.
A week later, milk shoots with green leaves began to appear. In ten days the potatoes were fully grown. Of the 165 planted tubers, only three failed to emerge. We decided to check: what is the reason? It turned out that the already sprouted tubers were overturned by moles into their passages. But the formed glades were then quickly tightened by the mighty tops of the neighboring bushes.
Further care of the potato beds was usual, mainly hilling. True, until it rained, once I had to water the potato plantings, then nature took over this procedure, and sometimes it did it with interest. But we huddled the plantings in good faith - three times. The last time - at the end of June, before closing the tops of potato plants. Three-fold hilling made it possible to build a high hill of soil under each bush, and a ditch was formed between the rows for drainage.
Before flowering, the potato plantings were sprinkled with ash, but then heavy rains came. High humidity and lack of solar radiation led to late blight appeared on individual leaves in early August. I had to urgently mow the tops. As it turned out - on time.
The potatoes were harvested from 20 to 25 August, taking into account the weather. We tried to choose dry, sunny days. The tuber crop in 2009 was slightly lower than in 2008, but the quality of the potatoes surpassed the previous year. The potato has grown very tasty. We think that the deeper hilling of plantings affected here, because in 2008 the potatoes were hilled only once. It is also important that the tops were cut in time and the tubers were protected from diseases. That year, the potatoes were more watery, there were some tubers with late blight. And in the past season, the potatoes turned out to be dry, starchy without painful lesions inside. And, by all accounts, delicious.
And now, in the cold season, tubers of all varieties are well stored, do not lose turgor. True, the tubers of the Virinka variety began to germinate at the end of December.
The largest tubers in the past season were in the Rumyanka variety - 300-400 grams each, and small ones - 120 grams each, but there were only 3 to 5 potatoes in the bushes. A robin was born with tubers weighing 100-150 grams, in the Drop variety, tubers weighed 130-160 grams, in the Elizaveta variety, the average mass of tubers was from 100 to 150 grams, but tubers of 200 grams or more were found, in the Svitanok variety, Kiev tubers were formed weighing from 80 to 120 grams.
But the most important thing for us is that in a rainy summer, we harvested sore-free and very tasty potatoes. The high quality of tubers, in our opinion, can be explained by the fact that the potatoes were planted in high ridges, we carried out three hilling and mowing of the tops on time. Apparently, the introduction of high-quality fertilizer during planting helped.
My husband and I can advise novice gardeners: if you have the opportunity to qualitatively prepare the soil for planting, to carry out all the work on plant care in time, then you definitely need to adhere to the Lunar calendar and listen to the recommendations of specialists. All these factors, taken together, will work for the harvest. And if you just look at the Lunar calendar and plant plants somehow in unprepared soil, then following the recommendations of the Lunar calendar will not help you. And you will not see a good harvest. We know that for sure.
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