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Video: 8 Rules For Growing Fruitful And Tasty Potatoes. Part 1
2023 Author: Sebastian Paterson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 05:47
I convey my love for crumbly, white, tasty potatoes through the soil. To get just such a potato, it is necessary to work with the soil, that is, to create such soil conditions so that the variety does not lose starch, does not turn black during cooking, does not rot during storage, does not emit bad odors. I pick up a potato tuber in the fall, winter or spring from the cellar - it's clean, white or pink, it's nice to hold in my hands, and it's a pleasure to cook and eat it.
But this, as they say, is lyrics, but let's deal with prose. For three years in a row - from 2008 to 2010 - the majority of gardeners after the end of the season complained: "It's a bad potato again!" Yes, in 2010 (the year of the Sun) the potato yield was average, but this does not mean that the tubers were small - some varieties produced very large tubers, although there were few of them in the nest. Different varieties react differently to the weather.
Some do not tolerate waterlogging at all, others do not tolerate dry time, dry soil. Now so many articles have been written about the characteristics of varieties - select varieties from them for your site individually. For example, some gardeners with admiration describe the varieties Luck, Skazka. Probably they are really good somewhere. And in our gardening they did not go at all. In the third year of testing, we abandoned them.
2008 is the year of Jupiter according to the lunar calendar. The summer was rainy, but warm, the soil temperature was favorable for all vegetables. Our potato yield was high.
2009 - the year of Mars - is not a potato year. And although it rained again, it was not cold. Of course, you can't sunbathe in such weather, but the weather was favorable for vegetables - warmth and moisture is enough. It was hard only for those who have clay soils, and on peat bogs, and in general, the soil could not be loosened.
Rules for growing fruitful and tasty potatoes
The secret is simple: everyone who wants to always get a good harvest of clean, beautiful potato tubers must work with the soil. Among our St. Petersburg gardeners there are many craftsmen who receive 500 kilograms or more from a hundred in any year, for example, GD Sherman and VN Silnov, LP and BV Kvartalnovy.
I myself saw the soil on the Kvartalnovyh site, created from emaciated peat. As a result, they got real black soil. They all shared their experiences, taught in gardening clubs, and published in magazines for gardeners. Many gardeners then also famously undertook to grow potatoes according to their experience, but they quickly gave up - it is difficult to make ditches, fill them with plant residues.
But I refined my sand, which was simply filled up in the swamp, using this method, and now I only support fertility, otherwise the swamp will take everything away, and I will be left with podzol. You can, of course, not work on improving the soil, as I do. Several years ago, Lyubov Dmitrievna Bobrovskaya, known to the readers of the Flora Price magazine, spoke on its pages about how living conditions and lack of time forced her to abandon digging the soil and plant tubers under the mown grass and hay.
With this method, the sprouted potatoes are laid out on the ground, more precisely, on the unmown grass, and then the tubers are covered with the mown grass whenever the sprouts appear from the grass. Some kind of crop turned out. The tubers also seem to be clean. Only if you do not cover them with grass in time, they can turn green, and this is already unacceptable, because such tubers cannot be allowed in food. Some of my friends tried to grow potatoes this way, they say - it turns out. I can't say anything about it, because I didn't grow it like that myself.
Therefore, we will talk about the tried and tested method of growing tasty potatoes and about the requirements that must be met in order to get away from crop failures and tuber diseases.
So, there are eight rules to follow to grow potatoes properly. Let's talk about them in more detail.
1. Choose the right predecessor
It is difficult to give advice on the selection of predecessors in our small areas. And for those who have large plots, it is easier to pick them up. Here is an approximate list of predecessors: peas, lupines, beans, beans, vetch, rye, oats, onions, garlic. It is recommended to return potatoes to their original place no earlier than after six years. But we manage to return the potatoes in a year, and at the same time we want the earth not to get tired and the tubers not to hurt. On my site, however, potatoes return to their original place less often - after two years.
Moreover, our entire garden is divided into two parts. Onion, radish, cabbage, garlic, carrots grow in one half of two years. In the other half, potatoes grow - also two years. As soon as I harvest the early varieties of potatoes, on the same day I sow rye with vetch on this place of the plot. And after harvesting later varieties, I immediately occupy this land with the same green manure. But I do this only if potatoes will grow there next year.
After the potatoes have yielded their harvest in this half of the garden for two years, all other vegetables will come here in the spring, and in this case rye and vetch may already interfere with future plantings. You can update the soil so that the potatoes grow in the same place from year to year, you can use rapeseed, this is a good siderat. I have not tried it, since rape belongs to the cruciferous family, and I am afraid to multiply on the site a dangerous disease of these plants - keel. Another tip: those who have a lot of wireworms on their plot should not grow rye as green manure.
2. Allocate fertile soil for planting
Potatoes grow in any soil and even without soil (on grasses and under hay, for example), but the yield will be mixed. Its natural yield is considered equal to 200-250 kg per one hundred square meters. Further growth of its yield depends on the hands of man. Favorite zodiac signs for potatoes - Taurus, Cancer, Libra, Scorpio, Capricorn - will help you with this. I myself like to plant tubers in Taurus or Capricorn. Soil fertility is determined by the humus content.
Potatoes do not necessarily need real chernozems, where 4% humus, soil with 2-2.5% humus will be enough for it. If we have been creating fertility in our swamps for decades, then potatoes should already grow here. In the fall, I lay plant residues: I mow the tops of potatoes, put them in the aisles, unless, of course, it is sick (I mean the defeat of late blight). When digging tubers, I cover the tops with earth. When buying cow dung in the fall, I also put it in the ridge. If the manure has rotted, then I must bring humus when digging or into the holes.
3. Choose a variety that will perform well in your area
The variety chosen for your soil will determine your yield. We do not observe crop rotation, we limit the rate of manure, the rate of mineral fertilizers, and humus is no longer manure, as a result the varieties are rapidly degenerating. The yield of the variety decreases sharply after 5-6 years. It is necessary to acquire again the super-elite, the elite. Once upon a time, we, gardeners, who are now 70-80 years old, were taught by scientists and specialists - V. V. Farber, V. N. Lopatina, S. D. Kira, phytopathologist V. S. Kostitsyn - in the classroom in gardening clubs … They came to us, gave lectures, showed educational films. Therefore, I believe that we have gone through a good school in potato growing. And it is no coincidence that such well-known gardeners as GD Sherman, LP Kvartalnova, GI Lebedev have grown up from the audience.
In the 90s, I purchased seed potatoes in Suida, and now - in the village of Bugry, which is in the Vsevolozhsk region, it is closer to me to go to them. Sometimes I also help other gardeners. Somehow one gardener from our gardening froze seed potatoes. When I went to Bugry, I bought her two elite varieties. She had an excellent harvest from these seeds.
4. Ensure the correct acidity of the soil, wait for the temperature you need in the garden
I have already said that potatoes will grow in any soil, only the harvest will be ambiguous. For example, on loamy soils, it is good at acidity pH = 5.3-6.3. And on light sandy and sandy loam soils, as well as on my site, pH = 5.1-6.0 - why should I lime it? But at a pH of up to 4.5, the yield decreases by 18-20%. And at pH = 6.6-7.0, the yield decreases on loam by 10%, and on light soils - by 14-19%. At the same time, scab damage to tubers increases. On my site, the swamp is covered with a thick layer of sand, I have been ennobling it for 22 years.
The result is a sandy loam soil. Do I need to pour lime, chalk, dolomite flour and everyone's favorite ash, which, as you know, also deoxidizes the soil, under the potatoes? I think not, because on the other half of the garden, where all the vegetables are located, which almost all require pH = 7.0, the harvest turned out to be excellent, the roots are all large, which means that I brought them all correctly to the beds. And after them the land will go under the potato beds, it turns out that I don't need to deacidify the soil there either. And every gardener should take a closer look at the condition of the soil in his garden, at its acidity, and maintain its level. Unfortunately, very few people do this, but it's so simple.
Read the second part of Article 8 of the rules for growing fruitful and tasty potatoes →
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