Table of contents:
- 5. Skillfully prepare the soil for planting and plant the tubers correctly
- 6. Provide seedlings with timely care
- 7. Harvest in favorable terms, select tubers from the best bushes for seeds
- 8. Place the seed in storage correctly
Video: 8 Rules For Growing Fruitful And Tasty Potatoes. Part 2
Read the first part of article 8 of the rules for growing fruitful and tasty potatoes
5. Skillfully prepare the soil for planting and plant the tubers correctly
Basically, potatoes are cultivated on ridges, i.e. on a flat surface. But if water stagnates on your site, especially on clay soil, then it is better to make narrow ridges 15-20 cm high, 120-160 cm wide, so as to place two rows there. The ridge is made even higher, and the row spacing is up to 90 cm.
The bulk of the roots (I mean roots, not stolons) of potatoes is located at a depth of 22-25 cm, therefore, in waterlogged areas, the roots suffocate from a lack of oxygen, the starch content decreases by 5-8%, the tubers turn out to be tasteless and poorly stored.
In a waterlogged area, it is not recommended to plant cut potato tubers - they suffocate and do not sprout. If you still have to cut the tubers to reproduce the variety you need, then you should try to do this 30 days before planting so that a crust forms on them. And even in this case, such tubers sprout 13-15 days later than uncut tubers. I have been convinced of this more than once in my practice.
In a waterlogged area, late blight spreads faster. My site is also located in a lowland, but in a rainy summer the water does not stagnate there for a long time, since grooves are made around all the ridges. I have been preparing the soil for planting potatoes since autumn. I dig the shovels to the depth of the bayonet, turn the layers roughly, without breaking.
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I add superphosphate, manure or bury different stems of flowers, Jerusalem artichoke, goldenrod, helenium, cucumber and tomato stems from the greenhouse, beet tops, carrots, dill stems, etc. Rye with vetch, if sown, is mowed and embedded in the soil. In the spring, as soon as you can approach the ridge, I scatter Azophoska, Kalimagnesia on it. I use a rake to level the surface, thus blocking the evaporation of moisture from the soil. The bed is warming up, the soil ripens before planting.
Since my soil is sandy loam, I can not dig it before planting potatoes. For those who have clay soil, it is better to dig up the garden bed with a pitchfork before planting. If in the fall I did not apply manure, then when planting in the holes I pour humus. For many years I have been using the Giant fertilizer for potatoes, I also pour it into the holes. I do not indicate the rates of application of mineral fertilizers, this is the lot of scientists who are engaged in such developments.
Look at the formula of any complete mineral fertilizer, which of them contains more potassium, then it is better to apply the fertilizer, since potatoes "love" potassium. They brought in a little potassium (they saved Kemira, reduced the rate) - there will be many small tubers, few large ones, and when boiling, the potatoes will turn blue and will not crumble. Those who do not grow potatoes themselves often blame farmers: “I boiled potatoes, but they are kind of gray, they turned black. Probably fed the plantings with something. " No, he just did not add potassium or underestimated his rate. Without phosphorus (adding superphosphate) is also bad.
With it, the quality of the potatoes improves, the number of tubers in the nest increases, and the harvest is better stored. Some gardeners generally have a negative attitude to nitrogen. With this word they associate the concept of "nitrates". Yes, if there is an overload of nitrogen, and not mineral fertilizers can affect here, but good fresh manure, and there will also be abundant rains and warmth, then in this case the taste of the potatoes really deteriorates, the tubers become watery, the potatoes darken during cooking, the grown crop is stored worse. But it is also bad without nitrogen. It affects the growth of plants, the formation of the crop. I will write the application rates for this fertilizer: 15-20 g of ammonium nitrate or the same amount of urea for each square meter of the garden.
I plant potatoes, of course, sprouted in the light. If I have to buy a new variety in March, then I wash out the tubers, then dry them. And all the flaws, if any, become immediately visible. I put the potatoes in glass jars and put them in diffused light. Of course, it seems like it's too early to lay out for germination, because by May the tubers will shrivel, but nothing can be done.
When planting tubers, I make the distance between them according to the standard - 70x25 cm, and those varieties that give a lot of large tubers, I plant according to the scheme 75x30 cm. I have experienced different planting times in our lowland place. Both on May 1 and May 20 - with seedlings to get early potatoes, but in the early stages it was necessary to save the plantings from frost - to cover them with earth or film, or lutrasil. But when I picked up varieties suitable for my site, agricultural technology for them, then the potatoes began to turn out to be of very high quality - in the spring you take them from the cellar, and they are white and clean.
Boil potatoes, and they are even better, tastier than the one cooked in the summer from early potatoes, on which I have to spend a lot of time and energy. When choosing the planting time, I measure the temperature with a thermometer, and not during the day, when the top layer is already warming up enough, but in the morning. Of course, I also take into account folk signs. It is believed that if the soil temperature at a depth of 10 cm reaches + 6 … 8 ° C, then potatoes can be planted.
I wait patiently until the soil temperature steadily settles at + 10 ° C. For example, I have a record of the spring of 2001. It was cold, the neighbors rushed and planted early, as a result, later they got early late blight and a very poor potato crop. I planted on May 21, but after this incident I try to plant even later - at the very end of May or even at the beginning of June. We do not grow late-ripening varieties, and all the others - early and mid-ripening ones - have time to ripen.
Other records have survived: 2008 - planted potatoes on May 23; 2009 - June 3, 2010 - May 31. This season, I will probably plant on May 20-21 if the spring is early and warm, or on May 30-31. I repeat once again: I am waiting for the soil to warm up to + 10 ° С. I always have excellent quality planting material, and if you put it into the soil with a temperature of + 6 ° C, and then suddenly freezing rain also falls, then diseases cannot be avoided - both a black leg and rhizoctonia will appear.
6. Provide seedlings with timely care
Care for potatoes consists in hilling, weeding, watering, someone else feeds the plantings. I read somewhere that it is impossible to weed potatoes by hand, however, the author did not indicate the reason. Of course, on large areas, the tractor will trim the weeds with a cultivator and immediately spud them. But before starting this work, I must remove the weeds, and before the first hilling, I also scatter calcium nitrate at a rate so that the potatoes do not rot, there is no ring rot. By the way, I also apply the same saltpeter on the plantings of peppers and tomatoes so that there is no top rot. I don’t do any more fertilizing on potatoes.
I huddle according to the standard - twice a season. I don't water the potato beds. If it rains, then there is enough moisture for it, and if it is not there, then there is nowhere to take water, because there is not enough water in our well, there is only enough for watering greenhouse plants. I believe: if you managed to plant the tubers in moist soil, then the potatoes will be able to take root well and get the moisture themselves. And since July we have had strong dews, in the evenings I see moisture rising high above the edges of the ridges.
This means that planting will do without watering. Yes, and on the huge fields of agricultural farms, I have never observed that tractors watered potato plantings. If someone has the opportunity to water potatoes, then it is necessary to start from the moment of budding of plants and even earlier, and not just spray water, but shed soil thoroughly - 25-30 liters per square meter. Irregular watering leads to cracking of the tubers, ugly babies are formed, and the tubers grow tasteless.
I put cut red clover or cut young rye with vetch twice a season in the aisles of my potato plantings. This mulch retains moisture in the beds, and then also serves as fertilizer. I carefully examine all the plants twice a season, clean them. If I find signs of a black leg, rhizoctonia, nematodes on the tops, I immediately mercilessly dig up this bush and burn it.
Be sure to process potato planting against late blight. As soon as bud buds appear, I spray the potatoes with Ridomil-MC, and after another 7-10 days - with copper oxychloride or Bordeaux mixture. Practice shows that the Bordeaux mixture can be processed tops long before budding. In our gardening, gardeners have already learned how to process potatoes with copper-containing preparations, otherwise in our lowland, where there is not a single night without fogs, potatoes cannot be obtained.
And when growing tomato seedlings in order to prevent fungal diseases, we use iodine with milk, and in the greenhouse I also spray tomatoes with an iodine solution, I think you can try it on potatoes, but still I use preparations containing copper. 10-14 days before harvesting the tubers, I mow the tops with a sickle and put it right there, in the aisles. It is not worth keeping potatoes in the soil for a long time in autumn. The optimum temperature for tuberization is + 18 … + 22 ° C, and at a soil temperature of + 10 … + 12 ° C, it weakens, but at this time the potato “picks up” diseases.
7. Harvest in favorable terms, select tubers from the best bushes for seeds
In early varieties, the lower leaves begin to turn yellow and die off. You don't have to mow the tops of them, but immediately dig up the tubers. Harvesting must be done very carefully with love. Do not throw tubers on the ground or in a bucket. From bruises, black spots remain on them. I dig rows of potatoes of the same variety, while the tubers lie in heaps near their nest. Then I take three buckets. In one of them I collect tubers for seeds from the best nests, in the second I collect small and damaged tubers.
And in the third, I harvest the main crop - ware potatoes, the one that will go to the table in winter. I immediately wash the tubers and, without drying them, lay out clean, beautiful ones on the grass in the front garden. And in the evening, when it dries up, I harvest and bring it to the attic. I lay out the food potatoes in a single layer on paper or cardboard on the cooler side of the attic where there is no sun. I put the tubers for seeds by varieties on the floor in an unheated room, i.e. in the light for landscaping. I write the name of the variety on each tuber with a pen.
In five days I put food potatoes in wooden trellis boxes with a not very thick layer, cover them with warm clothes, so they are stored in the attic until October 1. He thus goes through a quarantine period. After that, I sort through the tubers. If they had any illnesses, they should have manifested themselves during this time. I remove diseased tubers. The seed potatoes are already green, I put these tubers in a wooden box, but not in a thick layer. I cover them with dry hay from above - and into the cellar. We take the main part of the ware potatoes to a city apartment, and the smaller part I put in a box, I also cover it with hay on top and leave it to be stored in the cellar until spring.
In one newspaper I read about an unusual way of storing potatoes. In June, at the Kuznechny Market, a gardener was selling potatoes - just like young ones, but they were not new potatoes, but freshly dug. It turns out that in August he mows the tops of the potato beds in August, but does not dig out the potatoes - he covers the ridge with peat with a layer of 20 centimeters. So she hibernates. And in the spring the harvest is harvested, that's why the potatoes are so beautiful. I think it has a high, dry area. Otherwise, the tubers could rot in the fall. For those who have high beds, you can also try this method. If after digging the tubers are sweetish, you need to keep them warm for a while, and the sweetness will pass.
8. Place the seed in storage correctly
Potatoes are well stored at a temperature of + 2 … + 4 ° С, at a temperature of 0 ° С the tubers will sweeten, while they partially lose their germination. In a cellar or basement, it is better to store potatoes in boxes, pouring them not to the top. The larger the layer of potatoes, the more carbon dioxide is released, because of this, the yield of seed tubers decreases, and the ware potatoes darken during cooking. Some gardeners, when storing potatoes, lay out rowan leaves and beets on top. I do not do this, since my tubers are cleanly washed, quarantined, sorted and covered in hay boxes for the winter.