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Video: How To Grow Early Potatoes
Personal experience of getting early potato tubers at their summer cottage
Potatoes are our second bread. This common truth does not need proof. Despite the urbanization, many city dwellers in the spring rush out of town for the cherished hundred square meters.
The call of the earth cannot be eradicated by any experience of city life. And nothing will overshadow the pleasure of eating young crumbly potatoes in nature, grown and nurtured with their own hands.
But for this it is not enough just to take the tubers and bury them in the soil. You need to know when and how to do it better, so much so that you also get the harvest as soon as possible.
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To begin with, potatoes come from warm countries, and therefore you need to plant them in well-heated soil. The weather in recent years has been completely unpredictable and brings us regular surprises at any time of the year, including in spring. Therefore, the surest way to determine the readiness of the soil is the appearance of young leaves on birches, and it is advisable to wait until they reach a size of at least 2 cm.
For an earlier harvest, the potato tubers need to be prepared in advance to awaken their dormant buds. This should be done about a month before the planned landing date. If the tubers were purchased by you somewhere, they need to be washed from the remnants of old soil and must be disinfected by holding for 20-30 minutes in a solution of potassium permanganate, boric acid or some fungicide. After that, the dried tubers are laid out in a bright place with an air temperature of 18 … 20 ° C and kept like this for about 10 days. This stimulates the awakening of not only the main, but also additional buds, from which multi-stem potato bushes will subsequently grow.
Then, for germination, the tubers are transferred to a cooler room with a temperature of 10 … 12 ° C, so that the sprouts are thick and hardened, not too stretched. A glazed balcony or veranda is a suitable place. Tubers are laid out in a single layer in boxes, boxes, even just on paper and left until planting. Over time, the buds of leaves and roots appear on the shoots. In principle, this is already enough for an early harvest. But there is one more nuance that will further accelerate the first harvest.
Tall and wide ridges are great
To do this, the tubers need not only germinate, but also allow a good root system to develop. Personally, after trying simple potato sprouting, I have been using this method for many years. I put the tubers 15-20 days before planting in boxes and boxes in a bright place under a canopy, dust it on top with wood ash and cover it with loose soil a little, but it is also possible with peat and even just sawdust.
At the same time, they can be laid out not in one layer, but in two or three, which allows you to save space without losing efficiency, so to speak. Now the main thing is to regularly moisten the tubers with warm water, avoiding strong waterlogging or drying out of the substrate. During this time, excellent roots and shoots with leaves appear on the tubers, in other words, a real potato seedling with long dense roots. This technique helps to get the first crop of potatoes two to three weeks earlier than with normal planting.
It is preferable to plant potatoes in a bright, sunny area, orienting the rows from north to south. The distance between the rows is left about 70 cm (do not worry, it only seems at first glance that it is too much), between the tubers - 35-40 cm, the embedding depth - 8-10 cm.In the holes when planting, I must add about a tablespoon of wood ash and mix thoroughly with the soil. After that, I make a depression into which I carefully plant the sprouted potato tuber. In dry weather, the hole must be spilled with warm water (at least 1 liter) in order to create an initial supply of moisture to activate plant growth.
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The first shoots will not be long in coming
In case of returnable spring frosts, ridges with early potatoes are covered with spunbond, burlap, or simply covered with soil with a hoe. By the way, the latter method is even preferable: after that, the shoots in the ridges are better warmed up by the sun and grow even more actively. When friendly small shoots of weeds appear, the aisles are loosened with a rake. Usually, two or three such loosening is sufficient to destroy most weeds at an early stage of development.
Further care for plantings is reduced to hilling, fertilizing and watering, if the weather is dry. Before hilling in the aisles, you can sprinkle complex mineral fertilizers for potatoes, which are mixed with the ground during this operation. Wide row spacings allow for wide and high ridges, in which tuber formation is much more comfortable. Such powerful ridges retain moisture and heat better, and are not washed away by rains. Often, one high hilling is enough for the entire season, except for protective hilling - from frost.
For early potatoes, early varieties are best, which form tubers in 55-65 days. In the first half of summer, late blight usually does not appear yet, and the opportunity to get a healthy harvest increases. The Colorado potato beetle can be controlled by collecting eggs and adults if the planting area is small, or by using suitable chemicals.
I wish everyone a good harvest of delicious potatoes
Growing early potatoes
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