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How Does The Number Of Sprouts Affect Potato Yield?
How Does The Number Of Sprouts Affect Potato Yield?

Video: How Does The Number Of Sprouts Affect Potato Yield?

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Video: Sprouting Potatoes – Everything You’ll Want to Know! 2023, February
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Super-yield of potatoes - answers to questions

growing potatoes
growing potatoes

Photo 1. Tubers from a cold basement

Potato gardeners often have questions about growing their favorite crop. They are looking for answers to them, they often turn to me. Here is part of a letter from a passionate gardener from Kazan:

“Oleg, hello! I think I understood your idea: 70% is a three-line planting of tuber parts with 2-3 eyes. I'm afraid I won't use this method.

I still have very tenacious stereotypes that shout: “Don't cut! Plant it entirely! " Yes, I will plant tubers in two lines, I will do banding, but I will cut them in half … The yield of whole tubers is higher, as I understand it? There will be no seed deficit. This means that it remains only to prepare them correctly. Here, too, everything is clear, except for one thing - shading 10 days before planting.

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I have not heard that shading somehow affects the tubers. On the contrary, he believed that a lack of light is harmful. Explain, please. I would like to get maximum results with the least errors. Perhaps this is parasitic thinking, you have to reach everything yourself. Then consider that I am a parasite"

On "parasitic" thinking

For a number of reasons, I have recently had to communicate a lot with entrepreneurs of different levels. And here's what catches your eye: the more an entrepreneur's income, the easier it is to talk to him. And the more he is glad to tell you, teach, help with advice.

Famous gardeners and gardeners also willingly share secrets. Even if they are sure that they will not receive anything from this person. It seems that their personal success is to some extent due to the fact that they do not hide their secrets. They give - it means they receive a hundredfold. So the request of the author of this letter is not parasitism, but rather help to the one to whom it is addressed. After all, I also want to come a little closer to the level of the famous Kuznetsov, Zamyatkin, Zhelezov. Remember the eternal: "Freely you received - freely give."

Another question is whether my conclusions are correct. Humans tend to make mistakes. Only the one who does nothing is not mistaken. So it is not worth relying on my conclusions as the ultimate truth.

The question of inhibitors

Inhibitors are substances that suppress something: a plant, some body functions, etc. In this case, we are talking about substances that inhibit the development of sprouts when the tuber is exposed to light. In nature, everything is thought out wisely. In order for a potato plant to exist normally, it is necessary that the tuber be in an optimal environment, where it is dark and humid. Imagine what would happen if the tuber begins to grow intensively in the light.

Without roots, the plant will quickly use up the reserves of nutrients in the tuber and die. But if the growth is restrained, while there are no optimal conditions, then the tuber with sprouts can survive for more than a year, slowly losing nutrients. He lies and waits: what if an animal accidentally buries him, or some other occasion happens, and he ends up in the ground. It became dark and humid - you can grow.

But potatoes have one peculiarity. In a tuber that was buried in the ground, the shoots do not begin to grow intensively immediately, but after some time - 7-10 days. Scientists explain this fact by the presence in the sprouts of certain substances (inhibitors) produced in the light and destroyed in the dark. These substances inhibit the growth of sprouts. Therefore, if you hide the tubers from light for a week before planting, you will wait for seedlings a week earlier. This is the answer to this secret, confirmed by my experience.

And here's another question from the letter:

“I realized that the yield depends on the number of shoots. I realized that there are methods for increasing their number by ringing, planting "upward sprouts". I thought for a long time about planting up the "umbilical cord". And what will happen if you turn the potato tubers in advance, without waiting for planting? The shoots have gone, a little has grown, and I have them - hrya! I turned it over and I wait for it to be trampled on the other side! Or will it not trample? However, this is theory. I'm not going to nurse every tuber like that. There are no such conditions in the apartment”.

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Number of sprouts and yield

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growing potatoes

Photo 2

Practice often grows out of theory and is quite successful. About ten years ago I read about a farm in the North Caucasus. Potatoes from sprouts were grown there on an industrial scale. Tubers were germinated in special cellars, sprouts were separated and planted using special equipment.

The sprouts were removed from the same tuber twice, and the remaining tubers were fed to cattle. As a result, they received up to 800 (!) Kg per one hundred square meters. Just think - 20 bags per hundred square meters! And turning the tubers is much easier than tinkering with the sprouts. If this technique leads to super-productivity, then we, land-poor gardeners, should do this. What do you think?

Of course, I tried this technique in practice. Sprouted tubers slightly. Then - grunt! I turned it over and I expect it to trample on the other side. Waited for a long time. Several repetitions. Not flooded on the other side. Flooded only with the one with which the pearl was originally. Later I read the article. The author said that if you plant the tuber upside down, the seedlings will appear at the same time. The sprouts from the bottom of the tuber are closer to the surface than the apical sprouts. In my experiments, this has never happened.

Tuber sprouts develop according to certain laws. The most powerful and the fastest are at the top. The rest are spare. These spare shoots begin to develop intensively only if something has happened to the apical shoots. Look at photos 1 and 2. In photo 1 tubers from a cold basement (SibNIISH). A temperature of about 0 degrees contributed to the appearance of 4-6 sprouts from each eye throughout the tuber.

This is an average of 50 sprouts from each tuber! Have you ever seen a potato bush that naturally formed 50 independent stems? I haven't even heard of that. Here the wisdom of nature is included: there is no need to breed poverty if there is no threat to life. Only 5-7 shoots will grow into the trunks, or even less. The tuber itself regulates the number of daughter plants. The remaining sprouts will not die for a long time, but they will stop developing. As if they would freeze. If something happens to the main trunks, these sprouts will immediately start growing. While the main trunks are alive, the spare ones "sleep".

From a letter: “I realized that the yield depends on the number of shoots. I realized that there are methods for increasing their number (ringing, landing "upside down")."

Planting tubers seedlings down

growing potatoes
growing potatoes

Photo 3

Now about planting tubers "upside down" - this method does not work for increasing the number of sprouts. This has already been said above. What does he give? An increase in the length of the underground part of the stem, which means a potential increase in the number of roots and stolons, as during hilling, but without hilling. Trunks enlargement.

But additional barrels are "stepchildren" from those barrels that already exist. Even if the main trunks bush underground, as in photo 3. In fact, a bush that has grown from such a tuber as in this photo is not a potato bush (a collection of individual plants), but one plant.

The yield depends very indirectly on the number of sprouts. Why indirectly? Why, we have already seen: there can be fifty sprouts, and how many of them will develop trunks is a separate question. Moreover, it is impossible to program it. The relationship is different: the more stems (individual plants) have developed, the higher the potential yield. Potential means it may or may not be. Depends on many reasons. So increasing the number of sprouts is not an end in itself.

growing potatoes
growing potatoes

Photo 4

And often techniques that increase the number of sprouts do not give a significant increase in yield. For example, a ring cut. There is an effect from it. But insignificant. I spent a lot of time experimenting with this technique. Ringing gives an increase in the number of sprouts - they also appear on the umbilical cord.

But again, these are spare shoots - they develop up to a certain point, and then stop development. Even a jumper (not cut through the middle of the tuber) with a diameter of 0.5 cm allows the tuber to feel that it is whole. This means that there is no need to develop spare shoots. Photo 4 shows this very well. Look: over time, the tuber loses moisture and nutrients in the umbilical cord.

At the same time, it remains fresh in its apical part, where the main sprouts are - he directs all his efforts to "educate" strong first-borns, depriving the "storekeepers". The same thing happens in an uncut tuber. The only difference is that the border between the wilted part and the juicy is less pronounced.

growing potatoes
growing potatoes

Photo 5

One more observation. It makes sense to make a ring cut only before the sprouts on the tuber start growing. If the tubers have finished the dormant period and "woke up", the annular cut will not even give an increase in the number of shoots (photo 5). In many sources I have come across recommendations to make an annular cut in a certain month, or "two months before planting."

These recommendations make sense if you have ideal storage and potatoes never sprout there. If it is warm in your cellar, and the potatoes have completed their dormant period in November (sprouts have sprouted), then it is too late to make a ring cut even in November. Once I read this statement: “If the transverse incision is made small, then the buds on the lower part of the tuber freeze completely.

An amazing paradox: a deep cut acts on the stolon part of the tuber like "living" water, and a shallow one - like "dead". The small incision blocks the downstream flow under the skin so that the lower eyes are left without nutrients. " From his experiments, he made a slightly different conclusion: a small incision is completely useless. Deep is ineffective. A deep incision, just like a shallow one, blocks the flows of substances going to the lower part.

The same author wrote: “The phenomenon of apical dominance in plants is known: the buds at the top of the stem overtake in growth and even suppress the buds located below. This phenomenon is also typical for the eyes on the potato tuber. That is, a tuber is not just a homogeneous store of nutrients. It can be seen as a distinctive plant form with plant-specific nutrient flows. These flows go upward through the inner tissues, and downward through the “cambium” tissues (under the skin)”.

It would be logical to assume that in order to increase the number of sprouts, it should be more effective not to cut the outer tissues of the tuber, but from its middle - the inner tissues. He also conducted such experiments. I inserted a scalpel into the tuber and cut the middle, leaving the outer tissues intact. Tubers treated in this way did lose moisture in about the same way both at the top and at the umbilical cord. But only this did not help to increase the number of actively developing sprouts on the umbilical cord.

Apparently, here a very important role is played by the fact that the connection between the two halves is not completely broken. Through these unresolved bridges, some information is transmitted, which allows the tuber to consider itself, albeit damaged, but whole. In contrast to the annular incision, there is a technique that always, and not potentially leads to an increase in the number of trunks - this is cutting the seed tubers. A tuber cut in two is two tuber, and they behave accordingly.

Cut - do not cut

Now to the question of stereotypes in the brain and about cutting - not cutting? If we talk about the comparison "higher - lower yield", then you must first decide what to compare with? If we compare the yield of a whole tuber with the yield from the share of a tuber with one sprout, then the yield of the whole is higher. If we compare the yield of the whole and the combined parts, then the yield of the parts is higher. And much more. How much higher - a lot depends on the landing pattern. The yield of a half of a tuber can be equal to that of a whole tuber. In my experience, the yield from the tops of the tubers was higher than from the whole tubers. There are many nuances here. But this is the topic of the next conversation

Perhaps I am not taking into account something, drawing conclusions from my practice, from my experiments. I would be glad to advice from more observant potato growers.

I wish you rich harvests!

Read the next part. Technique of planting potatoes with shares of tubers →

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