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What You Need To Harvest Potatoes
What You Need To Harvest Potatoes

Video: What You Need To Harvest Potatoes

Video: What You Need To Harvest Potatoes
Video: When to Harvest Potatoes - Simplest Method! 2023, March

It is not by chance that potatoes are called "the second bread" for their excellent taste and high yield. And therefore, every gardener tries to allocate as much space as possible for his planting. But it is important not only to allocate space, but also to use it correctly.

Planting beds should not be shaded by trees or buildings. It is necessary to change crops in places every year, as well as use high-quality seed material.

It is necessary to use mineral and organic fertilizers correctly (use complex mineral fertilizers or a mixture of fertilizers containing all three nutrients - nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium). It is important to grow new, high-yielding, disease-resistant varieties. And do not forget to carry out weed control in time and huddle plantings.

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These are the basic rules that must be followed when growing potatoes. And then a plot of 1-1.5 hundred square meters of potatoes can feed a family of 4-5 people until the next harvest.

The calculation is very simple: on 1 weave, you can plant 570 potato tubers with a planting scheme of 0.7x0.25 cm. With an ordinary harvest of 1-1.2 kg from one bush, you can remove up to 680 kg of potatoes from one hundred square meters.

If you cannot preserve the planting material well until next year, then it is better to buy it from a specialized institution or from a seed store in the spring (March-April). For 1 hundred square meters, you need 30-35 kg of seed potatoes with tubers up to 60 g. Buying seed potatoes from the manufacturer will cost you one and a half rose cheaper than in a store.

And now the tubers are planted, you have completed the necessary work on caring for the plants and in the second half of summer you can visually evaluate your potato planting.

With proper care and high-quality planting material, the potato bush should be well developed (4-6) stems 60-80 cm in height, good dark green color. The leaf blade is wide, smooth, without wrinkles and mottling, without pronounced venation. The leaves are located horizontally to the soil surface, spread out. Landings are aligned in height. The tops are green for a long time, do not turn yellow and do not die off prematurely (if they are not affected by late blight or the first autumn frosts).

The second step in assessing potato plantings is to assess the yield during harvest. Average yield from 1 bush of early potatoes (second half of July) - 1.2-1.3 kg; mid-early (August) - from 1.5 to 2 kg; mid-season (first half of September) - more than 2 kg per bush.

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growing potatoes
growing potatoes

If you come across bushes with a large number of small ugly tubers, then most often this is a consequence of a viral disease or fungal rhizoctonia disease, as well as bacterial - black leg.

Such bushes must be discarded immediately and not used for seed purposes. Seed potatoes are harvested 2-3 weeks earlier than food potatoes, since in this case too large tubers are not needed, and it is also possible to harvest potatoes under more favorable weather conditions - in August. The tops are mowed 10-12 days before harvesting and put into a compost heap.

During this period, the peel on the tubers ripens, and the harvesting of the tops reduces the possibility of infection of the tubers with late blight. The spores of the fungus are washed off by rain from the tops to the ground, and when in contact with the tubers, infection with late blight occurs, which manifests itself on the tubers in the form of brown spots of various sizes and shapes during storage.

During harvesting, the potatoes are dried, preferably under a canopy. And then, after passing the so-called treatment period, which lasts two weeks, they sort out with rejection of damaged, sick, small tubers. Quality potatoes are stored. Optimum storage temperature in winter and early spring is + 2 … + 3 ° С. When the temperature drops to 0 ° C, the potato begins to sweeten and loses its germination, at higher temperatures it grows and grows strongly by the time of planting, which naturally affects the sowing qualities of the tubers.

For some varieties, this is unacceptable, since overgrown potatoes with broken off sprouts can become embedded. Detonation is the formation of young tubers even when stored at elevated temperatures, especially with large storage volumes, or - the formation of babies on maternal tubers in soil without surface shoots. This often occurs after sprouting before planting and in cold weather when dormant buds are not sprouting.

So if you do not have the opportunity to control the storage of potatoes and ensure optimal storage conditions, then it is better to purchase seed potatoes in the spring 1-1.5 months before planting.

How and what to fertilize potatoes


Nutrients are applied under the potatoes in the form of organic and mineral fertilizers. The main organic fertilizer is manure, which is applied on clay and loamy soils in the fall, on light sandy and sandy loamy soils - in the spring at the rate of 5-10 kg per 1 m² of area. It is impossible to leave manure on the surface of the soil, as it dries quickly and loses its value.

Another type of organic fertilizer is peat. It is usually composted with manure and mineral fertilizers. Phosphorite flour, lime and ash are added depending on the acidity of the peat in the amount of 2-4% to the compost mass. Peat-manure compost is prepared 4-6 months before application (3 parts of peat and 1 part of manure).

Chicken manure has proven itself well as an organic fertilizer. On all types of soils, its dose for potatoes is 0.5 kg per 1 m² of area for digging.

In order to provide potatoes from the very beginning of development with a sufficient amount of nutrients, it is necessary, along with organic fertilizers, to apply mineral fertilizers (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium).

Of the nutrients, nitrogen has the greatest impact on potato growth and crop formation. If nitrogen is used in excess, then it causes fattening of the stems, delays tuberization and ripening. On the other hand, nitrogen often reduces the dry matter content of potatoes, impairs taste, increases wateriness and darkening of the flesh, and also impairs shelf life and processing resistance, and increases susceptibility to disease. The nitrogen requirement for ware potatoes is 0.5-0.7 kg of active ingredient per 1 hundred square meters, which corresponds to: 1.5-2 kg of ammonium nitrate or 1-1.5 kg of carbamide (urea), or 2.5-3 kg of ammonium sulfate.

Phosphorus has the greatest impact on the intrinsic quality of potatoes. It increases the number of tubers and their starchiness, improves taste and increases stability during storage and processing, increases the viability of seed potatoes in the initial period of growth. The colder the beginning of summer and the shorter the growing season, the more important is the application of phosphorus fertilizers. The need for potatoes in phosphorus is approximately 0.4-0.5 kg of active ingredient per 1 hundred square meters, which corresponds to: 1-1.2 kg of double granular superphosphate or 2-2.5 kg of granular superphosphate.

Ammophos is a complex phosphorus-nitrogen fertilizer. It contains 50% water-soluble Р205 and up to 13% nitrogen, and it requires up to 1 kg per hundred square meters. In this case, it is necessary to reduce the amount of applied nitrogen fertilizer.

Potatoes consume a significant amount of potassium and easily take all available potassium from the soil. Potassium increases the size of tubers and the proportion of large potatoes in the crop. Due to the fact that chlorine greatly increases the wateriness and darkening of the pulp, and also impairs the taste, chlorine-free potash fertilizers should be used. The most effective are sulfate and sulfate-magnesium forms of potash fertilizers. They contribute to the increased accumulation of starch in the tubers. The negative effect of chlorine present in potassium chloride or potassium salt can be avoided by introducing these fats in the fall under autumn plowing: autumn and spring rains wash chlorine out of the soil.

The need for potatoes in potassium is 1-1.4 kg of active ingredient per 1 hundred square meters, which corresponds to: 2.2-3.2 kg of potassium sulfate or 3.3-4.6 kg of potassium magnesium, or 1.6-2.3 kg potassium chloride, or 2.5-3.5 kg of potassium salt.



To increase the yield of potatoes, the use of microfertilizers is of great importance, which not only increase the gross yield of products, but significantly improve their quality and sharply reduce the damage to potatoes by fungal diseases.

The main ways of using microelements are processing tubers before planting with weak solutions of salts of copper, zinc, manganese, molybdenum, cobalt, boron and iodine, as well as foliar feeding 3-4 weeks before harvesting.

Pre-planting treatment with microelements is carried out as follows: after 30 days of vernalization in the light, the tubers are laid, interlayering them with a peat mass moistened with a solution of nutrients and germinated for 7-8 days until a well-developed root lobe appears. 60-70 kg of seed potatoes requires 10 liters of nutrient solution.

To prepare 10 liters of nutrient solution, take: 40 g - ammonium nitrate, 60 g - superphosphate or 25 g of ammophos, 50 g - potassium sulfate or 40 g of potassium chloride. And add the required amount of trace elements:

- borax, copper sulfate (copper sulfate), zinc sulfate - 0.05% (5 g per 10 l of water or solution);

- cobalt nitrate and ammonium molybdate - 0.01% (1 g per 10 liters of water);

- potassium permanganate - 0.15% (15 g per 10 l).

Peat soils are especially deficient in copper and manganese.

Wood ash is an excellent micronutrient containing almost all the trace elements necessary for potatoes. If ash is applied as a phosphorus-potassium fertilizer, then the average dose for potatoes will be 5-6 kg per hundred square meters. When used as a microfertilizer, the dose can be reduced to 1-1.5 kg per hundred square meters.

As shown by numerous studies and practice, the introduction of organic and mineral fertilizers for potatoes is most effective. Organo-mineral mixtures not only improve plant nutrition, water-air properties of soils, but also enhance the biological activity of soil microflora.

With the combined use of organic and mineral fertilizers in the first period of growth and development, plants are supplied with readily soluble mineral fat compounds. Subsequently, when the soil warms up enough and the mineralization of organic fertilizers begins, they will serve as the main source of nutrition for potatoes.

With the combined application of organic and mineral fertilizers, not only the potato yield increases, but also the high starch content and good nutritional qualities of the tubers are preserved.

Planting tubers

Potato harvest
Potato harvest

The soil intended for planting potatoes should be loose, without large lumps, well permeable to water, air and heat.

Soil preparation begins in autumn with autumn digging (plowing) to the depth of the arable layer with the incorporation of the full rate of manure (5-10 kg / m²).

On heavy soils, 2/3 of phosphorus-potassium fertilizers (superphosphate, potassium chloride) can be applied in autumn.

Mineral nitrogen and 1/3 of phosphorus-potassium fertilizers are applied in the spring for spring tillage or directly during planting.

On light sandy soils, the leaching regime is much stronger, and therefore it is more efficient to apply organic and mineral fertilizers in spring. Plots plowed (dug up) for the winter are not harrowed.

In the spring, as soon as it is possible to go to the site, the fall is harrowed to prevent excessive drying of the soil.

They dig up a plot for potatoes shortly before planting, when the ground warms up at a depth of 10 cm to + 6 ° … + 8 ° C, and the lump thrown from the shovel should crumble. When digging, it is imperative to choose the rhizomes of weeds, remove stones and be sure to try so that there are no irregularities, drops (water can stagnate in them, and this is destructive for potatoes).

For better heating of the soil, it can be covered with a black film and already sprouted, greened potatoes can be planted at an earlier date. In this case, the tubers are planted to a shallower depth, since the surface layer of the soil warms up faster. A ridge with early potatoes can be covered with spunbond or lutrasil until warm weather sets in.

The optimal time to complete the planting of potatoes according to the natural calendar is the formation of a full leaf of poplar. For example, in the southern and western regions of the Leningrad Region this usually happens in the first decade, and in the northern and eastern regions - in the second decade of May. Planting depth of potatoes 6-8 cm, counting the distance from the top of the tuber to the soil surface. On sandy and sandy loam soils, as well as in areas with insufficient moisture on all types of soils, it is more advisable to plant deeply to a depth of 8-10 cm. Set small tubers smaller - by 4-5 cm. plant potatoes in the ridges.

The most common potato planting pattern is in rows. The distance between the rows is 70 cm. In the row between the tubers - from 18 cm to 30 cm. Small tubers are planted more often, since they develop fewer stems, standard seed tubers are planted at a distance of 22-25 cm, large tubers - at 30 cm. Do not forget that in addition to organic and mineral fertilizers, potatoes also need micronutrient fertilizers.

Complex mineral fertilizers of the Kemira company contain all micronutrient fertilizers necessary for potatoes. If this is too expensive for you, then use wood ash - 1 handful of ash when planting in each hole.

I wish all gardeners success in mastering agricultural techniques for growing potatoes!

Valentina Lopatina, agronomist

Photo by Olga Rubtsova

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