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Video: How And When To Plant Potatoes
Read the previous part. ← What conditions prefers potatoes
Everyone wants tasty potatoes. Part 3
When to plant tubers?
I try to plant potatoes early (for the Urals), around May 20. Usually our gardeners plant potatoes much later, guided by the fact that the ground is not warmed up enough. It really is. The soil in May is still very cold, and in August it becomes already cold, there are often continuous rains.
It turns out that very little time is given to potatoes for the growing season and the formation of the crop (that's why its crops in the Urals are usually simply ridiculous). Therefore, to increase the growing season, I prefer to plant in cold soil, especially since well-sprouted tubers calmly tolerate a lack of heat in the ground and begin to develop actively. But planting unsprouted tubers in cold soil is disastrous (they can get sick with rhizoctonia, in which the sprouts die).
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How to plant potatoes?
It would seem that there is nothing to talk about - everyone knows perfectly well how to plant potatoes. However, not everyone manages to harvest a decent harvest in autumn. There may be a lot of reasons for this, and it may be due to errors in landing. Today I would like to dwell on the planting option that will help to get a good crop of tubers with insufficiently fertile soil, which is often one of the main reasons for small potato yields for gardeners. For many years, until a very fertile breathable soil was formed on the site, I planted potatoes in trenches.
This method is laborious, but it provides very good results and can help many, because few gardeners can boast of truly fertile soil. True, now that our soil has become fertile and light (which means it provides sufficient nutrition and heats up faster in spring), I plant it according to a simplified scheme. Instead of ordinary trenches, I make shallow mini-trenches, which are not filled with anything in the fall. The purpose of such trenches (and soil ditches next to them) is to provide faster heating of the soil in spring.
When using the trench method, preparation for planting potatoes next year begins immediately after harvesting. Peculiar trenches are being dug in place of future potato rows. The distance between them is about 70 cm, and the width of the trench is 43-45 cm. In autumn, small twigs, household waste, tops with the addition of rotted manure and a small amount of stale sawdust are piled in them. From above, all this is covered with leaves.
The trenches are filled with this organic matter to about 2/3 of the depth. This concludes the autumn preparation. During the winter, the contents of the trenches are compacted, and with the onset of spring it will begin to burn out in a humid environment. This provides a warm cushion for planting potatoes on it. It plays a double role: on the one hand, it provides organic fertilization, on the other, it raises the temperature in the root development zone. The ground in the ridges remains loose, in the spring it easily warms up under the rays of the sun, and faster than on a smooth surface, precisely because of its height above the level of the garden.
In the spring, at the places where the tubers are supposed to be planted in the trenches, a nutrient mixture is added, which ensures the formation of strong plants in the future without additional feeding. There are a lot of options, and for all the time of my experiments I have tried many. I will name the ones I liked the most.
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Option 1: a handful of stale sawdust, a handful of Bioks bird droppings, two handfuls of ash, 1/2 handful of Giant for Potato fertilizer, 1/2 tablespoon of superphosphate and 1 tablespoon of complex fertilizer (azofoska or universal). If available, I add an additional handful of chopped bark.
Option 2: a handful of stale sawdust, two handfuls of ash, a handful of Biox bird droppings, 1/2 handful of Kemir's fertilizer. It's also a good idea to add a handful of chopped bark. This is a better option due to Kemir's very efficient fertilization.
Option 3: 1 sachet of APION-30 fertilizer. It is a long-acting fertilizer, which in the complex contains all the necessary nutrients and gives them to the plant gradually. As a result, no other fertilizers are required, as well as top dressing during the growing season, which is very convenient.
Please note: if the sawdust is not very dark (that is, it did not lie long enough), then they can only be used together with urea, otherwise the potatoes will lack nitrogen.
Regardless of the option, all components of the mixture are thoroughly mixed with that small amount of soil, which was sprinkled with a layer of organic matter in the potato trench.
Next, you need to start landing. I use the triangular potato planting scheme described many times in the literature: each next row is planted with a shift, so that in the end an equilateral triangle is obtained. As a result, it turns out that in each trench there are, as it were, two potato rows. The recommended optimal size of the sides of the triangle for potatoes in our area is 50 cm.
I start planting from the first trench, carefully moving along the second, so as not to trample the organic pillow in it, and laying out the tubers on the nutrient mixture introduced before. The distance between the tubers is 50 cm. I water each tuber a little, and then I fill them in a trench with a layer of 3-4 cm of earth from the ridge. So, the first row of potatoes is planted. You can proceed to the second. I move to the third trench and plant the tubers in the second in the same way as the first, etc. I cover the planted area with a film. It creates favorable conditions for the rapid emergence of seedlings. In addition, we never do without frosts, and the film will also protect against them.
Read the next part. Potato care during the growing season →
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