Features of growing potatoes: preparation and planting
The main mistake of beginning gardeners when growing potatoes is that everything that is not eaten must be planted and a crop obtained. Most do so. And in the autumn they sadly shrug their hands if the crop is absent or so miserable that there is no point in digging. The second mistake is planting a varietal mixture. Some bushes are still green, while others have dried up so much that it is not possible to determine where the bush was. But the most annoying thing is that mashed potatoes are lush only from potatoes, and shapeless crumbs instead of cubes in a salad. Other tubers, on the other hand, in the soup resemble cloudy blue glasses, and the smellless broth has a strange aftertaste.
From a bad seed do not expect a good tribe
This old adage succinctly and succinctly answers all the questions of beginning gardeners and at the same time relieves them of the main mistakes in potato gardening.
Getting a high crop of excellent quality depends on the purpose of the potato: for salads, vinaigrettes, mashed potatoes, soups and borsch. For each type of finished product, its own varieties are developed, which are divided into groups with different growing periods during the warm season.
Potatoes are divided by the length of the growing season:
- on the early, forming the crop in 80-90 days;
- medium early, tuber harvest is obtained in 100-115 days;
- medium, the crop of which takes a period of 115-125 days;
- medium late, with a growing season of 125-140 days;
- later, the formation of a crop of tubers which takes more than 140 days.
The length of the warm season determines the group of potato varieties, which are preferred in the area. It makes no sense to grow late potatoes in areas where the warm period lasts 2-4 months. But the division into groups does not solve the issues of crop quality and its use for the preparation of various dishes.
Within each group, priority is given to varieties that differ in economic (taste, starch content, pulp color) and biological characteristics (yield, keeping quality, shape of tubers, resistance to pests and diseases, etc.). Each variety corresponds to botanical characters (stems, leaves, flowers, etc.), according to which in the field it is possible to clearly separate the varieties and remove the variety.
More than 2000 varieties of potatoes were bred in the Russian Federation and the CIS, but about 200 zoned varieties and hybrids are actively used in plantings. There is still no universal variety that does not depend on climatic and soil conditions. So that the whole warm season to be with your fresh potatoes in the garden planted 2-4 varieties with the desired economic characteristics of different ripening dates (early middle, etc.).
Self preparation of seed
Experienced gardeners often run their own seed production. Having acquired certain skills and experience, the owners produce seed material when harvesting potatoes. To avoid raznosortitsy necessarily carry out sorting.
If, for various reasons, they were not carried out, then the most typical shrubs (seed) are noted on the bed, the tubers of which are left next to the hole. Harvesting begins with these bushes. Seed tubers (homogeneous, no more than chicken eggs, absolutely healthy without external lesions by diseases, pests, without wounds received during care and cleaning) are immediately taken from the nest.
Selected testes are immediately separately laid out for drying and final selection for storage until spring. You can pre-calculate the amount of planting material needed. Usually per 1 sq. 5-7 potato tubers with an average weight of 50 to 70, sometimes 90-100 g, are planted per square meter.
After harvesting the seed, proceed to complete harvesting. In order not to litter the field and not feed the pests, they remove all potatoes from the field bed, including small and diseased ones, as well as tops. Healthy laid on composting, and the patient is burned, returning ash to the field. When the beds intended for potatoes are released, they begin the autumn preparation of the soil.
Please note that the process of growing potatoes from seeds is described in the article Growing Potatoes from Seeds.
Purchase of planting material
Beginners in the gardening business usually purchase the planting material for the first few years. When purchasing, you must adhere to several rules.
- Do not purchase material from random sellers.
- Acquire only zoned planting material for seed farms.
- Each purchase is accompanied by a brief description of the variety (ask the seller for it).
The annotation should indicate the group and name of the potato variety, the region (region) of cultivation. Approximate date of planting in open ground, the duration of the growing season, productivity. Characterization of the properties of pulp during heat treatment. Resistance to diseases and pests. Keeping quality. If not, don’t risk buying seed. You can simply be deceived.
In the presence of the seller, analyze the quality of the purchased material and its relevance to the written annotation. Check the uniformity of the purchased material, the size of the potato tubers (with chicken egg). The external coloring of the peel, the shape of the tuber. The characteristic location of the ocelli, their size, shape (round, oblong, in-depth, single, in groups). Otherwise, you will buy a miscellaneous grader.
Sorting and inspection of seed
At home, purchased potato tubers are subjected to a thorough inspection after preliminary washing from dirt (if necessary). On examination, patients who are damaged, damaged and differ in appearance (elongated, round), the color of the flesh (white, pink, yellow. Intensely blue, red, etc.) are immediately rejected.
Healthy potato tubers are sorted into small (30-50 g), medium (50-80 g) and large (more than 80 g). Each weight category in the future will have more uniform seedlings, its own development speed, and will facilitate the maintenance of plantings and their treatments. In addition, large tubers can be divided into several fragments before planting.
Preparing potato tubers for planting
Depending on the condition of the potato tubers (deep, sleeping eyes, or vice versa the eyes are sprouted, but etiolated, etc.), the planting material is subjected to additional preparation for planting in open ground. Sleeping eyes on tubers are stimulated or awakened in a variety of ways. Sprouted eyes green. The preparation of planting material makes it possible to reduce the period of seedling production during planting, and, therefore, to obtain an earlier crop.
With etiolated sprouted eyes, the tubers are landscaped, which is also called light vernalization. Prepared potato tubers are laid out on window sills, in transparent containers, in grape boxes in 1 layer under moderate lighting 20-30 days before planting.
Systematically, the tubers are moisturized and turned over. The temperature in the room is maintained within +12 .. + 17 ° C. Prepared tubers should have uniform gardening. They cannot be used as food.
If necessary, the light vernalization of potatoes is combined with the treatment of tubers with nutritious and disinfectant solutions to stimulate eye growth and protect against disease damage. On depleted soils, it is more advisable to plant tubers additionally treated with nutrients.
Processing is carried out in different solutions. Each gardener has his own proven methods of preparing material for planting and usually uses them. The article provides two types of solutions for beginner gardeners and they are not a dogma for mandatory use.
1 way. About 4-6 weeks before planting, the potato tubers are soaked for 20-30 minutes in a room temperature solution. In order not to mess with the calculations, when preparing solutions of several components, it is advisable to use ready-made complex fertilizers crystallin, vuksal, which contain in addition to the main nutrition elements 8 microelements. 20-25 g of fertilizer and 1-2 teaspoons of bioglobin eye growth stimulator are dissolved in 10 l of water.
Processed potato tubers are placed in boxes in 1 or 2 layers. Boxes are taken out into a dark room for 2 weeks, with a temperature of +12 .. + 17 ° С. After the dark phase of germination, boxes or other containers with tubers are exposed for landscaping.
2 way. If diseased tubers are found in the purchased seed material, then all the sorted groups (small, medium, large tubers) are processed in a solution containing preparations that promote accelerated germination of the eyes, laying of root tubercles and simultaneous protection against fungal and bacterial diseases. 20-25 g of complex fertilizer are diluted in 10 l of water, 50-100 g of wood ash, 5 g of copper sulphate and a pinch of potassium permanganate (1-2 g) are added.
Bioglobin, rootin and trichodermin (antifungal biofungicide) are added to the solution. The mixture is thoroughly mixed. Tubers are sprayed or dipped in boxes of potatoes for 2-4 minutes in the prepared solution. In the next 10-20 days, tubers are sprayed with the prepared solution after 1-3 days. Then, with sufficient development and greening of the eyes on the tubers, they are planted in the ground.
Dark germination of roots on sprouts
Some gardeners prefer to plant tubers in open ground with a mature root system on the sprouts. This method increases the speed, power and number of future tubers on the stolons of potatoes. The preparation of tubers is carried out in containers with wet filler without access to light. A layer of coniferous chips, sawdust, peat is poured with a layer of 2-3 cm at the bottom of plastic or wooden containers lined with a film. It is sufficient to moisten with a nutrient solution prepared according to the above method.
You can prepare solutions using 10 teaspoons of water, 3 teaspoons of nitrophosphate, urea, or Effon fertilizer. It is impossible to overestimate concentration. To protect against tuber damage by fungal diseases, planriz, trichodermin, and other biofungicides that are harmless to the soil, human health, and pets are added to the nutrient solution. Potato tubers are tightly laid on the treated litter. Subsequent rows are interbedded, like the first.
The top row should be covered with filler. Moisturize the filler after 4-6 days. To maintain humidity, the containers are covered with a film and installed in rooms without access to light. With this method of preparation, potato tubers are laid for germination immediately before planting in open ground, the temperature of which in the layer of 10-15 cm is close to the temperature of the filler (within +8 .. + 12 ° C). Roots form on sprouts in 7-10 days.
When reaching the root length of 1-2 cm, the tubers are immediately planted. Tubers with rooted eyes are ready for planting in 1.5-2.0 weeks.
Potato tuber planting dates
It is irrational to tie potato planting in open ground to a specific date. The weather depends on many factors, and over the years the difference in the occurrence of warm frost-free weather can vary widely (10-30 days).
Therefore, in different regions, potato planting begins:
- at the onset of the spring frost-free period characteristic of the region. It is usually indicated on calendars, reported on synoptic television channels, etc.
- In the frost-free period, the planting of tubers is carried out when the soil warms up in a layer of 10-12 cm to +5 .. + 7 ° C, and for non-germinated +8 .. + 10 ° C, the air temperature is not lower than + 10 ° C. Planting with sprouted planting material accelerates crop harvesting by 1.5-2.0 weeks.
At an air temperature of +10 .. + 12 ° С, potatoes emerge in 20-25 days. When the temperature rises to +18 ° C - on 12-13 days. Young plants can withstand a short-term drop in air temperature to -1.5ºС. Lowering the temperature of the soil to -1.0 ° C causes the death of tubers. Hence the conclusion: too early landings are not effective. They delay the emergence of seedlings up to 30 days.
The formation of aboveground mass begins at +11 ° C. During the growing season, the optimum soil temperature for intensive growth of potato tubers is +16 .. + 19 ° С. Higher retards their development. Lower soil temperature by evening watering and mulching.
Methods and schemes for planting potatoes
Depending on the type of soil, climatic conditions, the planting of potato tubers is carried out in different ways.
The most common 3 methods:
- smooth in the holes and tape (simple and double),
- comb with increased soil moisture,
- trench in arid areas.
Before proceeding with the planting of prepared potatoes of standard sizes, read the general recommendations for planting agricultural technology (table).
- With a deviation of the size of the potato tubers from the standard distance, they can vary, but no more than 3-5 cm. All types of planting must be mulched before the soil is completely covered with overgrown tops.
- Landings for uniform lighting are always located from north to south.
- With any method of planting, it is necessary to maintain the distance between the rows and tubers in a row, recommended for different groups of potatoes.
- Always maintain the depth of planting, which depends on the type of soil,
- Thickening is acceptable only with a certain method of planting and when planting with small planting material.
Agrotechnical requirements for planting standard potato tubers.
Early ripe varieties of potatoes:
- The distance between the rows, ridges 45-50 cm
- The distance between the tubers in a row of 25-30 cm
- Tuber planting depth:
- light soil, 10-12 cm
- heavy loamy, 8-10 cm
- heavy clay 4-5 cm
Mid-season potato varieties:
- The distance between the rows, ridges 50-60 cm
- The distance between the tubers in a row 30-35 cm
- Tuber planting depth:
- light soil 10-12 cm
- heavy loamy 08-10 cm
- heavy clay 04-05 cm
Late ripening potato varieties:
- The distance between the rows, ridges 60-70 cm
- The distance between the tubers in a row of 35-40 cm
- Tuber planting depth:
- light soil 10-12 cm
- heavy loamy 08-10 cm
- heavy clay 04-05 cm
Planting potatoes on a smooth field
On cultivated soils that are sufficiently moisture-intensive and breathable, you can plant potatoes directly in holes or furrows. The holes are dug 8-12 cm deep with a row spacing of 50-70 cm. With this method of planting, several schemes can be used.
Row method with equal row spacing throughout the site.
Double tapes from two rows. The distance between the rows in the tape is 40 cm, and between the tapes 80-90 cm. In the row, the tubers are planted after 30-40 cm, using the checkerboard distribution of tubers in the tape rows. An interesting scheme is that watering is carried out in the tape between the rows, and the soil from the row-spacing is used for hilling. Hilling is carried out every 8-10 days and weeds do not have time to grow. Weeds and other waste are discharged into wide aisles; fertilizers are added in the fall. The soil is not dug, but loosened to a depth of 10-15 cm. The next year, this row-spacing serves as the main two-row ribbon. In place of last year's tape n form a wide aisle.
On a flat surface, it is convenient to use a square-nested landing pattern. It is especially suitable when planting late and bushy varieties of potatoes.
On the leveled area, 15-20 cm ridges are made with a hoe. A distance of 50-70 cm is between the ridges. For coarse bush, the distance is increased in acceptable sizes. Too rarely, planted potatoes will actively overgrow with weeds.On the top of the ridges make holes in which tubers are planted.
This method of planting is advisable in regions with sufficient natural moisture and in areas with a high occurrence of groundwater. In addition, it is also advisable on heavy soils, since they slowly swim and compact in the ridges. Porosity lasts longer in ridges, which improves soil air exchange, which contributes to better tuber formation.
By the way! In the old days and now in many villages during the formation of tubers, air exchange is improved by piercing the soil with a pitchfork or knife. Tools are stuck vertically in several places near the bushes, swaying slightly so as not to damage the stolons.
Potato Trench Planting
In arid areas and on light soils, it is better to plant potatoes in trenches. With this method, less moisture is lost in the plantings; the amount of watering can be reduced. Trenches are dug 2-3 cm deeper, recommended for planting tubers. Top cover with a layer of soil, not higher than the edge of the trench. With this method of cultivation, it is necessary to mulch the soil until the soil is completely covered with tops.
In detail about agricultural cultivation potato is written in the article: Features of the cultivation of potatoes: agricultural technology.
Alternative methods of growing potatoes
In addition to the generally accepted, today gardeners offer a large number of original cultivation methods that help to remove a sufficient potato crop from a small area: under a black film, under straw, hay, in boxes, barrels, bags, buckets, in barrows, etc.