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 earth is not warmed up enough. This is indeed the case. 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 allotted for the growing season and the formation of the crop for potatoes (which is why its crops in the Urals are usually simply ridiculous). Therefore, in order 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 destructive (they can get sick with rhizoctonia, in which the sprouts die).
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 the fall. 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 provides very good results and can help many, because few gardeners can boast of truly fertile soil. True, now, when 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 applying the same trench method preparations for planting potatoes next year begin immediately after harvest. 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 fertilizer, on the other hand, it increases the temperature in the zone of root development. 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 further formation of strong plants 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.
Option 1: a handful of old sawdust, a handful of Biox 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 station wagon). 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 the very efficient fertilization of Kemir.
Option 3: 1 sachet fertilizers APION-30... 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 additional fertilizing 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 many times described in the literature triangular landing pattern potatoes: each next row is planted with a shift, so that the end result is an equilateral triangle. 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 go 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 →
Read all parts of the article "Everyone wants tasty potatoes"
- Part 1. Growing potato seedlings, propagation by cuttings
- Part 2. What conditions prefers potatoes
- Part 3. How and when to plant potatoes
- Part 4. Care of potatoes during the growing season
Favorable days for planting potatoes in Siberia in 2021 according to the lunar calendar
Preparing seed potatoes for planting
Starting from the end of March and throughout April, we prepare the potatoes for planting.
Seed potatoes should be medium in size (about the size of a large chicken egg), maybe slightly larger. If the tubers are too large, then right before planting they can be cut into 2-3 parts, so that each piece has two or three sprouted eyes.
We take out seed potatoes, inspect them, discard damaged tubers and put them in a warm room for germination. I do this approximately from March 25 to April 10. I put the potatoes in boxes covered with newspaper and put them in the corridor, next to the heating pipe and the window - it’s warm and light. So they stand until disembarkation, until about May 10. This is planted in the vegetable garden.
They are planted in the field from about 20 to 25 May - in different years in different ways. Accordingly, for the field, potatoes for germination are obtained on May 1.
Potatoes should warm up and germinate before planting for about 3-4 weeks.
Potatoes are a light-loving culture, so it is important to choose a planting site that is not planted with trees or shrubs. The soil should be loose, light. You cannot plant potatoes after nightshades. Plants that are close in origin have the same pests and diseases. You can also not plant in the place where there was an infection with nematodes, scab and other diseases last year. It grows well after cabbage, cucumber, lettuce, carrots and beets. It is not always possible to plant potatoes every year in a new place, then the site must be well fertilized.
Fertilizers for potatoes
Potatoes are very fond of organic matter. In the fall, for digging, you can add semi-rotted manure. In the spring, you can fertilize with compost, peat or humus. A good fertilizer for potatoes is chicken manure, it can be applied dry. On average, 5-10 kg of organic matter is introduced per 1 m².
Of the mineral fertilizers used for potatoes:
- ammonium nitrate - before planting 1 kg per hundred square meters, or urea - 1 kg per hundred square meters before planting,
- double superphosphate - 1 kg per hundred square meters in spring or autumn,
potassium sulfate - 2 kg per hundred square meters in spring or autumn.
Ash - 5 kg per hundred square meters.
- Of the complex mineral fertilizers for potatoes, nitrophoska is applied - 5 kg per hundred square meters, or nitroammophoska - 3 kg per hundred square meters, for spring digging.
- Light sandy soils need magnesium, which is added in the form of magic sulfate - at the rate of 80 g, or dolomite flour - 20 g per 1 m².
You need to plant potatoes when the ground at a depth of 15 cm warms up to + 6 + 8 degrees.
The land for potatoes must be prepared in advance. You can plow with a tractor, cultivator or dig up with a shovel on a bayonet.
Whether potatoes are red, yellow, blue, oval, flat or round, they are always a welcome treat on our tables. You can buy potatoes in the store, but it is much more interesting and tastier to grow it with your own hands when you feel pride in yourself from the harvest.
Not a single vegetable garden is complete without planting potatoes. Someone is planting potatoes all over the garden, someone is a couple of rows, and I have it takes up a quarter of the garden. I have a place for potatoes at the end of the garden, it is completely sunny.
How and when to plant potatoes in 2020
Preparing potatoes for planting is a very crucial and important stage, on which the quantity and quality of the harvested crop directly depend.
To obtain a good harvest, it is necessary to carefully select the planting material: potato tubers should not be affected by scab or rot, have visible damage, black spots and soft areas. Do not choose too small or too large tubers. Tuber mass should be 50–80 g.
There are quite a few techniques for preparing potatoes for planting, which trigger biological processes in the tubers for the formation of sprouts and the development of the root system. Depending on the method chosen, preparation can take from 3 to 25 days.
HOW TO PLANT POTATOES?
We talked about where to plant potatoes and how to choose the most suitable place and soil for it, and now we'll talk about how to plant potatoes correctly in order to get a high yield.
You can start planting potato tubers in the soil only when the soil warms up — up to +6. .8 ° С at a depth of 10 cm. Usually in the middle zone this occurs in late April - early May. In the southern regions, by the May holidays, potatoes sometimes already bloom, and many here manage to get 2 crops of potatoes per season. At the same time, you need to understand that not only too cold soil is not suitable for planting potatoes, but also too warm, since the roots will develop too slowly in it. Therefore, everything has its time, do not rush and do not postpone the moment of planting potatoes.
PREPARATION OF THE POTATO BEDS. Both the soil and tubers for planting must be prepared in the fall. In the fall, fertilize and dig well the garden bed to a depth of at least 30 cm. For 1 m 2 you will need 50 g. superphosphate, 30 g of potash fertilizer and half a bucket of compost. Nitrogen fertilizers are not applied in the fall. In the spring, you can add them in a small amount (15 g / m 2) or not add them at all. If the spring is very warm, then give up the spring digging, limit yourself to simple loosening with a rake.
LANDING MATERIAL. It is also better to select planting material in the fall. Many select tubers worse and in the spring from what is left, but this is fundamentally wrong. Worse potatoes will grow worse potatoes, no matter how successful they are potato variety... Therefore, do not regret and select good planting material immediately after harvest.
The best planting material is large or medium-sized potatoes weighing at least 60 g. Try to select planting material from those bushes that have yielded the greatest yield of potatoes of the same size. In spring, you can cut large tubers into 2 pieces for more planting material. Each piece should have kidneys. However, if possible, do not cut the tubers, plant the whole potatoes, then the bushes will be stronger and the potatoes will need less maintenance. Select only healthy tubers for planting material.
To increase the keeping quality of the planting material, after harvesting, let the planting material lie for several days in the light (but not in direct sunlight) until the skin turns slightly green. Place the tubers in a light partial shade under a canopy. Attention: green tubers are great for planting, but are no longer suitable for human or animal food, as they become poisonous. Tubers for planting can be treated with special preparations against diseases and parasites. This can be done both in autumn and spring.
Usually, sprouts appear on the tubers by spring. If there are no shoots or they are weak, then a few days before planting, the seed germinates in a bright, warm room. To do this, you can put the tubers in a transparent plastic bag with holes for air. The tubers should have sprouts of about 1 cm before planting.
If the planting material is ready for planting and the soil is still cold, or if you want to start early to get 2 crops per season, the potatoes can be planted first in a box with wet sawdust or peat chips. Fertilizers are added to the boxes. The boxes are placed in a room of any illumination with a temperature of 10 - 15 ° С. Water the potatoes in boxes as the sawdust dries. This technique is called wet germination.
To get an early harvest of potatoes, a close to seedling method of germination is also often used. When centimeter-long sprouts appear on the tubers, they are planted in paper cups or peat pots and kept in a heated greenhouse until good weather. Before planting in the garden, the seedlings must be hardened. As soon as the air temperature rises above +10 ° C, cups or pots should be taken outside during the day, and taken to the greenhouse at night. Do this until the earth warms up to +6. + 8 ° С, when it will be possible to plant seedlings in open ground.
In order for the potato to grow better and its bushes are stronger, the tubers can be treated with growth stimulants. Seedlings must be planted carefully. It will be great if you pour some wood ash into the soil before planting, it will help the bushes develop faster.
PLANTING DEPTH OF POTATO... The planting depth of potato tuber is calculated as follows:
- Loamy soils - 6-8 cm,
- Sandy loam soils - 8-10 cm.
These are very approximate values, since the correct depth also depends on the climate - the hotter it is, the deeper it is necessary to bury the tubers so that they do not "bake", therefore, for the southern regions, add 5 cm to the above figures.
Tubers should be placed sprouts up. If using cut tubers, place them in the ground, cut side down. The spacing between rows can vary from 60 cm for early varieties to 90 cm for late varieties and from 25 to 35 cm between tubers. The exact numbers must be indicated in the variety specification. The general rule is that early varieties need less space than later varieties.
In the south and north, potato planting must be mulched. New tubers in potatoes begin to form at a temperature of +16 - 18 ° C.
How to plant potatoes correctly: rules for planting tubers in open ground
To plant potatoes you need:
- choose a variety
- prepare and disinfect tubers
- choose a place and prepare the beds
- plant tubers according to all the rules.
How to pick a good potato variety
The site has a selection of articles on the best varieties of potatoes:
The best potato varieties: the tastiest and most productive.
Preparing potato tubers for planting: selection, germination, processing and dividing
Preparation (vernalization) of potatoes before planting in open ground is an important process on which the further development of the culture depends.
Important! If dormant tubers are planted, they will germinate for a long time.
Tubers must be cooked 30 days before planting. Tubers are bought or taken out of storage in a month. They are well inspected so that there is no damage, cracks, mold, rot and traces of disease.
For any defects, the tubers are discarded, leaving only whole and healthy specimens of medium size.
Recommended germinate tubers... To do this, they are laid out in one layer in boxes and left for 3-4 weeks in a dark room with an air temperature of 13-16 degrees during the day and 10 degrees at night. During this time, good sprouts will grow on the tubers.
7 days before planting, the tubers are warmed up, leaving them in a room with an air temperature of 20-22 degrees.
Interesting! Large tubers or expensive (elite) potato varieties can be divided into parts. The main thing is that there are 2-3 sprouts on each.
Preparing the garden for planting potatoes
It is very important to choose a suitable place for growing potatoes:
- The area should be flat and well lit during the day.
- You should not choose lowlands where moisture accumulates, and places with a close occurrence of groundwater.
- The soil should be nutritious and loose.
- Loam and sandy loam soils are best suited.
- Clay soil with poor air permeability is not suitable for potatoes.
Do not forget about the rules of crop rotation. More details can be found in The table of crop rotation in the garden - what to plant after that.
Potatoes can be planted after:
- onions, garlic and root vegetables
- cabbage and all cruciferous
- pumpkin (cucumbers, pumpkins, zucchini)
- corn and various cereals
- legumes (beans, peas)
- cereals (rye, wheat)
- siderates (especially mustard, oil radish).
You should not plant potatoes after nightshades (they are all affected by late blight): t omat, f izalis, b aklazhanov, peppers, and potato.
Watch the video! Planting potatoes
Direct preparation of the garden and fertilization
Potatoes love loose and fertile soil.
Clay soil must be prepared in advance, as it takes longer to warm up: furrows are made 7 days before the tubers are planted. In the fall, it is best to dig up the area with a shovel bayonet.
Interesting! Planting in furrows or ridges is a Dutch technology.
If the soil is light sandy, then the tubers are planted simply in holes, without ridges.
In peat soil, it is better to plant potatoes on the ridges so that the moisture quickly goes down.
Interesting! You can grow potatoes under straw and in bags, planting potatoes with a walk-behind tractor with a hiller, read about this in our articles
There are two ways to improve soil fertility:
- Fertilize the site when digging.
- Add top dressing to each well.
Fertilizers when digging in autumn or spring per 1 sq. m:
- Potassium sulfate (25 g), superphosphate (20 g) and urea (30 g).
- Nitroammophoska (20 g). It contains nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus.
- Compost or humus (1 bucket).
Important! Potatoes do not like the combination of organic matter and mineral fertilizers; it is better to apply them separately.
Fertilizers when planting in a hole:
- Nitroammofosk 4 g or Potassium sulfate and superphosphate 3 g each.
- Wood ash 50 g, humus or compost - a handful, onion husks, eggshells.
There are also ready-made complex fertilizers for potatoes. For example, "Spring" (Fertika) or "Potatoes" (Fasco).
Important! Nitrogen is needed to build up green mass, phosphorus and potassium - for the formation of tubers. Therefore, nitrogen is added at the beginning of the season, and magnesium, potassium and phosphorus - during flowering.
For more information about feeding potatoes when planting in a hole, read the article: The best fertilizer for potatoes when planting in a hole ...
Choosing tubers for planting
Most often, the next year, gardeners plant potato tubers of this crop. But this practice leads to the fact that after 5-7 years the varietal characteristics "erode", the yield decreases, as does the size of root crops. The planting material needs to be regularly updated.
To ensure its best quality, the most powerful multi-stem bushes are noted during the active growing season. In the fall, they look at their yield. If the number of tubers is the same or greater than the typical variety, this is a suitable planting material. Moreover, they do not have to be very large.
When selecting planting material for the next season, they are guided by the yield of the bush this year
New tubers are purchased exclusively from reputable suppliers - in nurseries or specialized stores. They can provide the necessary documents confirming the quality of potatoes - certificates and licenses for the right to sell it. Shopping at various agricultural fairs, and even more simply hand-held, is a big risk. It cannot be guaranteed that this is the desired variety. In addition, the planting material may be contaminated.
The most suitable option for planting is tubers of the correct round or ovoid shape, weighing 50–90 g, not lethargic or wrinkled. They should be firm to the touch, and the skin should be smooth, uniform, without traces of peeling, signs of mold, rot and black specks. The latter may not turn out to be particles of adhered earth, but rhizoctonia. The presence of a large number of "eyes" is welcome, but it is not recommended to purchase already sprouted potatoes. All the same, a significant part of the sprouts will break during transportation. If there is no choice, be sure to pay attention to the color of the sprouts - they should be mauve, lilac, salad green, but by no means black. Healthy tubers have smooth, firm sprouts. Their threadiness means they are infected by viruses.
Potatoes for planting are selected very carefully, this is a guarantee of a future bountiful harvest.
In addition to the appearance, you need to pay attention to the description of the variety, its suitability for cultivation in a particular region. Varieties that yield equally good yields in both northern and southern regions are extremely rare.
Agronomists claim that potato varieties bred in Russia and the CIS countries show the best resistance to pathogenic fungi. And root crops of foreign selection are less likely to suffer from nematodes and viral diseases.
Preparing tubers for planting
As a rule, in winter, potato tubers die due to rot or soil pests that affect the plant in the fall. So, in order to get a good harvest, it is required to approach the preparation of seed material with all responsibility. In general, you need to follow two simple steps:
- Expose the tubers to the sun 14 days before planting so that they can turn green inside and out. However, it is recommended to turn them over regularly. So, landscaping is carried out. The color of potatoes changes due to the production of solanine, an organic compound that will protect the crop from soil pests, including the bear.
- 30 minutes immediately before planting in the wells, spray the tubers with a solution obtained by mixing 10 liters of water, 4 g of Aktar and 10 g of Fundazole. This will protect the plant from rotting and pests in the early stages of development in the soil.