Probably every gardener has heard about planting potatoes under straw, and many have tried to bring this idea to life. It seems that everything was done as described: they put the potatoes on the ground, covered them with mown grass and hay, but at the end of the season they got grapes instead of a rich harvest of large potatoes.
What mistakes do amateur gardeners make when using this method? Let's talk about this.
Growing potatoes in straw
What are the mistakes in applying the method
You can hardly count on a good harvest if:
- you have planted unsprouted potato tubers in unplowed soil;
- you put unprepared tubers on top of the ground and covered them with straw;
- the straw layer was too thin.
Preparing and planting tubers
The tubers are prepared for planting in the usual way: they are heated, greened, treated with Fitosporin-M or Epin. The land must be plowed or dug up by hand. Ideally, the digging is carried out by a cultivator with the contents of the compost pit embedded in the soil.
Processing potatoes before planting is the key to the harvest
You need to plant the tubers in furrows half a shovel bayonet deep, while simultaneously throwing the existing fertilizer next to the tuber - wood ash, ground fried eggshells, humus or store complex fertilizers. After filling the furrows, the area is covered with a layer of cut grass.
In the photo: Potatoes planted under straw
It is undesirable to use last year's hay for covering, as it is full of weed seeds and insect larvae, and there is a risk of unwanted pests in the future.
Many gardeners advise using cereal straw for covering: it is considered simply ideal for potato beds.
A layer of straw will prevent weeds from growing, but the tops of the potatoes will let the straw through. One layer of grass is, of course, not enough, and you will have to constantly add new and new layers of dried grass to the area. Where can I get it? Summer residents in urban areas can purchase such volumes of grass while mowing grass on lawns. If you agree with the utilities, then you can collect the grass in bags with them and transport it to your summer cottage.
In the photo: Potato sprouts
Another affordable way to get green mass is to sow rye or oats on your site before winter. By the middle of summer, the grains are cut and the straw is used to cover the potato garden. Do not be afraid of self-seeding: crumbled seeds of cereals will not germinate. By the time the potatoes are harvested, the straw pillow should be no thinner than 20 centimeters, otherwise the tubers may turn green.
The advantages of growing potatoes under straw are:
- the culture does not require hilling and weeding, which saves the gardener time and effort. It is only required to constantly add hay or straw to the site;
- the land will be protected from drying out in the heat and from freezing in autumn days, and the tubers will not turn green;
- an ideal microclimate and temperature regime is created for the development of potato tubers, while a sufficient amount of air enters the soil through the grass;
- dying hay after rain supplies the soil with nutrients, and at the end of the season it will be an ideal fertilizer for digging with a cultivator or raw materials into a compost pit;
- tubers covered with hay are less affected by wireworms, Colorado beetles and other pests. The foliage grows strong and resistant to late blight, since spores of this infectious disease cannot get on it from the ground.
Growing potatoes from seeds is a fun way
Potato tops under hay will stay strong and healthy longer, but nevertheless, the crop must be harvested on time. First, rake the hay with a pitchfork, and then you can easily pull the bushes out of the ground by the tops. Tubers located almost at the level of the surface will be clean and large.
In the photo: Potatoes grown under straw
Disadvantages of the method
The only problem you may encounter when growing potatoes under hay or straw is rodents, for which tubers are easy prey. It would be nice to have a cat on the site, but if this is not possible, install several mousetraps around the perimeter of the potato bed or scare away the rodents with ultrasound.
The hero of this video will tell you clearly how potatoes grow under hay or straw:
- Read the topic on Wikipedia
- Features and other plants of the family Solanaceae
- List of all species on The Plant List
- More information on World Flora Online
Sections: Garden plants Solanaceous plants on K Root crops Potatoes
The main methods of planting potatoes under straw
Planting potatoes under straw is not an agricultural novelty at all. In this way, potatoes were grown in the 19th century. Then he was unjustly forgotten. Now many summer residents return to the old technique and note that the harvest is getting better, and much less time and effort is spent on caring for the plants. If you have the opportunity to buy inexpensive shelter material or get it for free, be sure to try this growing method.
The main methods of planting potatoes under straw
Using straw as a shelter for potatoes has many important advantages that all novice gardeners should be aware of:
- Straw is an environmentally friendly and safe natural material.
- There is no need for preliminary digging of soil and cleaning tubers from the ground.
- The shelter provides the vegetable crop with reliable protection from adverse weather conditions (in the form of hail or frost), as well as from weeds and insect pests.
- The bottom layer of straw mulch is actively processed by earthworms, which saturate the soil with humus and increase its fertility.
- A high yield is ensured - you can get a bucket of potatoes from a bush.
- The straw retains moisture well, so there is no need for frequent watering in rainy weather.
Are all varieties suitable for bagging?
To get a large harvest, it is recommended to select early large-tuber varieties. They are distinguished by their unpretentiousness, undemanding care and quick formation of vegetables. Taste qualities remain at the discretion of the gardener. Optimal for cultivation in bags will be:
- Bellarosa. A variety of German breeding with rounded fruits. Ripens in 55-60 days, is resistant to droughts, has a long shelf life. Potatoes with red peel and creamy flesh. One root vegetable weighs from 110 to 150 grams. The vegetable boils well
- Sante. Dutch potatoes ripening in 80 days. Bushes are compact, without abundant green mass. The variety is fruitful - there are 20 oval-round potatoes weighing 150 grams per 1 tuber. The peel is yellow. The root vegetable is not boiled, suitable for frying and soup
- Povin. Domestic variety, ripening in 70-75 days, unpretentious, resistant to cancer infections. Tubers with red skin and light yellow flesh. The vegetable weighs 80-150 grams, does not boil over, has a good taste
- Kiev Svitanok. Easy to care for, ripens in 85-100 days. Potatoes are rounded-elongated, pink in color, with creamy flesh. 8-12 tubers weighing from 90 to 120 grams are formed on one bush. Variety resistant to crayfish, but susceptible to leaf curling
- Slav. A shrub with medium spreading, yields a harvest in 120-140 days. Tubers are oblong with creamy pulp weighing 90-180 grams. On a bush - from 12 to 15 large potatoes. The vegetable retains its shape when exposed to heat, is used for baking and frying.
Keep in mind that large and ripe fruits will be at the bottom of the bag, and young ones on top.
Alternative methods of cultivating potatoes under straw
In addition to the classic technique, there are a number of variations. All of them involve the use of straw. In its absence, well-dried hay will perfectly cope with the role of mulch. However, to form a layer 50 cm thick, this type of covering material will require more.
Under straw using soil
In the selected area, small holes are prepared up to 10 cm deep. The layout of the planting holes is standard - 30 x 70 cm. Potatoes are thrown sprouts up into the grooves, burying them with earth. The soil should not rise above the planting material. On top there is a straw layer 30 cm thick. In order for the seedlings to be friendly, this indicator should not be increased.
With straw in a bucket
Another unusual way in which potatoes should be planted in a deep container. Basic steps:
- Take a deep bucket.
- A drainage is placed at the bottom, which is the soil in a layer of 7 cm.
- Pour in humus.
- Send 1-2 tubers.
- Cover the planting material with a 10 cm layer of straw.
- As the bush grows, mulch is added until the container is completely filled.
Use of cardboard and straw
For reception, use boxes from household appliances. In the selected area, the resulting sheets of cardboard are laid with an overlap, fixing the edges of the "beds" with bricks. Cross-shaped cuts are made on the material, in which the tubers are laid so that at least one of the sprouts of the planting material touches the soil. After covering with hay, the potatoes are under a 10 cm layer of covering material.
Planting potatoes in bags allows a variety of varieties to be used.
Popular potato varieties:
- Bella Rosa - First appeared in Germany. A high-ripening vegetable with large, round pink tubers. The average weight is 200 g. You can collect it on the 60th day after planting. Good care and suitable conditions will allow you to get a crop 2 times. The variety can be easily planted in a bag or container, because such potatoes tolerate drought well. Growing on sandy soil is allowed.
- Shante or Sante is a Dutch variety with a medium early ripening rate. The fruits are round and yellow in color. It has an optimal level of starch and vitamin B content. One root vegetable weighs 150 grams. You can collect it 80 days after planting. The tubers are easy to transport as they are lightweight and have a long shelf life.
- Slavyanka - bred in the Ukrainian latitudes. The tubers are smooth and even with a unique taste. One potato weighs 150 - 180 grams. Late variety, but grown in a bag or container, no worse than a regular crop. After planting, you will need to water and feed frequently. Easily tolerates the vagaries of weather and short-term drought.
- Povigne is an early ripening culture. Ripens within 55 days after planting. One potato weighs 50-130 grams. It has a high immunity to known diseases and viruses. Leading in the list of such popular brands as Zhukovsky early and Udacha.
- Svitanok Kievsky - depending on weather conditions, it can be either early or middle. The variety has a thin peel, pink in color. Average weight 120 grams. Optimal for a harsh continental climate, "calm" in high drought and excessive humidity. High level of starch, protects the vegetable from wateriness.
These varieties are easy to plant in any container. They do not require special care, give a good harvest and are highly resistant to diseases and insects.
POTATO LAYER BY LAYER (IN PIT)
The method is the most laborious: a good harvest from layered tubers will be obtained only with good agricultural technology. I followed the instructions strictly.
For 3 tubers, a pit 80 × 80 cm with a depth of 50 cm is needed (I only had enough for two).
She poured 0.5 buckets of rotted manure into each one, leveled it and covered it with earth (15-20 cm).
I prepared a nutrient mixture from 2 buckets of rotted manure and earth removed from the pit and poured it on top. The pit is half full. I laid 3 sprouted potatoes at the same distance from each other (35-40 cm) and covered them with another layer of soil mixture 10-15 cm thick.
As the tops grew, I poured the nutrient mixture (6 times), watered and fertilized with poultry droppings (diluting 0.5 liters in 15 liters of water). The height of the "barrow" turned out to be at least 30 cm, and the bushes on them were a sight for sore eyes. When they started to bloom, they couldn't take their eyes off at all.
No need to cultivate a large area of land.
A small planting is easier to protect against the Colorado potato beetle without chemicals.
Some gardeners managed to get a bag of selected potatoes from one pit. I'm not one of them: 2 buckets with one and 1.5 with the other. The tubers were large, but in small numbers.
Planting 6 potatoes took the whole day and required a lot of maintenance.
The neighbors are now asking with a laugh: will I be burying potatoes this year? And you know - I will! Because I wonder what will come of it! Of course, one cannot recklessly believe everything that is written on the Internet.
In my case, only planting under the straw brought a more or less good result, but other methods still need to be figured out. After all, if someone succeeded, then I should too. I just did something wrong.
TWO PROBLEMS OF COLORED POTATO
1. Growing "fashionable" potatoes with colored pulp was no more difficult than ordinary ones. However, the problems began during harvesting: the color of the tubers was in perfect harmony with the color of the surrounding soil, and they literally had to be looked for by touch.
2. And the second problem crept up from an unexpected side: the husband and son, seeing the purple roast, unanimously refused to eat it. So I had to add these potatoes in small amounts to the regular ones ... and eat it myself. Only in salads was it possible to disguise it. The taste of raw purple potatoes is not much different from what we are used to. Is that in boiled form it is more dense, viscous (apparently, there is little starch).
I. LEVASHOVA Moscow region
You read and wonder: what our gardeners and gardeners are not capable of! For example, potatoes under hay-straw with a layer of up to 40 cm - this work is within the power of a strong man, and not for elderly women like me. Since ancient times, potatoes have been planted in the ground, while stolons grow very well in all directions, forming many (from 20-25 to 30) large tubers. In 2015, I planted Adretta, Karatop, "Dutch" - only 5 buckets. Of course, green, bathed in a special solution: 1 tsp each. boric acid, copper sulfate and manganese, 10 tablets of succinic acid per 10 liters of water. I stand in this solution for 30 minutes. after germination in the room, I lay it out in one row under the bed, table (where possible).
And in the month of April I plant on the waning moon in the sign of Capricorn (every year I plant all the roots in this sign and with the waning moon).
After sprouting, I immediately spudded slightly, and after a week, when the tops grew, I spudded with my head and then repeated it again. The tops grow quickly, the bushes are very powerful, with plump stems. I loosen the aisles (70-75 cm) and poke them as long as the tops allow - until it is completely closed, but then I also try to loosen the aisles after watering - to give oxygen to the roots. Yes, at the beginning I missed that I cultivate the land only in spring and without a dump. I water with sprinkling.
She planted two rows (30 pcs.) Red Scarlett - the most productive variety, but the Kolorad beetle loves it very much, I had to abandon it.
I planted 5 in total, and dug up 90 buckets of very large potatoes, even barely got the size for seeds. Two weeks before digging, she cut off the tops, stopped watering a month before digging, but did spraying of the land in the evening, since the weather was very hot throughout August. And I got a really amazing harvest, despite the fact that on June 4, when the potatoes were already powerful, a tornado with the strongest hail passed, the hurricane laid down all the tops and bare, peeled off the stems.
The whole vegetable garden suffered from this misfortune - all the tops of the peppers were cut off, the stems were also peeled, the tomatoes were in the same condition as all the vegetables - they perished, the stems were beaten, the leaves were torn off ... I had to raise everything, huddle up. After lifting the bare stems, I sprayed all the vegetables with urea (2 tablespoons per 10 liters of water), and sprinkled the potatoes again when I was fighting the Colorado potato beetle, and added 2 tablespoons to the preparation. l. urea.
The potatoes began to grow intensively immediately after the first spraying, and colorado just flew on the young shoots. But thanks to urea, the bushes became powerful, and the tops of the mighty, plump, generally stood as a wall - closed at a height of about a meter.
Urea is very good at killing red Colorado potato beetle larvae and laying eggs on the back of the leaf.
© Author: Z. Alekminskaya Volgograd region.
Potato breaks tradition
Last season I planted several rows of potatoes in waysthat I have not used before. I'll make a reservation right away: I thought of something myself, borrowed something from the advice of experienced gardeners.
Bark is a stimulant
My dacha is located next to the forest. From there, I prepared a large amount of bark from old, dried trees and dragged it to my site. I used some of this raw material in the form of mulch for decorative hosts. And from the leftovers, which I carefully chopped, I got a high-quality stimulant for potatoes.
I divided the plot into two equal beds. On one of them, when planting tubers, I poured humus into the holes, and on the other, only a handful of wood powder. And what?
Where the bark was poured, the harvest was much larger. The tubers here turned out to be clean, large, and even. In addition, I noticed that the plants in this garden were not damaged at all by the Colorado potato beetle.
Warm brick bed
I also found an application for the old red brick, from which I laid out a box measuring 2 × 5 m, about half a meter high. Here I grew early potatoes. I used hay and all plant waste as biofuel: weeds (without seeds and roots), tops and peels of vegetables, sunflower leaves. In autumn, all these components were laid in a layer of 15-20 cm, covered with rotted dry manure mixed with garden soil (1: 2). In March, I “warmed up” the soil in a box and at the same time disinfected it, spilling it with water with “Phytosporin-M” (according to the instructions, and covering it with a film. And in mid-April, I planted sprouted tubers in the holes, slightly sprinkling them with ash.
In the afternoon, in warm weather, the film rolled, and after the end of the frost, she removed it completely. This method made it possible to greatly speed up the production of tubers for the summer table. In late June, fresh potatoes were a delicious treat for my family. This method is laborious, but the harvest is so impressive that everything pays off with interest.
Potatoes grow in a net
Late potatoes were grown in nets that sell packaged fruits and vegetables. All winter I didn’t throw them away, I collected them - and now they came in handy in the garden. I planted the potatoes like this: I poured ash, a little onion husk into the hole, covered it all with soil, and then laid out the net. Sprouted potatoes were placed in each one. The tubers of the new crop have grown right in the net. I didn't even have to dig them out: I just pulled at the ends left outside!
Beans, beans, dill were sown between the holes with potatoes. This gave a double harvest, and in addition, protected the potatoes from the wireworm, the Colorado potato beetle and the mole.
- If there is a shortage of potato planting material or it is large, then the tubers can be cut. After each potato, the knife should be dipped in a potassium permanganate solution so as not to carry the infection. You cannot cut the tubers just before planting - a protective crust must have time to form on the cut surface. When planted in rainy and cold weather, cut into pieces, potatoes will rot rather than germinate.
- Sealing plants on potato plantings must be sown earlier, so that before planting the tubers, they sprout and grow together. Only in this case will they scare off insidious pests.
If round holes are visible on the tubers, then the wireworm left them. If furrows filled with soil are visible, then the larvae of the May beetle-crush ate the potatoes. In general, any wound on the skin of a potato means that it can be infected with bacteria or viruses. It is better not to leave such tubers for seeds.
© Author: Elena Ivanovna AKULICH, Grodno
POTATO: A NEW APPROACH - IN A DIFFERENT
Potatoes were always grown, as my father taught: the tubers were planted at a distance of a foot, they left 30 cm between the rows. But by the end of the season, when the tops were growing, even after the summer hilling, some of the tubers turned out to be on the surface and turned green. In addition, no matter how hard they tried, the potatoes grew small. This year, the approach to cultivation has changed. And for good reason!
On a plot of one hundred square meters, only seven rows of potatoes were planted to a depth of 10-12 cm with a distance between tubers of 30 cm, and between rows - 60 cm.
As soon as shoots appeared, the site was buried. When the plants reached 10 cm, they spud the first time. When they grew up to 30 cm, they spud a second time.
Three times a season, according to the instructions, the bushes were treated with tank mixtures for diseases and pests: Orvego - for late blight, Alverde - for Colorado beetles. Weed as needed. If they noticed that the ground somewhere sank heavily from the rain, they huddled such plants again.
As a result, 12 sacks of potatoes were harvested from one hundred square meters, which used to hold 12 rows, but now only 7, 12 bags of potatoes were collected, and earlier - no more than 5. Moreover, the potatoes are selected, with an average weight of 300-350 g, and some tubers even up to 800 g.
Not the least role was played by the fact that this year the planting material was completely changed. We bought Jelly and Rumba potatoes. Although the neighbors used the same varieties, they planted and cultivated in the old fashioned way. Their harvest was also good, but the tubers grew much smaller.
TIP: So that the plants do not need fertilizing in the summer, we fill the soil well in the spring. When the soil thaws, scatter semi-rotten cow or horse manure over the area. Two weeks before planting, sprinkle superphosphate (a handful per 1 square meter), embed it in the ground with a cultivator. It is best if you manage to do it after the rain.
© Author: Alexander DUKHANOV, Moscow. Photo by the author
© Author: N. TRUNOVA Belgorod
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The author writes that she first poured humus into the holes, then lowered the tubers, and then covered them with sawdust from above, which she poured several more times as the potatoes grew. Judging by the fact that the tops were high (about a meter) and powerful, we can conclude that the sawdust was well rotted - that is, the respected Vera Anatolyevna planted the potatoes, in fact, in heaps of humus! And its smell (plus the "aroma" of manure introduced in the spring) is very attractive to May beetles. So they fly to this treat, then laying eggs in the humus and manure.
There is only one conclusion: it is better to bring all such organic matter into open ground in the fall when planting green manure, so that the smell disappears over the winter.
But it is still better to plant potatoes under straw. In my opinion, this is the most convenient and practical way. I wanted to do the same this year, and since autumn I have left several sheaves of oat straw in advance. But winter began early, and the snow that fell quickly melted, and only after that the frosts began, so I used half of the straw to shelter the strawberries and mink, in which the hedgehog hibernated. I thought the rest would be enough, but in the spring it turned out that mice had eaten it.
We'll have to plant potatoes this year the old fashioned way. But I also learned a lesson: I am going to hang sheaves of straw under the roof in the greenhouse in the fall so that rodents do not get to it.
The lack of land in the country pushed me to grow potatoes in a collapsible box. The idea is to get plants with long stems and tubers almost the entire length of the stems. To make the box, I prepared 4 pieces of reinforcement and planks. I made a bottom from some of the boards with gaps - for air to enter the box and drain excess water. The rest went to collapsible walls.
Under the future box I prepared a base of bricks, again, for better ventilation, I drove fittings from all sides. Then he installed the 1st floor of the planks and covered it with soil fertilized with humus. On the one hand, each plank is held by soil, on the other - reinforcement. I planted already sprouted tubers in the ground. When the tops sprouted, I put the 2nd floor of the planks and covered it with soil, etc. I built up the walls until buds appeared on the plants. As a result, the box turned out to be about 1 m high. When the box grew up to 0.5 m, I stuck a pipe with drilled holes in the middle and a plug from the bottom. He watered potatoes through it, carried out liquid fertilizing.
To reap the harvest, I simply took apart the box. He cleared all of its parts from the ground and put them in the barn until the next season. The harvest is excellent!
I learned about this method of growing potatoes from Valentin Shramkov, a Voronezh gardener, for which many thanks to him. I hope his method will be of interest to the readers too / We are talking about multi-tiered growing of potatoes. I have been using it for 15 years. I plant sprouted tubers without cutting furrows. The potato planting depth is 2-3 cm.After the emergence of shoots, I sprinkle them with a layer of soil 3-4 cm.
I start the second treatment in 6-8 days. I increase the height of the ridge to 16-18 cm. I carry out the third treatment after another 5-6 days. The height of the comb should already be 22-25 cm.
With an intensive increase in the height of the ridge, the rapid growth of tops, weeds are not terrible. And due to the dusting of the leaves, additional roots are formed, as a result, the number of tubers also increases. The potato is located shallow in the soil, due to the difference between night and day temperatures, it hardens, it becomes more resistant to diseases and pests.
Potatoes grown using this technology always yield a good harvest, even in adverse weather conditions.
many advise from the Colorado beetles to spray the tops with urea (100 g per bucket of water). I tried (processed, by the way, after flowering) - no sense. So what? Do I consider myself deceived?
Yes, not at all! This means that I came across such resistant beetles, I will look for other ways to deal with them.
I tried to plant potatoes with seedlings in milk bags: at the initial stage everything is good and convenient, but at the final stage it is nonsense. The seedlings grew large, there was not enough humus in the bags, the plants eventually came out weak, the harvest turned out to be poor. Probably, it was necessary to carefully look after the seedlings, but after all, the attempt is not torture, it was interesting.
I also tried to plant in sugar bags. The potatoes there grew medium in size, but strong. My conclusion is this: if someone has little space in the garden, then you can plant this way. You just need to keep in mind that over the summer such bags can easily rot (at least for me, this is what happened), so it is better to take large plastic bags. I planted it in barrels, or rather, even in three: in one it grew a trifle, in another it was of the usual size, in the third it was large and quite a lot.
Bottom line: also a good way, especially if there are problems with the size of the site. I also experienced a fit in tires. It turned out well - under each bush there are 12 large tubers. True, later I thought that some dirt and diseases could get into the ground from these tires, and I removed them. And I left the potatoes that grew there for seeds.
in turn, I want to share my advice. It is for those who have little space in the garden. This year I planted potatoes both in the ground and in bags. I’ll explain how I put them in bags. I poured soil from the compost heap a little more than half a bag, put three potatoes each and sprinkled it with earth on top.
Leaving is just watering.
There was no beetle on the potatoes, but they did not have time to spray in the soil in the garden. Out of impatience, I tried the crop early in one of the bags. And the result is excellent. The earth is loose - I removed the upper layer with my hands. And here it is, potatoes without any chemistry! I would be glad if someone takes my advice.
This year I conducted an experiment: I planted some of the potatoes as usual, with sprouted tubers the size of a chicken egg, and some also sprouted, but large, cutting each in half and rolling the slices in ash. After each tuber, the knife was “bathed” in a strong solution of potassium permanganate.
I planted it in different places - both in the field where potatoes grow annually, and in the beds in compliance with crop rotation. The care is usual, instead of hilling, I covered the planting with mowed grass. The results were surprising. No, the fact that crop rotation has a positive effect on any crop, I knew before. But the fact that cut tubers everywhere will give a crop both larger and more abundant than full-fledged ones was a surprise. In general, next year I will conduct the experiment again.
I have been growing varieties of potatoes with red tubers for a long time. I like them for their even shape, thin peel that is easy to peel. Here are three of my favorite beers.
Rosalind. The tubers of this variety have a red skin and yellowish flesh. The potatoes are delicious. I heard that it is appreciated by chefs and is often bought by restaurant establishments. The variety is unpretentious, even with minimal care it gives good yields, and with a good one - up to 16 tubers ripen on the bush!
Red Scarpett. The variety is resistant to many potato diseases, including late blight. I also like it for its beautiful name, which I associate with my favorite work "Gone with the Wind". Red Scarpett tubers are distinguished by their smooth, beautiful shape and excellent taste. Bushes are usually not very tall, but potatoes grow large, up to 120 g.
Vellarose. A high-yielding variety, it showed itself perfectly even in a dry year. Then I did not have the opportunity to water it in a timely manner, but Vellarosa did not disappoint and gave a wonderful harvest. I think gardeners who live in arid regions will appreciate this variety!
Many gardeners have already lost all hope of coping with the Colorado potato beetle, and my garden is "closed" for him. The advice is this: sow marigolds and calendula (marigolds). Some may argue: we know, read and sowed, but the beetle is still in charge ... Yes, this can be, but only if you sow calendula at the same time as potatoes - in the spring. But you have to act a little differently.
In the fall, I determine where next year I will plant potatoes and other nightshades, and around these beds in rows I sow before winter
seeds of calendula and marigolds. When the time for planting potatoes comes, the sprouts of the flowers are quite large, and by the time the potatoes sprout, they are completely higher than them and already bloom and smell with might and main, scaring away pests with their smell.
Potatoes in barrels
Can you tell me which potato varieties are suitable for growing in barrels or bags? Homemade varieties (unfortunately, I don't know the name) categorically did not suit us - real peas grew.
For growing potatoes using this method, the early ripe varieties ‘Svitanok’ ‘Slavyanka’ are better suited. ‘Bellarosa’. ‘Shante’, ‘Reliable’, ‘Poven’ and others. But the reason for failure can be not only the wrong variety. Growing potatoes on a small scale is not an easy process that requires adherence to a certain technology, in which all the details are important. The essence of the method is that the stems of the mother tubers planted at the bottom of the bag or barrel, as they grow, are repeatedly covered with a layer of soil, which allows the plant to increase the number of stolons formed on them and thus increase the yield of the bushes (subject to the ripening of all the tuber that sets in) ... For rapid growth, plants need light, nutrition and good aeration, which is quite difficult to provide in a limited amount of soil. For planting, choose any woven bags that can allow air to pass through. There are also special bags, reminiscent of backpacks with zippered windows, through which crops are harvested in autumn. So that the water does not stagnate after irrigation, it is necessary to consider drainage at the bottom of the bag.
The tubers are planted in the spring, at the end of April - May.In a greenhouse or on a closed balcony, you can plant potatoes in mid-March. The soil should be moderately light and fertile; for this, humus, sand and garden soil are taken in equal parts. adding ash and sawdust (if the mixture is not loose enough). Do not use the soil on which potatoes or tomatoes were previously grown. Drainage (expanded clay) is poured at the bottom of the bag, and then the earthen mixture, with a layer of at least 10-15 cm. Then the sprouted potatoes are laid and covered with a layer of earth. You can place two levels of tubers in a checkerboard pattern. Having covered the top layer, the plantings are watered and exposed to light. The emerging seedlings are again covered with soil. Gradually lifting the edges of the bag, thus filling it with soil by 2/3 of its volume. The finished bags are placed in well-lit places: near the walls of the house, fences, along garden paths, etc.
Further care consists in watering and feeding. The bags can be immediately covered with soil and, having tied, set horizontally, cutting the cross-shaped holes on top with a knife, where the tubers are laid. The advantage of growing potatoes in bags is their compactness, which is important for a small area. Such plantings do not require weeding, hilling and pest control, including the Colorado potato beetle. They can be carried from place to place. But the need for frequent top dressing and the organization of proper watering, excluding waterlogging or drying out of the soil, are significant disadvantages of this technology. You can adjust the irrigation system using drip irrigation. Some gardeners place a full-length perforated hose in the middle of the bag, with a plug at the end, through which they water. For better aeration, air is periodically pumped into the hose with a pump.
Potatoes are grown in a similar way in barrels. For greater effect, the bottom is cut out from it. This prevents water from stagnating, and earthworms can penetrate into the soil, which improves air exchange in the soil.
Potatoes in the mounds
For several years now I have been growing potatoes in mounds (or in kopts), I am very pleased with this method - the harvest reaches 1 ton per hundred square meters. Moreover, all tubers are large, even, as they receive a lot of moisture, nutrients and grow in loose soil.
The essence of the method is that on a well-fertilized (1 bucket of humus, a handful of superphosphate and potassium salt per 1 sq. M) and a dug area, you need to lay out circles with a radius of 40 cm out of 8-10 (large, not medium, as with the usual planting) tubers each.
Top up potato rings with soil 15-20 cm high to form mounds (mounds) with tops in the form of funnels. They will collect rainwater, and it is convenient to water potatoes in them - it is enough to pour 1 bucket of water into the center of each mound. In the middle of the embankments, you need to throw another 3 shovels of manure, 1 liter can of ash and a handful of nitrophoska. When potato shoots with a height of 20-25 cm grow, it is necessary to carefully sprinkle (sprinkle) them with earth from the center of the mound.
By the way, mounds can be formed not only round, but also square. It's a matter of taste.
I planted it in early May. I made three rows in the garden, as planned. But there were more seeds, so they had to be packed thicker. Treated with a growth stimulant and covered with straw. It started raining, it poured for almost a week without stopping. Naturally, the straw was nailed, so hard that the sprouts broke. The potatoes did not rise by half: they could not break through the layer of straw. So he lay until autumn with a large beard of roots, but for some reason he grew further. And the one that coped with the wet straw bloomed in July, but very modestly.
I didn't have the mind to stir the straw. I was very pleased that it was raining. Almost did not come to the garden bed, and last autumn I put a layer of rotted manure under the straw. So the potatoes smelled his and almost all went into the ground. The plane cutter helped out.
I had to loosen all the soil, which I have not done in all the past years. The potatoes used to always lay on the straw clean, but this time they were covered in the ground. But the most important thing is that cracks formed in the straw, so the potatoes grew and immediately turned green. So in the fall it was not even necessary to green it for seeds.
Naturally, the harvest was half less than last year. It’s not in vain that they say: you want a lot, you won’t get anything. And so it happened. Dreaming is not harmful. So I want to remind readers not to make mistakes like me.
But I collected the seeds for the next year anyway ...
My wife and I got a plot of 20 acres in the neighboring area. And so that it is not empty, we decided to plant it with potatoes this year. Since the field is far away, they wanted to water it with something from weeds, so as not to go to weeding often. I know that state farms have special means. Can I buy them in the store?
For summer residents, there is a special selective herbicide Lazurite. It kills weeds without damaging the potatoes, so it can be used after planting tubers and even when sprouts appear. Once in the soil, the drug is absorbed mainly by the roots and partly by the leaves of the weeds. This allows it to destroy not only weeds visible on the surface, but also to suppress those growing in the soil, preventing the appearance of a second "wave" of weeds, even such malicious ones as stellate, quinoa, ragweed, maria, chirtiza, dandelion, chaff, bristle, etc. With a lot of weediness in the ridges, the treatment can be repeated after the germination of the tops, but with its height not exceeding 5 cm.