Why mow potato tops

Why mow potato tops

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From letters to the editor:
Neighbors always mow their tops before harvesting potatoes. What is it for and when should you start mowing?

Potatoes in bloom

There may be several reasons. First, they may be harvesting their crops with a digger or other equipment. The tops will clog into mechanisms and interfere with harvesting. But, most likely, they are mowing the tops because their potatoes are already finishing their growing season, and it is time to harvest them.

The fact is that all varieties of potatoesthat we grow, are divided according to the ripening period into early, medium early, medium, medium late and late varieties. And if you have planted tubers early varietythen they should ripen in about 70-80 days.

This means that by planting them in May on certain days, you already know when they will ripen. This year, the weather in May favored an early start to sowing and planting operations. And if gardeners planted tubers of an early variety in the soil, say, on May 15, then, counting the growing days, we will understand that by mid-August the harvest of this potato is already ripe. And you can, after mowing the tops, start digging in 8-10 days.

Trial digging of potatoes

Mid-early varieties ripen 80-90 days after planting. This means that the harvest of these varieties can be harvested in the third decade of August.

And in this way, you can roughly calculate the harvesting time of any kind. True, one must also take into account which tubers were planted in the soil - germinated or not. The weather can also make its own adjustments to the growing season of any crop, but nevertheless, it is not very difficult to determine the time of harvesting your crop. In addition, there is also such a popular method as selective digging of tubers.

This is when you gently run your hand into the soil near a potato bush and select one or two tubers there. And you see whether the harvest is ripe or not. Then, of course, you need to mask the traces of your penetration so that the remaining tubers are covered with soil and not green with the sun. In this way, firstly, you can dig up young potatoes for cooking, and, secondly, you will see how ripe your harvest is.

When the skin of young potatoes stops peeling under the finger and begins to cork (become harder and rougher), it's time to harvest. But experienced potato growers know that if you cut the tops of a potato ten days before the start of harvesting, it will ripen faster, its skin will become more rigid, resistant to injury during harvesting and storage. Apparently, for this reason, your neighbors are mowing the tops - they prepare their beds in advance for harvesting in this way.

There is one more reason why gardeners mow the tops, more precisely, they try to carefully cut it off. This happens when, at the end of summer, signs of abundant late blight - dark spots on the leaves, which quickly spread throughout the plant, and not one or two plants are affected, but many.

And on the underside of the affected leaf there are fungal spores in the form of a white bloom. Then it is advisable to cut the tops off as soon as possible, trying not to spray the spores of this fungal disease on the soil, to take the tops and the source of the disease off the site and burn them. If you do this work quickly, there is a chance that the tubers will not be affected by this disease, and you will save the crop.

Potatoes. Variety Aurora

If you notice signs of late blight at the beginning or in the middle of summer, then you urgently need to save the future harvest and treat the planting with drugs. In June, when the tops begin to close in rows, experts recommend treating potato plants for late blight with solutions twice with an interval of ten days fungicides Ridomil MC and Osksikhom (according to the instructions).

If you notice the first signs of the disease after flowering potatoes, treatment with a solution of copper oxychloride or Kuproksat is necessary (also according to the instructions).

In areas where there were signs of late blight, harvesting and selection of tubers for storage, and especially for seed purposes, must be done very carefully. All tubers must be thoroughly dried in the sun, and in bad weather under ventilated awnings. Experienced gardeners notice the nests already during the harvest potatoes with a large number of healthy tubers and from these nests the best specimens are selected for planting next year. But even with this selection, after drying the crop, you need to carefully examine each tuber - both for planting and for food purposes. If you notice the slightest signs of illness, discard such tubers immediately. They are a threat to your entire crop.

E. Valentinov

Photo by Olga Rubtsova

Prevention of decay

There are no specific treatments for potato rot. The most important thing is to detect the disease in time and prevent it from spreading throughout the field. It is necessary to cultivate the soil and fight insects, which are the mechanism for the spread of infection.

The main preventive measures to prevent the occurrence of rot:

  • Using special fertilizers for the soil
  • Qualitative selection of planting material
  • Using the crop rotation method
  • The site is cleared of weeds
  • Choose potato varieties that are resistant to rot
  • Avoiding planting in heavy, waterlogged ground
  • Treatment of tubers before planting with special means
  • Timely harvest
  • Compliance with cleanliness, the required temperature and humidity in the storage
  • Before harvesting, potato tops are mowed in 2 weeks
  • If the tubers are cut before planting, this must be done 2-3 days in advance so that the slices close
  • If rot is found on any tops during the growth of potatoes, this bush must be dug up and destroyed.
  • Avoid overdose in the soil of nitrogenous preparations.

An important point is the choice of potato variety for planting. It is recommended to give preference to varieties that are common in this particular region of medium and late ripening.

Storage preparation

It is very important to prepare storage before harvesting. The room should be rodent-free, dried, cleaned and, if possible, disinfected with a 5% solution of copper sulfate.

Storing potatoes in boxes

Throughout the entire storage process, the temperature and humidity conditions recommended for the harvested varieties of potatoes must be observed. Usually, the air temperature is kept at a level 2-4 degreesand humidity 80-91%.

If the humidity in the storage is higher than the recommended one, it is permissible to install containers with quicklime, which should be renewed as necessary.

Harvest preparation before storage

In order to preserve the harvest as much as possible, it is necessary to adhere to several rules.

It is important to harvest potatoes after the soil dries up, so harvesting is carried out only in dry, sunny weather. If this is not possible, the crop is slightly dried and the top dirt is carefully removed without damaging the skin.

When harvesting, only whole healthy tubers are selected for long-term storage.

Harvesting must be done very carefully, using special means, which will reduce the risk of mechanical damage to the tubers.

Immediately after harvesting, the entire crop should be carefully examined, the infected fruits destroyed. It is recommended during the harvesting process to sort the potatoes, placing the rotten one in a separate area. Mechanically damaged tubers are also deposited.

Compliance with storage conditions

Before placing the crop in storage, you can treat the tubers with a solution of the drug "Max KS", according to the instructions on the package. As additional storage protection, you can use fern leaves or rowan leaves, delimiting the layers of potatoes.

Industrial harvesting of potatoes

Potatoes suitable for storage, after being harvested, are moved under a shed or in a dark, ventilated room, where they are stored for a week. After the top skin has hardened, the tubers can be moved to storage. If the bulk method is used when storing the crop, it is recommended to cover the crop with two layers of beets. It absorbs excess moisture, protecting the potatoes from decay.

Attention! It is worth remembering that each variety of potatoes is harvested and stored separately from each other.

Once a month, it is necessary to sort out the harvest. Spoiled tubers are immediately disposed of by incineration.

The best siderates from the legume family

Fodder beans

The plant has a strong root system and a straight fleshy stem. It can be planted on various soils - marshy, clayey and podzolic. This annual plant is able to reduce the acidity of the soil and saturate it in a sufficient amount of nitrogen. The broad beans keep weeds out.

One hundred square meters of land will require approximately 2.5 kg of seeds of this herbaceous plant. As a result, the soil of this area will contain about 60 g of nitrogen, about 25 g of phosphorus and almost 60 g of potassium.

Broad beans are frost-resistant crops. They are able to grow at air temperatures up to 8 degrees below zero. This means that the plants can be safely planted after harvesting the main crop on the site, and they will have time to grow up to severe frosts and winter cold.

The vetch is a climbing plant that needs support in the form of another more resilient crop. Often this green manure is sown together with oats, which becomes such a support. The plant has small purple flowers. The advantages of vetch over other green manure plants in the rapid growth of green mass. Therefore, vetch can be sown in early spring, before planting vegetables.

This herbaceous plant prevents the spread of weeds and the destruction of the soil. It grows only on neutral soils. 10 square meters of land will require 1.5 kg of seeds. As a result, the soil will be enriched with nitrogen (more than 150 g), phosphorus (more than 70 g) and potassium (200 g).

Mowing of this legume green manure is carried out during the period of bud formation or at the very beginning of flowering. For growing tomatoes and cabbage, vetch is the best precursor.


Peas are also a green manure that quickly gains green mass. This green fertilizer takes only a month and a half to grow, but it is very afraid of night frosts. A slight drop in air temperature is not dangerous for him.

Peas are best sown in August, when most of the harvest is harvested. It is recommended to mow the plant during the period of bud formation. Peas thrive on moist, neutral soils. This legume green manure renews the composition of the soil and improves its air exchange. The soil becomes loose and absorbs moisture easily.

10 square meters of land will require 2-3 kg of seeds, which in the future will improve the soil composition by 115 g of nitrogen, 70 g of phosphorus and more than 210 g of potassium.


In the legume family, there is an annual and biennial sweet clover. A biennial sweet clover is usually used as a siderat. The plant has a tall (more than 1 meter) branched stem with fragrant small yellow flowers, which bees love to feast on.

The plant is not afraid of cold weather and drought. Its root system penetrates deep into the soil and from there extracts numerous useful elements. Melilot can grow on soils of different composition. He is able to improve their fertility, improve the composition. This herb is an excellent pest control agent.

This legume green manure is sown at the end of the summer season, grown, but not mown in the fall, but left until spring. The overwintered sweet clover grows very quickly with the arrival of spring heat. It must be mown before flowering begins. The seeds of the plant are small. For one hundred square meters of land, they will need about 200 g. On a plot with such an area, the melilot contains from 150 to 250 g of nitrogen, almost 100 g of phosphorus and from 100 to 300 g of potassium.

Lupine annual

Lupine is a herbaceous plant that is considered the best green manure. The plant has finger-like leaves, erect stems and small flowers of a lilac or purple hue, collected in inflorescences. Its main distinguishing feature is its unusually deep and long roots (up to 2 meters).

Lupine can grow in any soil. It is able to improve, renew and restore the structure of the most depleted and poor soil. Its root system makes the soil loose and easily accessible for moisture and air.

The plant must be sown in early spring or late summer. At the initial stage, lupine requires abundant and regular watering. Siderat is subjected to mowing after about 2 months, but always before budding. It is an excellent precursor for strawberries and strawberries.

For 10 square meters of land, 2-3 kg of seeds will be required, depending on the variety. This leguminous plant contains nitrogen (200 to 250 grams), phosphorus (55-65 g) and potassium (180-220 g).


This plant is perennial, loves moisture and warmth. Alfalfa is able to regulate the acidity of the soil and provide it with all the necessary organic components. Very demanding in the choice of soil. It will not grow on swampy, rocky and heavy soils with a lot of clay.

At the initial stage of growth, the plant needs abundant and regular watering to quickly build up green mass. With a lack of moisture, alfalfa begins to bloom ahead of time, and the amount of greenery remains minimal. The green manure is cut before the buds are formed.

For one hundred square meters of land, 100-150 g of alfalfa seeds are enough.


This moisture-loving legume green manure belongs to annual plants. For its cultivation, weather with frequent rains and low temperatures and a shady area are suitable. It tolerates small frosts well. It can grow on any soil except acidic.

Saradella is sown in early spring and after 40-45 days it builds up the necessary green mass. It is mown and left for new greenery build-up.

The plant contributes to the renewal and improvement of the soil composition, and also repels harmful insects. It prefers to grow in humid climates or in constant high humidity.

On a plot of one hundred square meters, from 400 to 500 g of plant seeds are consumed. The composition of the soil is improved by at least 100 g of nitrogen, about 50 g of phosphorus and more than 200 g of potassium.


Sainfoin green manure is a perennial plant that can grow in one place for 7 years. He is not afraid of frosts, cold winds and drought-resistant weather. In the first year, sainfoin builds up the root system, all his strength goes only to this. But in subsequent years, green manure is increasing a large amount of green fertilizer.

A distinctive feature of the plant is its ability to grow in rocky areas due to its powerful root system. The length of its roots reaches 10 m in depth. From such a depth, the roots get useful organic substances inaccessible to other plants.

To sow a plot of one hundred square meters, you will need about 1 kg of seeds.

  • legumes: lupine, beans, soybeans, lentils, sowing and field peas, alfalfa, sweet clover, spring and winter vetch, clover, fodder beans, sainfoin, soybeans, seradella, peas, chickpeas, clover.
  • cruciferous: rapeseed, colza, oil radish, white mustard
  • cereals: wheat, rye, barley, oats
  • buckwheat: buckwheat
  • Compositae: sunflower
  • hydrophilic (hydrophilic): phacelia

In addition, the green manure of different families has different functions:

  • legumes specialize in fixing nitrogen from the air
  • cruciferous and cereals fix nitrogen from the soil, convert other minerals into a more accessible form, prevent soil demineralization
  • increase the humus layer with a large leaf mass as a green fertilizer - rapeseed, rape
  • lupine, phacelia, buckwheat, oats, alfalfa - can reduce soil acidity
  • legumes, annual ryegrass, phacelia, sunflower, white mustard, oil radish, calendula, nasturtium - can suppress nematodes and a number of pathogens
  • all siderates loosen the soil with their roots, especially lupine, beans, oil radish
  • almost all green manure suppresses weed growth due to seeding density or rapid growth
  • annual ryegrass, phacelia, sunflower, mustard - also excellent honey plants

Green manure and vegetable compatibility

Solanaceous plants: potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, and melons: cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkins, squash - grow well after such siderates as rye, oats, lupine, oil radish, mustard, sweet clover, vetch-oat mixture, rapeseed, phacelia, ryegrass annual.
The best predecessors for beets are mustard, rape, oil radish, vetch, cereals. Poor green manure predecessors: corn and legumes (vetch, alfalfa, lupine, sweet clover, etc.) and rapeseed because of the danger of nematode infestation.
For carrots - all crops are good, but the best are oil radish, mustard, rapeseed, rape.
Siderata for cabbage, daikon, radish, turnip: sweet clover, vetch, lupine, phacelia, buckwheat, oats, clover, peas, as well as cereals.
Onions can be planted in beds where buckwheat, lupine, vetch and vetch-oat mixture, barley, phacelia acted as siderates, but in general, any siderates, except for corn and sunflower, can be precursors for garlic onions.
But garlic is more capricious - for it the best siderates are phacelia and mustard. It is undesirable to plant garlic after any legume siderates
Before planting legumes (peas, beans), you can sow mustard, oil radish, rapeseed, rape, not other legumes.
The best siderates for strawberries: lupine, mustard, phacelia, oats.

The best green manure for the garden: how to sow and when to plant in the soil

Green manure plants, or green manures, are an effective natural fertilizer. These plants are sown on a vacant plot in a vegetable garden or in a bed with major crops. Then a lush green mass, which grows very intensively and quickly, without digging, is cut and buried in the ground.

This technique allows you to enrich the soil with valuable nitrogen, inhibits the growth of weeds, and prevents the spread of bacterial and fungal diseases. It is also a good alternative to chemical fertilizers and a suitable option for adherents of natural farming. You haven't practiced sowing green manure yet? Well, it's time to get started!

Weeding potatoes with a trimmer - devices and their features

Modern gardeners are well aware that household trimmers can be used not only for mowing grass on the site, but also for weeding grown potato bushes. Weeding with a brushcutter can save you a lot of time and effort. At the same time, the result will delight even the most experienced cultivators.

To process the site and remove siderates and weeds, it is best to use a brushcutter in which the power unit is installed in its upper part - this will allow cutting not only dry, but also wet grass. Weeding of potatoes with a row-spacing trimmer is most often done using a mowing head fitted with a cord of the appropriate diameter. At the same time, many experienced gardeners claim that wild vegetation, previously mown with a line with a factory round cross-section, grows much more slowly than grass, which was mowed with a cord with an asterisk cross-section.

In some cases, a 3-blade knife is used to cut weeds. It can be metal or plastic. Steel cutting blades can only be installed on brushcutters with straight bars. If the tool bar is bent at its lower end, then a plastic cutting attachment must be installed on such a trimmer. The most common problem with metal and plastic knives is the risk of using them. The fact is that in case of contact of the nozzle with a stone or other solid foreign object, the trimmer will fold back or to the side. As a result, there will be a danger of damaging the grown potato bushes.

What are the benefits of mustard for the garden?

  • "Give" oxygen and air to the earth.
  • Disinfect the soil by killing any pests.
  • Clear the ground from fungi and infections.

In addition, sowing mustard in the fall to improve the soil:

  • retains nitrogen
  • helps crops grow faster
  • prevents soil freezing
  • prevents weeds from growing.

Mustard acts as a precursor to many other crops. These include potatoes, tomatoes. This is due to the fact that it is able to prevent many diseases, prevent them from appearing, but there are some disadvantages of this plant as a fertilizer. Mustard is often attacked by various insects, it suffers from diseases. This plant is an excellent food for many birds, so they will be a frequent visitor to the garden. If this is a concern, then it is advisable to cover the seeds with mulch after planting.

Garden, vegetable garden and flower garden tips

Treatment and prevention

Treatment directly depends on the metabolism occurring in the potato. When the leaves are rolled, nothing can be done due to the influence of herbicides. If most of the drug gets on the leaves and soil, then the plant cannot be saved either. With a minimum amount of the drug, you can save the crop and cure curling plants.

With the wrong care, the end result can be corrected. If the soil is waterlogged, then loosen the row spacings. When decaying the lower leaves of the potato, they should be removed. In case of drought, the soil should be mulched (with leaves or grass)

For prevention purposes, it is necessary to use disinfectants before planting. Compliance with the basic rules of crop rotation is recognized as the main means of fighting viruses and bacteria. You should not plant potatoes in the same place for a long time. During the growth of the plant, the plant should be treated with fungicides:

Modern chemicals have a complex effect. Processing, if the tops are twisted, should be carried out 3 times:

  • before landing
  • when germinating sprouts about 20 cm
  • when buds appear.

Before planting, you need to treat the tubers with a solution of potassium permanganate or boric acid. Processing must be carried out before flowering. When flowering, drugs cannot be used.

How to prevent leaf curling - description and treatment:

  1. Be careful with the choice of seed. Tubers must be selected, all dubious ones must be thrown away. If the tuber is damaged, then it should not be planted.
  2. Use Prestige treater. Dilute the preparation with water in a ratio of 1:10 and spray the tubers with it. As a result, the likelihood of damage to tubers by wireworms, aphids and the Colorado potato beetle is reduced.
  3. The tubers should not be cut before planting. A viral or fungal infection can enter the incisions.
  4. Small tubers cannot be used. They can be infected with black scab or ring rot.
  5. It is imperative to deal with pests.

Watch the video: 8 Ways to Grow Tons of Potatoes No Matter Where You Live


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