Everyone wants tasty potatoes. Part 1
The potatoes did not take root right away. What the mighty of this world did not do to force the peasants to grow it. In Russia, for example, under Peter I, the introduction of potatoes was not crowned with success, and under Catherine II it took two decades and was accompanied by riots and tough administrative measures. But many years later, the innocent vegetable was popularly called the "damn apple".
If you have your own planting material, then the seed tubers need to be obtained and sent for germination. Pay attention to the selection of planting material. Given the fact that viral diseases develop very actively, and the potatoes are degenerating, the tubers must be selected very carefully and only from excellent bushes... And never buy small potatoes for planting - in 90% of cases it is completely unpromising. If you decide to buy potatoes, then you should only do this in reputable specialized centers where they sell elite tubers (superelite, elite, etc.)
So, we will assume that you have acquired healthy, reliable planting material, the quality of which you have no doubt about. And from the middle of March, start germinating it. This can be done in different ways. But first, it is better to soak the planting material in a solution of humates (the solution is prepared according to the instructions) for 8-12 hours. Humates are a powerful activator of plant growth and development processes, and also have an anti-stress effect against unfavorable environmental factors, including diseases. Humates contribute to the production of special enzymes by the plant that help it survive in adverse conditions. Average statistical data on long-term observations when testing humates on large potato fields indicate an increase in potato yield by 25-30%. Well, now let's dwell on the methods of sprouting potatoes.
Regular sprouting of potatoes
The most common of these is germination in boxes or boxes, in which tubers are laid out in one or more layers. Moreover, in the latter case, the potatoes in the box need to be stirred from time to time to provide them with uniform illumination. However, this reliable method has one drawback: boxes with tubers take up a lot of space, and in fact it is not enough in the apartments of gardeners in early spring. This problem can be solved by resorting to another method: pre-germinate potatoes in three-liter jars. You can also use plastic bags for this, having previously made holes for air exchange along their entire length.
Regardless of the method of tuber germination you choose, the optimal temperature for this is 18 ... 20 ° C for the first two weeks, then it is advisable to lower the temperature to 10-12 ° C. If this reduction cannot be achieved, keep the tubers slightly moist and remember to thoroughly ventilate the room.
Growing potato seedlings
If you dream about early harvests of potatoes , then you should think about introducing a seedling method of growing it. Moreover, a little is needed for this: potato tubers of early varieties sprouted in the light, plus several boxes, 8-10 cm filled with a peat-mixture mixture, special soil for seedlings, or simply clean, moistened sawdust... Two weeks before planting, place the tubers sprouted upside down in the boxes and cover with a 2-3 cm thick layer of the same substrate.
Make sure that the substrate, on the one hand, does not dry out, and on the other, does not become overmoistened. Provide him with a temperature not higher than 20 ° C. When the sprouts are 6-8 cm high, pour them abundantly with a solution of complex mineral fertilizers and plant them together with the soil in prepared holes, filling both the tubers and sprouts with earth. Before this, the soil must be preheated, covered in advance with plastic wrap, and after planting, cover the entire potato area with straw or hay, and then with the same plastic wrap so that the tubers do not freeze.
To cut or not cut the tubers?
If the amount of elite potatoes you have purchased and sprouted does not meet your needs, do not worry: shortly before planting tubers can be cut into two, three or even four parts (depending on the weight), then to plant each of them. You do not need to resort to complex calculations in order to understand: you will need one and a half to two times less planting material. But in order for this well-proven method to bring results, you need to consider the following:
1. The place of the cut on the tuber turns out to be without a peel, that is, it is available for all kinds of viruses and bacteria. Therefore, when cutting potatoes, use a sharp knife and do not forget to dip it into a potassium permanganate solution more often for disinfection.
2. Each part of the tuber must have at least two sprouts. A tuber weighing 60 g is cut into two parts, weighing 90 g - into three, and 120 - into four. At the same time, keep in mind that most of the eyes are located at the top of the tuber, so it is better to cut it longitudinally.
3. In order for a protective layer - peridermis - to form on the wound from the cut, this operation must be performed several days before planting, and then, in a thin layer, lay out the parts of the tubers with the cut up.
4. Please also note that cut tubers should be planted only in well-heated (up to 7 ... 9 ° C) and not too moist soil, after applying organic (8-10 kg / m² in autumn) and mineral (in spring or before planting) fertilizers.
Potato cuttings are real
This technique is laborious and is used only when breeding a valuable variety.
The tubers are germinated in a warm, humid air environment, such as on the surface of damp sawdust. The sprouts growing from the eyes, when they reach 4-6 cm, are carefully separated and planted in another pot, where they take root, forming an independent bush. After the sprouts are separated from the same eyes, new sprouts grow on the tuber, which are also separated and rooted. This operation is repeated two to three times. The tuber itself is cut into pieces containing one eye each, and used as planting material.
From rooted shoots with a developed root system, planting material is again obtained, but already with the help of cuttings. When at least four leaves bloom on the sprouts, the top with two leaves is cut off - this is the cutting - and rooted. True, such cuttings are difficult to take root without treatment with stimulants (in my case, without treatment with heteroauxin, the cuttings did not take root in principle, and in the treated ones the survival rate was about 80%).
Propagation of potatoes by seeds
Usually, potatoes are propagated by seeds in breeding, when breeding new varietiesalthough potatoes have been grown this way in the tropics for centuries. In practice, potatoes are usually propagated vegetatively, i.e. tubers. There are many potato hybrids and varieties on the market today that are grown from seed. Hybrids are especially interesting because they are distinguished by the absence of pathogens of any diseases, give a sharp increase in yield, provide resistance to a wide range of diseases and to unfavorable weather conditions. So at the moment it is troublesome, but very a promising breeding option for potatoes.
Read the next part. What conditions do potatoes prefer →
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
As you know, potatoes took root in Russia far from immediately. He was lowered from the very top by the highest command and efforts of the tsarist minister P. D. Kiselyov. Conservative peasants looked at the outlandish product with great apprehension, and, moreover, unknowingly, many kept tubers in the light, which made them dangerous to health.
The green color of the potato is a sure sign of a high content of toxic solanine in it. Mass poisoning even caused a wave of "potato riots", which involved up to half a million people. The only region of the Russian Empire where the introduction (introduction to the culture) of potatoes took place peacefully and without incident was the Tula province, since there this process was led by the outstanding naturalist, writer and educator Andrei Timofeevich Bolotov.
Knowing well the peasant habits, he ordered to pour potato herds right in the middle of the squares of the district towns and to post a guard. The sentries did not admit anyone to the herd and did not answer any questions. At night, the guard was removed, and most of the potatoes were safely plundered. It is clear that the peasant, who had snatched his share of the spoil, began to be keenly interested in what to do with it now.
If only sprouts of valuable varieties without tubers fell into the hands, you should not throw them away. They can also be used for planting. The sprouts are planted in pots filled with nutritious soil, and the next year they receive a full-fledged planting material. That is, small nodules will grow from them, which cannot be eaten, but can be used as seeds.
In addition to germinating potatoes before planting, we recommend that you also treat the tubers from diseases and pests.
Preparing seedlings for planting
Greetings, dear friends!
To expand your orchard, you need to select only healthy and strong specimens of seedlings. Each young tree must undergo a rigorous audit and preparation before planting. So let's talk in more detail about how preparation of seedlings for planting Location on.
Inspection, preparation and formation of roots
First, you need to carefully examine the entire root system of tree seedlings. Dead, damaged and rotten roots should be removed with a sharp knife or pruner. If the tool is poorly sharpened, then the roots receive additional damage, which in the soil will give a focus for diseases. All growths, tumors, torn and crushed branches are carefully removed from the roots.
Secondly, it is necessary to form the underground part of the plant so that there are no roots in it growing from the central rod inward. It is advisable to shorten too long roots. The cut is made not oblique, but clearly transverse to reduce the wound surface. Only skeletal roots should be pruned, thin soft roots do not touch, since it is on them that the main load is imposed on the absorption of water and mineral salts.
Sapling trunk preparation
When preparing the seedling for planting, wipe the base of the trunk with a damp cloth so that the root collar is clearly visible. This spot usually has a transition from green to light brown. Do not confuse the root collar with the graft site.
Root processing and planting
From clay, mullein and water, which are taken in a ratio of 1: 2: 5, a clay-dung slurry is prepared. The roots of the seedlings are dipped into it before planting. The planting process itself is most conveniently carried out with an assistant who will keep the seedling at the required height. The tree is placed in a planting pit prepared in advance, in which a slide is made of an earth-compost mixture. The roots are straightened and distributed in such a way that they "embrace" the earthen mound. On the south side of the tree, a support is installed in the form of a strong stick or stake.
According to the rules, the root collar of the seedling should rise 3 cm above the level of the pit. Holding the tree in this position, sprinkle the roots with earth. They begin to cover the earth from the edges, gently compacting it with their foot. For backfill, they take ordinary fertile land from the garden (without fertilizers). In a tree planted in this way, after backfilling, the root collar should be located at the level of the soil surface.
A hole is made around the stem, raking up a circular roller of earth, and the plant is watered. One seedling of a large culture (apple, pear) takes up to 2-3 buckets of water. After completely absorbing moisture, the soil will sag slightly. Every other day, the soil around the trunk is mulched with compost or manure. The tree itself is tied to an established support.
On a plot of five acres, you can rationally place a garden of 8-10 apple trees on tall stocks or 12-15 apple trees on semi-dwarf stocks, or 20-26 apple trees on dwarf stocks. Cherries can be planted in 6-8 pieces, gooseberries - 8-10, black currants - 12-15 pieces, red and white - 3 bushes, and raspberries - 50 pieces.
Correctly conducted preparation of seedlings for planting - a guarantee of successful survival of young trees and good yields in the future! See you, dear friends!
It will take 35-40 days to prepare good quality seed.
This selection is carried out in the fall when digging potatoes. Only strong, healthy, intact tubers the size of a hen's egg are selected for seeds. Selecting small tubers, you make an application for a weak harvest in advance, since the small material is less ripe and less developed. Larger seed tubers will produce more vigorous plants that can provide better nutrition to young root tubers. Therefore, the harvest from large potatoes ripens earlier, and the tubers grow larger.
For good preservation of seed material, they should be greened in the fall, leaving them in the light for a week.
If during storage your seeds have sprouted large, then they need to be broken off. Broken off sprouts can be tried to be planted on seedlings.
Do I need to prepare seeds?
You can, of course, do without preparation, but in this case it is better not to count on a good harvest either.
- Proper seed treatment triggers the development of shoots and roots, which affects the emergence of earlier, strong and healthy seedlings.
- Applying the processing of seed tubers, at the same time sorting and rejection of those unsuitable for planting: weaker, sick ones, occurs. From here, the seedlings will be friendly, and there will be no empty places.
Vernalization of potatoes
Vernalization of potatoes is understood as a set of measures that can significantly increase the yield of "second bread". The result directly depends on how to prepare the planting material. The process includes measures for heating tubers, landscaping, processing with nutrient solutions, disinfection and germination in the light.
Landscaping of planting material is carried out in the fall, after harvesting. Tubers are laid out in the light in one or two layers. When the tubers become dark green (due to the presence of solanine), they are stored. Such planting material is perfectly stored, is not susceptible to diseases and shows its best qualities when planting.
If landscaping was not carried out in the fall, you can successfully plant the potatoes in the spring while germinating in the light.
Germination can be combined with warming up. Seed material is removed from storage, sorted out, calibrated and laid out in containers in which tuber germination will take place.
For the success of vernalization, the tubers need illumination. The temperature is desirable in the range of 20-35 ° C. Heating devices are used to create such a temperature. Moisture values should be high: about 85-95%, frequent spraying with water will help to achieve them.
The simplest way of vernalization is dry germination in the light. Temperature is not the most important condition here. Much more importance is attached to the condition of placing the potatoes in such a way that each potato is sufficiently illuminated. This is achieved by placing the tubers in suitable containers in one row, maximum two. In the process, tubers without sprouts or with weak sprouts are rejected.
Potatoes can be wet germinated a week before planting. Prepare a substrate consisting of a mixture of sawdust with peat (you can do with sawdust alone). The bottom of the boxes is lined with foil. Tubers, previously subjected to dry vernalization, are placed in one or two layers at the bottom of the boxes and covered with a substrate. Throughout the week, monitor the moisture content of the substrate, watered if necessary. The tubers will develop roots very quickly. Here it is necessary not to miss the moment when the roots grow to such a length so as not to get confused, otherwise they will be injured when planting. This will inevitably lead to a decrease in productivity.
Withering tubers for 1-2 weeks under light and warm conditions (above 16 ° C) allows the sprouts to awaken. This increases the stress resistance of the planting material.
Accelerated heating of tubers
If it is not possible to carry out vernalization according to all the rules, emergency measures can be applied to the planting material, consisting in heating the tubers at a high temperature. Two to three days before disembarking, bring the containers with potatoes into the room. For 8-9 hours, the temperature is brought to 40 ° C, after which the room must be ventilated. This warming up encourages the plant to grow actively.
Sprouting tubers for sprouting
This method is very beneficial: not tubers are planted in the ground, but pieces of potatoes with sprouts. It provides for the preliminary germination of seed potatoes at a temperature of 10-12 degrees and a humidity of 85-90%. If the humidity in the room is insufficient, the tubers should be periodically sprayed with water.
Potato sprouts should be planted with a small piece of tuber in moist, well-fertilized soil, buried 2/3 of the length. The distance between the plants in a row is 15-20 cm. And the distance between the rows is 60-70 cm. For better plant survival, shade should be done.
How to prepare potatoes for planting
When preparing potato tubers for planting, they should be slightly processed. It can be carried out in different ways, the choice of which depends on the existing conditions and the capabilities of summer residents. Preparation is needed:
- for starting biological processes in tubers
- rejection of "unusable copies".
In addition, the pre-sowing treatment of tubers allows you to protect seedlings from pests and diseases that often accompany them at all stages of development.
Selection of tubers
For planting, it is necessary to select potatoes of a certain size with the presence of eyes on them. Their bulkhead should be dealt with carefully, since defective tubers will not sprout. Planting material is considered unsuitable if it:
- smaller than a chicken egg
- ugly in shape
- does not have seedlings
- afflicted with disease.
The seed tubers must be sorted by size before planting. Too large potatoes often produce weak plants, the yield of which is minimal. Small ones are also not suitable, since they have few nutrients for the development of seedlings. The best seed is dry tubers the size of a hen's egg, with the correct shape.
Damp root vegetables are a sign of diseases such as scab or wet rot. If there are no suitable seeds in the "bins" of gardeners, they should be purchased, since planting substandard material leads to low yields.
Disinfection of tubers
Before planting, it is recommended to sprinkle potatoes on an open flat area for warming up. In addition, it is recommended to treat potatoes with disinfectants to help protect them from pathogenic agents. The following agents are allowed for etching:
- manganese solution
To prepare a manganese solution, one gram of potassium permanganate is dissolved in a bucket of water. "Prestige" is used according to the attached instructions.
To obtain tubers treated with a fungicide, the seed material is sprayed with a disinfectant or dipped into a container with a ready-made solution and kept for at least thirty-five minutes.
The active components of "Prestige" allow you to protect root crops:
- from Colorado beetles
Also, the fungicide is effective against pathogenic fungi and bacterial spores.
The prepared amount of seed material is subject to mandatory heating. For this, the warmth of the room or the sun's rays are suitable. On a warm, clear day at a temperature of more than fifteen degrees, potatoes are scattered in an open area. Such "calcination" allows accelerating the process of eye growth and contributes to the death of pathogenic bacterial spores.
High temperatures can "wake up" plant shoots from a prolonged dormancy period. This event is mandatory for the cultivation of the described culture.
When sprouting tubers, it is recommended to scatter the seed in a warm room where the sun's rays do not penetrate. You can only plant potatoes with seedlings, since they are ready for active development after a long dormant period.
Quality potato eyes are visible in size. Up to two seedlings are formed from one point. The first shoots from such seeds may appear a week after planting.
Plastic bags are effective for this, which accelerate the process of sprouting on root crops. Sprouting potatoes is a must in pre-sowing preparation.