Preparing potatoes for planting is an important agricultural process, which, unfortunately, is ignored by many of us. But in order to get a really high-quality and weighty crop of potatoes, we recommend that you pay attention to it.
We are used to planting potatoes in the ground in just a few ways - in rows and holes, spudding or not, in early spring or closer to summer. Accordingly, we get the crop a little earlier or at the end of the warm season, small or larger. There are many factors that we never paid attention to, yes, in principle, this was not necessary, because well-fertilized land constantly gave a good harvest. But today, due to the difficult environmental situation, dramatic changes in climate, poor-quality planting stock and devastated land, we are less and less satisfied with the harvest. And it’s true, where will the crop come from, if the land is not fertilized, we plant cheap material, and even the care does not match what we want. There is only one way out - to listen to the professionals and provide potato beds with everything you need. And it’s worth starting with the preparation of tubers for planting, because it is here that the correct and high-quality development of the root crop begins.
Norms of planting potatoes in the ground
Choosing a quality material for planting, it is necessary to pay attention to many points.
- Firstly, do not allow sick material to be planted that is infected with scab, dry or wet rot, or other diseases.
- Secondly, it is not worth planting in the ground and small potatoes, whose mass is less than 30 g.
- Thirdly, avoid overly shaped tubers that often do not produce a normal bush.
Now about the rate of disembarkation. Professional summer residents often use large planting material, about 100 g or more. Such tubers need about 40 pieces for every 100 m2. If you reduce the weight of tubers, then it is necessary to increase the quantity, respectively, if the mass is 40-50 g, then the amount per 100 m2 reaches hundreds.
Untreated tubers germinate within 10-14 days, show sprouts on the surface of the beds after another 12-20 days. Thus, unprepared material sprouts only after a month. But you can always speed up the process, making it more correct and high quality.
Preparing potatoes for planting
The basic methods of preparing potatoes
Among the classical methods of preparation are:
- Germination in the light;
- Wet germination;
Thanks to simple and unpretentious measures, the potato crop can be significantly increased. Let us more specifically about each of them.
Germination of potatoes in the light
The preparation of the material in this way makes it possible to reduce the seedling time by almost two weeks, and lasts, respectively, 10-14 days. Thanks to this process, it is possible to grow crops by 30-40% more. In addition, the advantage is that during the preparation it is possible to sort out the planting material, to identify the patient and unsuitable for planting.
Tuber diseases in the light appear, and such specimens are removed from the total amount of material.
Non-germinated tubers with long filiform sprouts are also rejected.
How to sprout potatoes in the light?
This is an easy and effective way, but it will require your participation. So, the material is laid out on window sills and shelves, special flooring and paving, where there is a lighted space inside the room. In this case, it is important to observe one rule - do not decompose root crops in more than 2-3 layers, ideally, and in general, you need to place it in one layer.
Due to the uniform illumination, thick and strong shoots of equal length and dark color will sprout on each tuber. They will become the guarantor of good seedlings and the future harvest.
To grow tubers in this way should be 12-16 days, periodically turning so that each side receives the desired dose of light. At the same time, you can sort the sprouted potatoes in a box, the rest is brought to the desired condition. You should be careful about ventilation in a room where there should always be fresh air, and also lay aside fruits with thin processes, such plants should not be planted in the garden.
Germination should be correctly calculated, because there are certain dates for planting potatoes. In addition, the processes of the filamentous form that are already present on the potato or generally weak, should be completely removed before germination.
Germination and preparation of potatoes in polyethylene
For germination, you can use small plastic bags. In transparent “T-shirts”, a dozen small holes are made to provide ventilation. Next, 8-12 potatoes are laid inside, the bag is tied and hung in a bright place.
Thanks to this process, the greenhouse effect is created and the tubers germinate very quickly, but you should be careful about lighting and ventilation. It is not advisable to keep the bag in direct sunlight, and also need to constantly turn it over for uniform illumination.
These bags are convenient in transportation, but care must be taken to prevent young sprouts from being damaged.
Germination of potatoes in feed boxes
There is another interesting way to qualitatively prepare the material for planting in the ground. For this purpose, an almost identical method of germination in the light is used, but with the addition of special additives in containers for germination.
The potato is placed in boxes or baskets, the bottom of which is evenly covered with a mixture of humus and peat or sawdust. Next, a few centimeters of this mixture are laid on a layer of potato, and a layer of tubers is laid again. Thus, 6-8 layers can be formed.
Mandatory requirements of this type of germination:
- After laying the potatoes in several layers, the box with tubers is spilled with water from a watering can with a fine sieve so that all layers are evenly saturated with moisture;
- The box is installed indoors with a temperature of about + 15 + 17 ° C;
- A few days later, when the first roots appear on the tubers, the box is shed with the following mixture: 10 g of potassium chloride, 10 g of ammonium nitrate, 50 g of superphosphate in a bucket of clean water. You can replace this composition with a slightly different one - a glass of wood ash in a bucket of water. It is also recommended to simultaneously dissolve several grams of copper and boron in a given volume of liquid;
- 2 days after the strait mixture, another strait is produced. It is necessary to observe certain standards: the first watering is a bucket of the mixture for 50 kg of tubers, the second - for 80 kg.
After a week, the potato forms numerous roots, which means complete readiness for planting. Tubers should be transported to the garden bed, carefully planted in the holes, covered with soil, watered and sprinkled with dry soil.
This method is not the most popular among summer residents, and therefore we will not particularly develop the topic. We describe the method only for those who want to try germination in clay pots or cups for the first time.
The main feature is the germination period, which begins a month before planting.
Initially, the tubers are placed in wet sawdust, and after a week and a half - in a pot in which a mixture of humus and garden soil is placed. Usually, the beginning of these events falls on the first half of March, but each person determines for himself the time of landing.
It is important to remember the main steps in this type of potato preparation:
- A special “vegetable mixture” is added to the soil for enrichment;
- Pots with tubers are installed near the windows;
- By mid-April, that is, after about a month, roots appear, and it is during this period that the hardening occurs - the pots are taken out into the street during the day, and again taken to the room at night. But it is worthwhile to understand that at a temperature below + 10 ° C this should not be done.
A very strong seedling is formed and prepared in this way, which gives a good harvest.
It is far from always possible to germinate potato tubers, and there are a number of reasons for this. But now it’s not about them, but about the method of preparing potatoes before planting, if it is not germinated.
Potatoes should be dried by spreading in a dry room on the floor, in only one row. Drying lasts about a week and a half, so the shoots on the tubers will no longer appear. But there is a great chance to ventilate the root crops, to calculate low-quality among them, but most importantly, to awaken the eyes, which can now give good shoots.
Along with previously agreed preparatory measures, potatoes must also be pickled. This process provides the exclusion or prevention of many diseases, including scab and rhizoctonia. How does etching occur?
The first method involves the preparation of a special solution of formalin (40%) and water, 1: 200. Tubers should be dipped into it, and then left for several hours in a tight heap, covered with a tarp.
The second method of pickling potatoes is a little different. The tubers are immediately sprayed with water (the approximate consumption is about 2 liters of water per 100 kg of root crops), and the next day they are treated with a solution that was prepared for the first method of pickling, but this time it is necessary to add a little copper sulfate, not more than 2 g per 10 l of solution. There is another difference - it takes 4-5 hours to languish the pickled tubers under the tarpaulin.
It is very important to remember that pickling takes place before the potatoes sprout.
Proper sprouting of potatoes
The important processes of preparing potatoes before planting help not only to carefully sort the planting material and to allow only healthy and strong tubers to the beds, but also to get an excellent harvest as a result of their labor. If you are familiar with other methods of preparing the material before planting, we are happy to hear your opinion in the comments.