More than 100 methods for growing potatoes are known. For each climatic band, variety of soil, they have their own characteristics. But with all the variety of methods, there is not always a guarantee of a good harvest. It often fails, either late spring with frosts, or dry summers, and pests and rodents overpower. In the last 2-3 years, alternative methods of growing potatoes have been very popular among gardeners, allowing to reduce labor costs while increasing the crop yield several times. Please note that with all methods, potatoes should be removed from the cellar almost a month before planting and placed in a warm room for germination.
Warm beds - a kind of heating pads for plant roots, consisting of organic residues, which, when decomposed, release the heat needed by plants to overcome frosts, temperature changes. Potatoes in warm beds are planted earlier than in ordinary ones. It develops better, bears fruit earlier, yielding a crop of at least a kilogram from the bush, more resistant to disease. You can prepare seats already in the fall, or even the previous spring after thawing the soil. They need a sunny area.
The place of the future beds is prepared as follows:
- fenced with boards, forming the so-called box half a meter wide, 30 cm high;
- stack chips, branches;
- then there are several layers of paper, cardboard;
- put a ten-centimeter layer of manure, humus, protecting against weed grass, retaining moisture, nourishing plants;
- everything is covered with grass overhead;
- dry weed is constantly added, watered;
- before planting root crops sprinkle a bed with a ten-centimeter layer of humus.
In spring, such a garden is watered with a warm talker, consisting of 4-6 liters of water, half a glass of sugar or jam, a packet of “Shine 2”. Before use, the mixture is insisted for a couple of hours. Cover the bed with foil. Before planting, the soil is loosened with a chopper. After planting, the bed is mulched with straw or hay. Young seedlings are fed with biomixes and spud. Periodically pour mulch.
This method allows you to get a ten-liter bucket of tubers from three bushes. Such a bed lasts 2-3 years, until organic residues are completely cross-fertilized.
A variety of growing potatoes in a warm bed is growing in a trench. Such a bed can last up to 10 years.
Prepare it in the following sequence:
- dig a trench up to half a meter deep;
- its bottom is filled with branches, roots, tree trunks, chocks, chips, sawdust, bark;
- then they lay the sod, trampling it;
- on top put a box 30 cm high, filled with dry leaves, grass, paper, ash;
- the last layer is a ten-centimeter one, consisting of earth with compost.
For clay soils, sand is first poured into the bottom of the trench, and woody remains are left on it. In cold areas, the bottom is insulated with a dense layer of closed plastic bottles.
It is not necessary to dig the soil on the bed, it is only loosened. After 2-3 years, the plant residues in the box are updated. Watering for warm beds is very important. The mechanism of decay starts only in moist soil. Therefore, the beds are watered more often than usual.
The third option of a warm bed is the use of the principle of gradual immersion of a growing stem in the soil to form new roots with tubers. The planting site is fertilized with humus, ash, this prevents the tuber from eating insects, rodents. A box without a bottom is prepared from the boards. The finished material is planted without a box. When the bush rises 10 cm above the box, this box is installed on it, it is covered with nutritious soil mixture to the top and watered abundantly with warm water. The mixture consists of humus, peat, compost with ash. Watering is carried out daily. The bush gives additional roots on which tubers are tied. When the bush rises to the width of another board, put the second on the first box, repeating similar actions. Such an operation can be repeated a couple of times, while the total height of the box reaches up to half a meter.
One month after installing the last drawer, you can harvest. But to build up the last layer later than mid-August does not make sense.
Growing potatoes under straws
Potatoes under straw were grown by peasants in Russia and Ukraine 200 years ago. This method, with some amendments, has been successfully applied now.
Advantages of this technology:
- moisture is well preserved and condensed under the straw;
- the litter passes air well;
- straw, playing the role of mulch, inhibits the growth of weeds.
The main criteria for well-prepared for planting soil and litter are:
- friability - for this, the surface is loosened to a depth of 5 cm with a strip width of 10-15 cm;
- humidity - before planting, the soil is abundantly moistened and watering is carried out after it;
- thickness - the straw is covered with a layer sufficient so that, with its significant shrinkage, the soil does not dry out. With a very dense layer of straw, its sufficient heating is not provided, it does not allow air to pass through. Root sprouts will not be able to break through such a litter.
Planting potatoes under straws is as follows:
- On loose, moist soil, tubers are laid, which are covered with straw up to a third of a meter thick. Or planting material is laid in trenches up to 10 cm deep, falling asleep with loose and moist soil. Top - a layer of straw up to 15 cm;
- After the sprouts reach a height of 5 cm, another layer of the same thickness is laid. Laying is carried out carefully so as not to break the seedlings;
- To prevent the demolition of the litter by the wind, it is slightly sprinkled with earth.
You should not worry about watering using this technology. Moisture is well retained by the litter and condenses due to the difference in day and night temperatures. In arid areas, watering is still necessary, and potatoes are planted not under straws, but under leaves. In northern areas, sphagnum moss can be used.
Another variant of this method is possible - the litter is not homogeneous, but multi-layer, consisting of straw and large organic residues (for example, crushed corn stalks). Here we use an example of forest litter, where different layers of organics alternate.
The advantages of this technology are the ease of planting care, the absence of weed grass, the almost complete absence of the main pests - Colorado beetles. But there is a danger of spoiling the tubers by rodents. In the fight against them, leaves of Manchurian walnut thrown under mulch help.
Harvested by removing the layer of litter. The tubers are large, even, smooth, clean. They did not dry out and were not wet in the rain. The crop is more than 15 tubers from the bush.
How to grow potatoes under a straw
Growing Potatoes in a Barrel
An effective technology to ensure a decent harvest is growing potatoes in a barrel. The bottom is removed from the barrel, holes are made on the side for oxygen to enter it and to prevent the accumulation of excess moisture. They fill the ground, mixed with compost, to a height of at least 10 cm. The soil can also be mixed with sawdust. Then lay the tubers, observing an interval of 20 cm, cover them with earth.
Between the emerging shoots, tubers are additionally laid, covered with earth.
You can use parts of potatoes or eyes for this purpose. Periodically sprouts spud until the barrels are filled with earth to the brim. At the same time, top dressing is made, the planting is watered.
Weeds and Colorado potato beetles are not afraid of these shoots. It is necessary to monitor their timely watering. You can apply a drip irrigation system. To better provide plants with oxygen, a rubber hose rolled up in a spiral is laid on the bottom of the barrel, providing a distance between its turns of about 10 cm.The hose is cut at small intervals by 2-3 cm. One end of it is closed tightly and the other is taken out of the barrel. A pump brought to it a couple of times a week pump air into a barrel to feed the roots of plants. Potatoes in a barrel do not require significant care, takes up little space, as the bush does not grow in breadth, but up.
A variation of this method is the cultivation of root crops in bags. This allows you to get early potatoes. The bag is filled with an earthen mixture, tied, laid on the ground, cuts are made from above, where the tubers are laid. First, it is kept warm, and then taken out of the room. Watering with this method is almost unnecessary, but periodic moistening of the soil is still necessary. Weeds do not threaten such seedlings.
There are many technologies for growing potatoes. Each of them reaches its goal - it helps to get a good harvest. But the main thing is to take into account the individual characteristics of the soil, climate, etc.
When applying the above methods, it is important to consider the following:
- Before planting, the potatoes are kept for 3-4 weeks in a warm, but dark place for germination.
- Preparation of warm beds for sowing begins the season before its use, otherwise the process of biological heating of the soil will not work.
- Constant watering and periodic top dressing when applying the technology of warm beds are of great importance.
- When growing potatoes under straw, the preparation of the soil, the thickness and density of the litter are of particular importance.
- When planting tubers in a barrel, timely watering and oxygen supply to plants should be taken into account.
- Using these technologies, you can get an early crop, and it is easy to check the readiness of root crops without damaging the plants.
When implementing these techniques, it is better to test each of them in separate areas at the same time. Based on the results obtained, it will be possible to judge which of the technologies should be preferred for the next year.