HARVESTING POTATOES HARVEST INCREASES
If you dig a potato correctly, it becomes more weighty, juicier, tastier and healthier. It would seem a paradox: what has grown has grown, where did the nutritional supplements come from?
But everything is understandable. And the main thing here is not to harm the crop with your actions.
Different varieties of potatoes are not ready for harvest at the same time. Therefore, it is necessary to take into account certain signs of plant maturity so that the tubers have time to accumulate as many nutrients as possible and do not begin to waste them during re-germination or simply rest in vain in the ground. These signs are both explicit and even arithmetically verified, and "deceptive", requiring additional factors to be taken into account. To clean up at "5", you need to pay attention to 5 important circumstances.
1. THE STATE OF POTATO HOLMS WILL SUGGEST
You have to get rid of her. Question: when and how? Ways are different, including extraordinary, unusual.
The above-ground part of the potato often dies off by itself in early autumn. If this does not happen, wilted and yellowed shoots are cut off 1 - 2 weeks before harvesting. This accelerates the ripening of the tubers, as they open up to the sun, receive more heat, and the peel is compacted. In addition, further cleaning is facilitated. But it is impossible to leave potatoes in the ground “without cover” for more than two weeks - the tubers will lose their taste and keeping quality.
The tops are removed with scissors, you can use special ones - for example, on a long handle so that you do not have to bend down. Or with a special servo system that prevents the blades from pinching and allows you to control them with a lever.
They cut the stems not at the root, so as not to damage the tubers, but leaving "tails" up to 15 cm high. They will indicate where to dig or simply pull potatoes out of the loose earth for them without a shovel and pitchfork.
In some cases, gardeners do not wait for the natural drying of the tops. It is mowed before the tubers ripen, if the bushes are affected by diseases, blackened, covered with spots. This protects against infection that can get from the stems into the potatoes. They usually ripen thanks to the nutrients that they get only from the soil.
Another reason is the early heavy rains. Then the yellowed, drooping shoots begin to grow again. They are cut so that it is the tubers, and not the young leaves, that receive nutrition. True, there is a danger that then a new growth will quickly appear anyway and the bush will be depleted. So if possible, it is worth covering the plantation from precipitation with a film, agrofibre. The autumn heat is also detrimental to the harvest: potatoes in this case begin to produce new stolons and babies.
It happens that the tops are quite healthy, but it must be forced to quickly give useful substances to the tubers. For example, early frosts are coming, and bushes, especially medium and late varieties, are still green. To improve the quality and quantity of the crop, the aerial part of the plants is pressed to the ground with a rake - the growth of the green mass stops, and the outflow of nutrition from the stems and leaves to the tubers accelerates.
But even if nothing threatens the potato, sometimes the drying and cutting of the above-ground mass is forced with the help of chemicals. The reception is called desiccation. Oddly enough, it is useful, environmentally friendly and works to increase the yield. It is believed that pre-harvest activities are best carried out on succulent bushes, it is then that you will get larger and more nutritious tubers.
Plants are sprayed with magnesium chlorate (10 g/l) or copper sulphate (14 g/l) 60-50 days before harvesting. Even if there will be short rains, the drugs have time to act. Tubers are saturated with nutrients from slowly drying tops, the amount of nitrates in them decreases and the content of dry matter increases. Potatoes become larger, smoother and more nutritious. In addition, after digging, they are easily separated from the stems.
After such processing of the tops, and even after the usual cutting, you need to make sure that the earth does not dry out. After all, the tubers are still growing and pouring, and the water from the leaves no longer comes to them, you have to take it from the soil. Therefore, the beds in the heat that occurs at the end of the season are moderately and carefully watered along the furrows so that the tubers do not dehydrate and do not darken. And the next day, the aisles are loosened shallowly. Then it is easier for the potato to breathe, and it is more convenient for people to dig it up.
The tops blacken and dry out even after spraying with a concentrated solution of any complex fertilizer - 300-400 g per 10 liters of water with the addition of potassium sulfate or potassium chloride. The process is called senication and is carried out 20 days before harvesting. A solution of double superphosphate is also used (2 kg insist 24 hours in 10 liters of water) and the bushes are sprayed, spending 2 liters per hundred square meters. Senication helps to increase the protein and starch content of the tubers, as well as to thicken the skin. The harvest is increasing, the quality of products is improving.
Reference by topic: Harvesting potatoes - step by step and correctly!
2. ATTENTION TO DETAILS
There are several signs that experienced gardeners will know when it's time to dig potatoes.
THE SOIL. If the earth cracked and slightly rose around the bush, it means that the potatoes have basically reached their maximum size and are asking for storage, otherwise those on top can dry out in the sun and lose their juiciness, useful moisture.
THE CALENDAR. If you mark on the calendar those few days when the old ones drooped and new leaves stopped appearing, the flowers fell off, and then add a month, this will be the “H” time - the beginning of harvesting. A small error is not so fundamental.
TEST BUSH. If the number of large and medium tubers on the dug out test bush exceeds the number of small ones, while the peel from the potatoes does not separate with light friction, and they themselves easily come off the underground stolons, the collection can be continued. True, the varieties on the field must be of the same ripening period.
TEMPERATURE. It is better to dig when the air temperature is 8-15°. In case of precipitation, it is worth postponing work for 1-2 days, otherwise wet potatoes will have to dry for a long time, and the adhering earth will become a source of infection.
You should not start cleaning in the morning or in the evening, when the autumn air is colder than the soil, and the temperature difference again has a bad effect on keeping quality. The best time is from noon.
3. DIGGING POTATOES - ACCURATE CALCULATION
At what distance from the bush and to what depth should the tool be inserted so as not to damage the club-nm and thereby reduce the quality of the crop?
ARITHMETIC. Regardless of the length of the stolons, and it happens in different varieties, the depth of the tubers usually does not exceed 20 cm. This is approximately the bayonet of a shovel. They stick it into the ground at a distance of 20-30 cm from the bush, hook the nest, lift it up and shake it.
This usual rule does not apply to special technologies - for example, if a bush is grown in a pit, bag or barrel with periodic pouring of loose soil, when the tubers are tied deep, into several "floors".
INSTRUMENTS. It is better to use not an ordinary shovel with a solid blade and a sharp cutting edge, but an openwork or serrated one or a pitchfork. They are easier to work with, and they leave less damage to the tubers.
Special manual potato diggers are also sold, which speed up work by 4-5 times. They have frequent teeth, which are connected to the pedal by hinges. You stick one into the ground, press the lever with your foot, and the tubers are effortlessly on the surface, it remains to go with a bucket and collect. They do not need to be hooked or turned over! The unit takes the load off the back and arms.
4. SORTING WITH SKILL
Even if the crop is homogeneous, which is rare, it immediately makes sense to divide the tubers.
AIR BATHS. In good weather, dug up potatoes are left on the site to weather. For a couple of hours, no longer, because after 6-8 hours it will begin to turn green due to the production of solanine. Potatoes covered with moist soil are not immediately peeled so as not to damage the skin. They must first dry and again ventilate in the shade.
FRACTIONS. It is convenient to sort the tubers right there on the beds, laying them out in different baskets or bags - separately a trifle, large pieces, as well as sick or deformed ones that are thrown away or for speedy consumption. While they are still light and have not darkened over time, flaws are noticeable on them.
You can immediately carry out selection selection - to separate the seed material from the most prolific bushes. Just for him, the sun is the best: the greener it becomes, the better it will be stored, and the mice will not be touched - they also do not like solanine.
5. TREATMENT OF POTATOES BEFORE STORAGE
This is the last stage of cleaning, which can not be neglected.
Shutter speed. The tubers selected for long-term storage are placed in boxes (20-25 kg each) or propylene bags and placed in a dark, cool (2 °) place for 4-15 weeks. Such is the quarantine period, when minor injuries heal, the peel thickens even more and previously invisible diseases appear. Then the harvest is poured out again, inspected and the unusable ones are rejected.
SPRAYING. Before storing the tubers, in order to prevent diseases that often occur during storage, they are sprayed from a spray bottle with a solution of biologics based on Trichoderma.
CELLAR. After 1-2 hours, dried potatoes can be lowered into a ventilated cellar, where they can be kept in bags, nets, boxes or in bulk in the dark and cool at 2-4 ° and air humidity 92-95%. There it is well stored from 7 to 9 months. Juiciness is not lost, diseases do not appear, which means that the harvest does not decrease.
If weeding is carried out 7-10 days before harvesting, the crop will ripen faster and the nemio will increase.
To destroy the pathogenic microflora in the ribs, you can burn a sulfur checker in advance or treat wooden surfaces with disinfectants, for example, copper sulphate.
© Author: N. LAGUTA Kursk region
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