Despite the cheapness of vegetables “in season”, most summer residents still grow their own potatoes: one is enough for a dozen and a half bushes, and the other plants 3-4 acres.
New potatoes are very tasty in all types: even boiled, even fried, even baked in the oven — just delicious! Therefore, it is worth growing it on the dacha at least in a small amount. It’s so nice to go and dig up new potatoes in the summer.
Since it is often an unacceptable luxury to allocate space for potatoes in a small suburban garden, it can be planted as a sealer between young currant bushes, Apple trees and other fruit crops. In addition, you can place potatoes on both sides of the beds of cucumbers, watermelons, zucchini or melons in 1-2 rows, so that after harvesting, space is freed up for these growing crops.
To grow healthy and delicious potatoes, first of all it is necessary to prepare high-quality planting material. When harvesting, be sure to lay out the excavated potatoes separately by varieties, and for each variety, put tubers from powerful, productive bushes with pronounced varietal characteristics in one pile (from here we will select seeds), and the rest of the crop in the other. For seeds, you need to take tubers about 10 cm in size, because they yield more than those that are smaller.
Seed potatoes should be thoroughly washed in clean water, dried, scattered in a bright pantry for 2 weeks for gardening and only then sent to the cellar. Stored stock of seeds in open polypropylene bags, 1 bucket per bag.
In early April, it is necessary to bring the potato seeds into the heat for germination. Tubers are poured into lattice boxes. We put them first in a dark place for 5 days, then transfer them to the light, and before landing again put them away for 5 days in a dark storage room. These simple procedures encourage potatoes to grow actively and ensure earlier harvest.
How to plant and care for
The precursors of potatoes should be cabbage, cucumbers, carrots or beets. Even in the fall, we evenly scatter the humus of chicken droppings (2-3 kg per 1 m²) on the places allocated for this culture and leave it until spring.
Planting sprouted tubers of early potatoes, pre-powdering them with wood ash, is usually carried out in the first days of may at a distance of 70 cm from each other and to a depth of 15 cm. After the emergence of seedlings up to 5-10 cm high, you should make the first hilling of plants, burying them completely. In cases when frosts still come in the first days of June, planting should be protected by strips of non-woven covering cloth.
When the potatoes are stretched to 30-40 cm, it is time for the second hilling, and it should be raked high: leave only the tops. In June and July, potatoes should be watered once a week and 1 time to feed a solution of chicken droppings, timing this to feed other vegetables. With the Colorado beetle, if it appears, you need to fight immediately — as soon as it appears, without giving the opportunity to breed.
Recently, I use early varieties and varieties of medium maturity. A late variety of potatoes I have without a name: national selection. The variety with elongated-oval tubers, which have a purple-blue skin, and a cream — colored flesh, also proved to be a good choice. Young tubers can begin to dig up from the middle of July.
Potatoes with good care grow up to the man’s waist, and some bushes have a harvest – almost a bucket! And some tubers are just giants!