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Early potatoes! Who does it not attract in the market at the end of May - beginning of June? Very expensive, but you need to take a few tubers in order to at least partially quench your thirst for this seductive gourmet.
Early potatoes are loved by many gardeners today. And their choice is completely justified, because young tubers are a real delicacy, in which the vitamin content is 3 times higher than in old potatoes. And although it is quite troublesome to grow such a product, as they say - the end justifies the means.
Features of early ripening potatoes
Early potato varieties are distinguished by their short growing season, which is 40-50 days. Early potatoes begin their active growth as soon as the ground temperature reaches 10 ° C. And after flowering, the crop is ready for harvest.
It should be borne in mind that young tubers have a very delicate and thin skin and are completely unsuitable for long-term storage.
The best varieties
- Alyona - a table variety of potatoes with a yield of 170 to 190 kg from one hundred square meters of land. Tubers are oval, light red in color. Their weight is about 80-150 grams.
- Luck - is appreciated for its good keeping quality. She has a relatively high yield, about 1.5 kg per bush. The nodules are oval in shape, light yellow in color, their weight is from 125 to 250 grams.
- Karatop - a high-yielding variety of early potatoes, up to 500 kg can be harvested from one hundred square meters. The shape of yellow tubers is oblong-oval, weight is about 130 grams. Resistant to diseases: late blight, cancer.
- Kamensky - high yield, about 180 kg per one hundred square meters. Its red, elongated tubers are small, no more than 100 grams. Not afraid of viral diseases and the Colorado potato beetle.
- Romano - variety unpretentious to the soil, drought tolerant. High yield - up to 430 kg per one hundred square meters. Tubers are oval, reddish, weighing 80-100 grams.
- Gala - has a very high yield, up to 600 kg per one hundred square meters. The variety is excellently grown in many regions of Russia, is unpretentious and resistant to diseases. Yellow, round tubers weighing 70 to 120 grams.
- Nevsky Is the most popular early potato variety. Productivity from 370 to 500 kg. Disease resistant. Grows well in any conditions. It has very beautiful, round and even yellow fruits.
- Red Scarlett - high-yielding (up to 600 kg per one hundred square meters) variety. Suitable for almost all regions of Russia. Large red fruits with yellow pulp. The mass of a potato is from 80 to 110 grams.
The necessary conditions
For planting early potatoes and subsequent care for them, you will need the following tools and materials:
- twine and rope for marking;
- polyethylene film;
Preparatory work before planting early potatoes on the site must begin in the fall.
- To begin with, the soil must be carefully dug up to 20-25 cm deep.
- After that, fertilize. Many gardeners prefer to use fresh manure, which will crush over the winter and give the soil all the nutrients.
- In mid-March, you need to germinate the early potato tubers selected for sowing. To do this, they are placed in wooden boxes in a warm room with a temperature of +20 to 25 ° C.
Planting can be started after the first shoots appear on the tubers. As a rule, this happens one month after the start of germination.
How to grow?
Early potatoes are grown in two ways: under plastic wrap and under agrofibre. The cultivation methods are very similar to each other and differ only in some nuances. Let's consider step by step the basic cultivation technologies.
Read about how to grow potatoes from seeds here, and from this article you will learn about new, unconventional, ways of planting potatoes in your garden plot.
- Use a rake or hoe to loosen the beds thoroughly. The soil should be soft and loose, without lumps.
- On one side of the bed, stick 2 sticks tied together with twine. On the other side, also stick 2 sticks with the same length of string. In this way, you can mark the boundaries of planting potatoes. Then connect all 4 sticks with a rope to make a clear rectangle.
- Create several parallel planting furrows in the ground with a hoe, 10-15 cm deep.In order for the plants to develop correctly in the future, the distance between the furrows should be about 30 cm.
- Pour a small amount of ash into each groove, which will protect the plants from pests and diseases.
- Plant the sprouted potatoes 10 cm apart.
- Mix the humus with the soil and sprinkle it on top of the grooves with the planted potatoes. The soil should not be tamped down so as not to damage the plants.
- After all these procedures, the finished beds are covered with agrofibre. This must be done carefully, without pressing the material strongly to the ground, otherwise the bushes will not be able to grow fully. At the edges of the bed, agrofibre can be fixed with bricks, but not very tightly.
- It will be possible to remove the shelter in 1.5 months, during which time the potatoes will sprout and rest against the material with their young branches.
Under the film
The step-by-step scheme for preparing the beds and planting potatoes is the same as described above with agrofibre. There are only small nuances.
- The plastic wrap will protect the planted tubers from a cold snap or sudden frost. But it should also not be pulled too tight so that the sprouting potato seedlings do not break.
- Until the potatoes rise, they do not need ventilation. But the sprouts need fresh air, which cannot penetrate under the dense plastic wrap. Therefore, the shelter must be periodically removed to ventilate the seedlings. And when young bushes grow up to 10-15 cm in height, it will be necessary to make small holes in the film for ventilation.
Loosening the soil
The first loosening must be done with a hoe or an iron rake to a depth of only 2-3 cm. It is necessary to carry out this procedure after each watering, this will help the seedlings receive the required amount of oxygen and, accordingly, develop faster. Loosening also destroys weeds.
But loosening should be done with great care so as not to damage the sprouts and not accidentally pull the tubers out of the ground.
When young plants are strong enough and their height reaches 15-18 cm, you can begin deeper loosening and hilling of the beds. With the help of a hoe, you need to pull the earth from all sides to each potato bush to make a small mound.
remember, that in hot and dry weather, loosening and hilling potatoes should not be carried out, because the soil will lose a lot of moisture and dry out because of this. In such weather, you can only slightly loosen the beds between the rows to a depth of no more than 5-6 cm.
But after a good rain, hilling should be carried out regularly so that the soil does not stagnate and breathe.
Watering early potatoes is necessary in the evening. If you water by hand, then 1 watering can should be enough for 2-3 bushes.
Read about when to water potatoes and how to do it by the drip method in our material.
For proper development of tubers, the average temperature should be 18-22 ° C. At lower temperatures, tuberization slows down, and at higher temperatures, development may stop altogether.
Feeding young early potatoes should be started during its growing season. To accelerate the growth and development of tops, half a teaspoon of urea and 200 grams of humus are poured under each potato bush.
The main top dressing consists of potassium nitrate (30 g) or potassium magnesium (50 g). Fertilizers are dissolved in water in a 10-liter bucket. 1 bush accounts for 1 liter of solution.
We talked about how to grow potatoes correctly so that you have a good, rich harvest, as well as about new technologies for obtaining a large root crop, we talked about in this article.
Watch the video on how to grow early potatoes:
The first harvest of early potatoes can be obtained in April. You need to collect young potatoes after flowering, after the lower leaves begin to turn yellow on the bushes. After harvesting the first harvest, the beds are slightly huddled and watered.