Preparing seed and soil for planting
Before it comes time to take care of the choice of methods of caring for plants, you need to properly prepare the tubers and the substrate for good growth of potatoes. This must be done in the fall.
Seeds should be selected tubers about 4-5 cm in diameter. Too large potatoes will have to be cut when planted, and in greenhouse conditions this can trigger an outbreak of diseases in plants when a large mass of tubers begin to rot. When using tubers of the small fraction this does not happen: they remain intact even during the formation of a new crop.
After selection of the seed material, it should be kept in bright light so that the potatoes turn green. This simple procedure allows the seeds to better transfer the winter storage, and the rodents penetrating into the basement practically do not damage the bitter tubers. Boxes with seeds should be stored separately from marketable potatoes, as the solanine formed in the greened tubers is poisonous.
To grow a very early crop, a greenhouse or greenhouse should be properly prepared:
- remove the fertile layer of soil over the entire area of the ridge or greenhouse;
- lay a layer of humus or peat about 10–15 cm thick at the bottom;
- on top of it pour fertile garden soil, filled with compost or humus (5-7 kg) with the addition of wood ash (200-250 g per 1 m²), its thickness can be up to 20 cm.
In this case, peat serves as a heat insulator from the underlying, frozen layers of the earth. After the heating is turned on in the spring in a heated greenhouse, the upper layer of the substrate is heated for 3-4 days, then the tubers are planted. It will be possible to collect new potatoes in May. For harvesting at a later date, the preparation of the soil can be limited only to digging and fertilizing in the proportions suggested above or replace it with a complex mineral fertilizer.
Tubers of seed potatoes about 1 month before planting need to germinate.
To do this, they are laid out in boxes and kept in a warm room (18-25 ° C) for several days. As soon as the growth of eyes becomes noticeable, the boxes can be moved to a cooler place (12-18 ° C) with good lighting. During the period of vernalization, green short sprouts about 1 cm long with leaf buds and developed roots are formed on the tubers. The material prepared in this way can already be planted for growing early potatoes.
Planting and caring for potatoes in the greenhouse
Growing potatoes in a greenhouse can be done the same as in open ground: the tubers are placed in holes 8–10 cm deep and covered with soil, level with the soil surface. Landing scheme 65h25 cm, tubers can be placed in a checkerboard pattern. Watering at this stage is not made.
After the appearance of the first shoots (after 10-14 days), it is important to maintain the air temperature in the greenhouse within 18-20 ° C to ensure a good growth of green mass and the laying of stolons on which young tubers will be formed. When the topsoil dries out 1-2 cm deep, it is necessary to produce watering at room temperature with water at the rate of 1-2 liters per bush. As the potato grows, the amount of water needs to be increased, bringing it to the flowering phase up to 10 liters per plant.
During the formation of buds and during flowering, the temperature should be increased to 21-23 ° C. During the budding of potatoes, bushes are earthed up to increase the number of stems with tubers (stolons). Simultaneously with the hilling of the aisle, planting is exempt from weeds.
At the end of flowering and subsidence of more flowers, the period of tuber formation begins. It is desirable at this time to reduce the temperature in the greenhouse to 17-20 ° C, and watering should be done only as the topsoil dries. The collection of young tubers can begin 10-14 days after the end of flowering. In order not to destroy a large number of bushes, the largest tubers can be carefully cut off from stolons, raking a shaft of soil at the roots that is piled up when hilling. After harvesting the small tubers again fall asleep soil.
Unconventional method of growing potatoes
To save effort during hilling operation and to obtain higher yields of new potatoes in the greenhouse, gardeners use potato cultivation in furrows (Fig. 1). This method is not suitable for getting a super early harvest in May, but can be used for planting at a later date.
In the heated and prepared soil, you need to dig up the grooves with a width and depth of about 30 cm. The distance between them is 40-50 cm. Make holes at the bottom of the furrows with a pitch of 25-30 cm. Place the potatoes in the wells and sprinkle with soil (1 and 2). After the shoots appear and reach a height of 6-8 cm, they should be backfilled with soil from the edges of the furrow (3).
The sprouts that started sprouting through this layer of soil fall asleep again, aligning the edges of the furrow with the surface (4), and then repeat the procedure again, spudding the bushes as during normal planting at the moment of plant budding (5). As a result, an increased yield can be collected from a unit of area due to the formation of stolons along the entire length of stalks covered with soil (6).
Growing potatoes in a heated greenhouse, you can get a very early harvest of young tubers, and replant them after harvest. If desired, even in a greenhouse without heating, you can harvest new potatoes until July, and then sow daikon or radish, green and other early crops.
Grow early potatoes (video)
Gallery: potatoes in the greenhouse (15 photos)