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How to prepare the soil for planting potatoes


Properly prepared soil is a fundamental success factor in the cultivation of any vegetable crop, including potatoes. In order to obtain abundant and sustainable harvests of high-quality potato tubers, the whole complex of agrotechnical methods and measures should be applied in the process of cultivation, which contribute to ensuring the most complete satisfaction of the needs of the vegetable crop during the growing season.

Features of soil for potatoes

Potato is a very photophilous plant, and the site for it should be sunny, and also, if possible, protected from drafts. For potato cultivation, loose, well-drained and aerated fertile soils are best suited:

  • on the territory of Polesie sod-podzolic and peat soils possess such properties;
  • in areas located in forest-steppes and steppe zones, gray forest soils, podzolized chernozems, typical and ordinary, are optimal for a vegetable crop.

The most acceptable indicators of soil acidity are pH 5.5-7.5. An alkaline soil reaction has a very negative effect on a vegetable crop such as potatoes. In addition, it is not recommended to plant potatoes in waterlogged and compacted soil, since it is such soil that provokes premature tuber growth arrest and excessive pulp carbohydrate. Indicators of soil friability are improved as a result of vigorous activity of soil microflora, which must be maintained in optimal condition.

Ground Preparation Rules

According to the recommendations of experienced potato growers and professional agronomists, it is best to prepare the soil for potatoes in the fall, immediately after harvesting. In addition to high-quality soil treatment in the autumn period, attention should be paid to soil preparation in the spring in accordance with the requirements of potato growing technology. It is especially important when digging the soil in autumn and spring to carefully remove all rhizomes of weeds, especially wheat grass.

How to prepare the soil before planting potatoes

Autumn processing

Autumn tillage for vegetable crops of the following year is the most important of all garden works of the annual cycle. Potato soil is prepared in the fall before frost.

Currently, gardeners are practicing two simple methods of autumn preparation of a site for potatoes, which are not inferior to each other in effectiveness.

Gentle tillage, deep cultivationUse of siderates
Digging a plot on the bayonet of a shovel, removing weeds and fertilizing. The best fertilizer is rotted manure, which is applied to the soil at the rate of 7 kg with the addition of 35-40 g of superphosphate and 15-17 g of potassium sulfate per square meter of landDigging is replaced by planting the site with any siderative plant crops that are mowed and sprinkled with a 10 cm soil layer in the spring, which can significantly enrich the soil with useful elements and nutrients

Spring processing

In the spring, after warming the soil to +10 ˚С to a depth of half a bayonet of a shovel, the main activities are carried out to prepare the site for planting potatoes. There is also the possibility of applying two methods of soil treatment.

Deep looseningDigging soil
It is carried out in the presence of fertile, well-drained soil. Forks are used to slightly shift the upper fertile layer of the earth.The classic version used on rough, prone to sour ground. It involves digging to a shallower depth than in the fall, with the removal of weeds and thoroughly loosening earthen lumps

Soil Improvement Technology

A variety of methods and substances are used to improve the quality of the soil. Four main soil parameters are subject to improvement: the number of earthworms, pH indicators, drainage and nutrient content.

Soil quality indicatorsImprovement technology
PH levelImproving too acidic soil with a pH of 4.5-5.5 involves the addition of calcium carbonate, bone meal or peat ash. Alkaline soil with a pH of more than 7 requires oxidation by adding peat or manure. Neutral soils require standard top dressing
Drainage and aerationHeavy earth needs aeration and improved drainage, and light sandy soil requires structural improvement and increased water retention. Compost, building sand, perlite, vermiculite and water-retaining polymer crystals are used for this purpose.
Fertility indicators; earthwormsThe application of basic fertilizers helps to increase the nutritional value of the soil, and also makes the soil attractive to earthworms, which absorb organic waste and turn them into humus useful for plants.

Fertilizers

The soil improvement system through fertilizer application depends on the condition of the soil on the site. Heavy clay, peat, acidic and sandy soils, as well as solonetzes, are required to be improved. For heavy clay composition, organic fertilizers based on straw humus, peat, building sand, composts and turf land are recommended. A good result is the regular application of lightening and disintegrating components, as well as ash, lime and manure.

Sandy ground improve the introduction of straw humus and peat, and should also be more likely to make organic fertilizers and mineral fertilizers of rapid action.

Peat bog the ground enrich and improve with manure, slurry, compost, sawdust and microbiological preparations. Fertilizers with a high content of phosphorus and potassium available for plants are also introduced. To improve the structure of the soil, sand, compost and clay flour are added.

Sandy loam soil require regular enrichment with peat and compost, and mineral fertilizers are recommended to be applied in small doses, but often enough.

Medium and loamy soils it is recommended to fertilize with organics, including the introduction of manure or compost for the autumn processing of the site. Organic and mineral fertilizers are applied as needed.

Siderata

Siderata are plants that are grown before planting the main crop and contribute to the enrichment of the soil with useful elements. The use of green plants is the best and most economical way of enriching the soil on a personal plot. The most beneficial plant in each case should be selected based on the nature of its effect.

Sideral plantImpact on the ground
LegumesNitrogen saturation
Cereals + cruciferousNitrogen saturation, mineralization prevention
Legumes + Cruciferous + AsteraceaeSoil protection against erosion and weeds
Colza and colzaIncrease in the amount of organic matter
Legumes + mustardConclusion of phosphates not absorbed by plants
Oil radishMineral Loss Prevention
Legumes + cruciferousImproving the structure, loosening
Legumes + AsteraceaeIncreased nematode resistance

Disinfection

It is quite difficult to disinfect the soil in open ground for a number of reasons, the main among which are the complexity and high cost of such an event. However, there are several methods that allow you to disinfect the land on your own and with minimal time and money.

TitleType of facilityUsing
Bleaching powderChemicalHalf a year before planting tubers, scatter 100-200 g of the drug per square meter
FormalinChemicalA month before the tubers are planted, dissolve 250 ml of a 40% solution of the product in 10 l of water to treat each square meter of soil
TMTDChemicalDirectly before planting the tubers, add 10 l of solution per square meter
IprodionChemicalAdd to the wells when planting tubers at a rate of 40-60 g per square meter
"Fitosporin"BiologicalWhen spring or autumn soil preparation, add 6 ml per 10 l of water per square meter
TrichoderminBiologicalBefore planting tubers, add 5 g per 5 l of land
GlyocladinBiologicalAt least 1 cm deep when planting tubers
Alirin-BBiologicalStrait of land preventive in the area at the rate of 5 liters of solution per square meter
GamairBiologicalStrait of land preventive in the area at the rate of 5 liters of solution per square meter

It should be remembered that the simultaneous introduction of biological preparations with chemicals during the disinfection of the potato area is strictly prohibited.

Potato is a demanding crop in terms of placing on the site after other plants. It is advisable to plant it after crops going to green fertilizer. Perennial cereal and bean herbs are considered a very good predecessor. However, after such plants, the risk of damage to vegetable crops by wireworm increases. In vegetable crop rotation, potatoes should be cultivated after cabbage, cucumbers, onions and corn.

Features application of ash

It is not recommended to cultivate potatoes on the same site for several years in a row. Repeated planting of potatoes no earlier than three years later reduces the risk of plant damage by cancer and nematode. Planting of garlic or marigold also contributes to the improvement of land in the area reserved for potato cultivation. Potato itself is an almost ideal precursor for most crops, and after it is not recommended to grow only tobacco and plants from the nightshade family.