When and how to properly spud potatoes

A lot of time has passed since the time when Tsar Peter 1 sent the first sack of potatoes from Holland to Russia and ordered to cultivate them throughout the country. And during this time, people, cultivating this culture, learned the features of this plant, and learned many "tricks" of potato cultivation, including hilling.

Practically the main "trick" is correct hilling. This process is one of the most important conditions to achieve the best and healthiest harvest possible.

Hilling is the damp earth sprinkling on the bottom of the plant, and is an environmentally friendly replacement for herbicides. Why and in what time frame to carry out this procedure and what purposes it should be described below.

Why do you need to huddle potatoes

  1. Gently sprinkling the lower part of the plant with soil, we we prevent the growth of weeds on potato plantings. And the emerging weeds will be much easier to pull out from loose soil than from hard and caked earth.
  2. This process loosens the soil, which means the roots of the plant will be more accessible to moisture and air. Loose soil is very important, since when watering, moisture will freely reach the roots, and during rains, water will not linger, and tubers will not rot.
  3. After the hilling process, there will be easier to harvest, which is required when digging potatoes from the ground. Accordingly, the number of tubers damaged during digging will be an order of magnitude less. It also reduces the chance of breakage of the tools used for hilling.
  4. Young plants become more resistant to winds and spring frosts... The "mound" of soil around the plant works like a thermos and does not let the frost penetrate deep into the soil. Also, this "mound" is supported by the potato plant itself, which has not yet fully formed and matured.
  5. The bush of the plant, after sprinkling its lower part with soil, begins to grow and branch intensively, forming more good and high-quality tubers in their roots.

The better the bushes of the plant grow, the more leaves grow on them. The more leaves the plant contains, the more sunlight falls on them. As a result of this process, photosynthesis is more intense.

Soluble glucose is formed in the leaves and sent to the potato tubers. There it is deposited in the form of insoluble starch.

When and how many times you need to huddle a potato bed

Potato beds are best cultivated in the evening or early in the morningwhen there is no scorching sun. But this must be done on wet soil.

The first time the plant needs to be spud when it has grown more than 5 centimeters... The procedure will help to preserve it at an early stage from the effects of external factors.

There is a planting method in which hilling is carried out immediately after planting, raking a small hill over the planted potatoes. The method is used mainly in those regions where the probability of spring frosts is greater than in the middle lane.

The next time potatoes are usually hilled after about two weeks, and when the bush has reached a height more than 15-20 centimeters... You need to try to do it before the first inflorescences appear on the potato.

If the bushes begin to stretch very strongly and fall in different directions, then it is necessary unplanned hilling... This will help the plant not to fall and break the stem. The same should be done if, for some reason, sunlight falls on the tubers.

From sunlight, the tubers begin the process of photosynthesis, which produces a poison called solanine. Such potatoes are not suitable for human consumption, but can be used as planting material for the next year.

If there is no rain for a long time, and it's time to huddle, be sure to moisten the soil with water.

In what cases hilling is not required

  1. In hot regions, with low humidity and the lack of the possibility of watering, since in dry soil the plant may die.
  2. When the plant is grown under the non-woven fabric in blackbut. But you need to make sure that the material does not transmit light to 100%. Otherwise, the potatoes will turn green and become completely inedible.
  3. When the method of growing potatoes is that the stalks of the potatoes are laid out on the ground and covered with soil, while leaving only the very tops. When the bushes grow again, the procedure is repeated again. Instead of soil, straw or cut grass is sometimes used. This growing method requires a lot more land per plant bush than the conventional method.

Correct hilling with a hoe by hand

Hilling by hand is a very time-consuming process, but does not require any special skills.

The manual method involves the use of an auxiliary tool, such as a hoe. There are two techniques for this procedure:

  • raking the soil around the bush towards the center of the plant
  • soil is poured into the center of the bush, while the branches of the plant are bred a little to the sides.

As a result of hilling, the soil ridge should turn out to be high about 15-20 centimeters.

Potato roots grow in different directions 30-40 centimeters... Consider this when hilling so as not to injure the tubers of the plant.

Using the manual tiller

The device serves to facilitate physical labor, when cultivating potatoes, and to save time. It consists of handle, handle and two discspointing towards the ground at an angle of 45 degrees. Using it is also not difficult.

You just need to pull the handle forward, guiding it along the boundary along the garden bed. A manual tiller can be bought at a store, or you can design it yourself.

Using a walk-behind tractor

If the plantings of potatoes are large, then you cannot do without a walk-behind tractor in your farm. He can not only loosen the soil and huddle, but also harvest potatoes. But the walk-behind tractor also has a minus. When harvesting, it can damage some of the tubers.

In the case when a walk-behind tractor with a plow-shaped tiller is used, you need adjust angle and depthon which the plow will sink. When using a walk-behind tractor with a disc tiller, you need to adjust the required distance between the discs and their angle of inclination.

The distance depends on the type of potato and is approximately from 40 to 70 centimeters... And the angle of adjustment of the disks should be the same for both disks, and is approximately 45 degrees.

There are also rippers on the disc walk-behind tractor. They prepare the soil in front of the block, which the disc hiller will in turn use to cover the potato bushes.

Before planting potatoes, you need to take into account that the walk-behind tractor will spud and harvest. Therefore, the beds should be even, and the distance between them should be such, so that the walk-behind tractor passes unhindered.

To avoid injury and damage, when working with a walk-behind tractor, first read the operating instructions, especially the section where safety rules are described.

Regardless of how the process of hilling potatoes takes place, manually or with the help of various devices, the results are visible literally after one or two weeks. Bushes grow stronger, and tubers under the ground become larger and healthier.

How to huddle potatoes correctly: instruction + video

Looking at some summer residents trying to grow potatoes on their backyard plots, I decided that it was just necessary to talk about the correct cultivation of this crop. In particular, how to huddle it. After all, I have been growing this vegetable for twenty years! And the harvest is always excellent.

Since the time of Tsar Peter the Great, who sent a sack of potatoes to his homeland, where they began to plant this culture in all cities and villages by order, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge. The potato caught on and fell in love. Since then, the people, growing this simple vegetable, have learned all the nuances of agricultural technology, various subtleties of cultivation, including hilling.

The task of how to properly spud potatoes remains the most important to this day. Because this condition is one of the main ones when growing a rich and healthy crop.

Hilling is the filling of moist, fine crumbly earth on the neck of the bush and at the same time loosening it. Such a process may well replace the introduction of herbicides into the soil.

The process of such tillage can take place in different ways. Today, in addition to traditional hoes and shovels, gardeners often use mechanical means for hilling bushes of this culture.

There are some theories among vegetable growers suggesting the absence of hilling potatoes during the growing season. Therefore, this agrotechnical technique should be considered from the point of view of its necessity.

Why do you need to spud potatoes

Hilling is an agricultural activity that involves rolling a certain amount of wet soil to the base of the plant in such a way that a kind of slide is obtained.

This is due to the fact that the tubers gaining mass gradually rise to the surface of the soil, and the mound collected by hilling saves them from the hot rays of the sun and other adverse effects.

Growing potatoes is impossible to imagine without hilling. Without a doubt, this procedure takes a sufficient amount of time and a lot of labor, but the effect of it is worth the effort.

It is safe to say that hilling potatoes helps to lengthen their underground shoot, and this has a positive effect on yield.

  • The stems of the potato bush become stronger, they are more resistant to gusts of wind
  • The risk of greening tubers is practically reduced to zero
  • In case of returnable spring frosts, the bushes will be reliably protected
  • Hilling involves the simultaneous removal of weeds
  • The root system becomes more ramified and powerful
  • More moisture and oxygen are retained near the roots
  • The risk of nutrient leaching from the soil in the potato garden is minimized
  • Harvesting is much easier.

It makes no sense to huddle potatoes on very light sandy soil, since due to the properties of the soil, liquid and fertilizers will simply roll off before reaching their direct destination. It is advisable to carry out such an event only on clay and loamy soil.

When farming potatoes in the sultry and arid conditions of the southern regions, hilling can also be abandoned in favor of growing under plastic wrap or dark non-woven material, under straw or in bags.

When to huddle potatoes: optimal timing

It is quite difficult to name the exact time and optimal time when it is necessary to huddle potatoes. This largely depends both on the region of your residence, on the current weather conditions, and on the specific variety. Nevertheless, there are general periods in the development of this root crop, in accordance with which hilling should be performed.

The first hilling of potatoes, as a rule, is carried out 2-3 weeks after planting, when the leaf shoots reach a height of 5-8 cm from the soil level (according to some gardeners, it is better to do this after reaching 10-15 centimeters). Moreover, you need to huddle in such a way that the top remains 2-3 centimeters, and the rest of the stem was covered with earth. This treatment protects potato beds from spring frosts and stimulates root growth. In this case, it is advisable to combine hilling with weeding.

Video: first hilling

IN second hilling potato beds is optimal about 2-3 weeks after the first, when the height of the tops has already reached 12-15 centimeters. 3-5 centimeters should remain on top vegetative mass.

Note! The second hilling of potatoes is considered optional, it is recommended to carry it out only if the soil on your site is sufficiently heavy and clayey.

Video: second hilling

Third hilling potatoes is carried out somewhere in 4 weeks, about 5-7 days before the tops close and flowering, when the bushes have already reached a size of 20-30 cm. As a result, you should fill the stem by about 20 centimeters. Moreover, it is better to do this without using a cultivator, but with a hoe manually. It is at this moment that it is very important not to damage the already overgrown tops, since any wound is a direct path to infection (parfait, late blight, Alternaria and other diseases), which can penetrate into the bush.

Video: third (last) hilling

Advice! Combine weeding potato beds with hilling.

Many novice summer residents are interested in why it is impossible constantly disturb the potato bush: loosen, add soil to the potato beds.

The fact is that when you constantly huddle potato bushes, you rake the soil from the location of the mother root and thereby reduce the soil layer. This, in turn, leads to a decrease in yield, since the tuber overheats, it begins to experience a lack of moisture, the temperature rises, and the roots grow less. In addition, it is in this state that the tuber is most susceptible to infections, in particular, the likelihood of infection with scab increases.

Important! During the closing period of potato foliagewhen it is completely closed and there is no free space between the bushes, it is better to refuse hilling the potatoes, since there is a high probability of causing damage to the plant. Moreover, during this period, hilling will be completely useless. The same goes for the period flowering.

Video: how many times per season and how to spud potatoes

Hilling methods

Before starting work, it is necessary to remove weeds on the site. The grass should be left on the ground. When it dries up, it will become an excellent protection from the scorching rays of the sun.

Hilling should be done according to certain rules. The manual version does not require supernatural skills. You just need to have a hoe or hoe on the farm. These tools are the most popular for proper care. It is not difficult to figure out how to properly spud potatoes with a hoe.

  • In the first case, you can scoop up the soil from different sides. In this case, it is possible to get a bouquet of stems.
  • The second method involves pushing the stems apart. Only then is soil poured into the middle of the bush.

In the process, you need to make sure that the resulting mound is of the desired height and width. In this case, you will provide room for the tubers.

The simplest device for caring for potatoes is a manual tiller. You can buy it in the store or you can make it yourself. This device is used for quick soil processing. Its design is straightforward. It consists of a pair of dumps and a shank. There are also two teles, which are attached at a 45 degree angle to the ground. To perform the procedure, you need to pull the device forward. In this case, the dumps must be corrected in the direction that is necessary.

Another option is to make your own tiller. This requires a 1-inch diameter hollow tube. The length should be 90 cm. From another ¾ ”diameter hollow pipe, two rods are made (back and front). For dumps, you need millimeter steel sheet. You should also stock up on a blowtorch to heat the metal. You will process the joints with a grinder. You will also need a welding machine for work.

At the initial stage, a vertical rack is made.Then they move on to creating front and rear thrust. Bend the 90 cm pipe about 30 cm. It is good to use a pipe bender in this case.

Next, a double-plow type plow is made. The shafts are made of two concave round plates. These discs are installed at an angle. Then they are connected using a welding machine.

Finally, a trimming knife should be made. This stage is important in the process of making a hiller. In the process of deepening the plow into the soil, it is the knife that has the main resistance. The sheet of steel is cut in the form of an arrowhead. Its angle should be 45 degrees. Then the tip is welded to the post from below and grinded.

Today it is quite possible to significantly facilitate the process of caring for potatoes. Hilling will be significantly accelerated if you purchase a walk-behind tractor. The advantages of this device are obvious. Its application is universal. You can use it to loosen the soil and harvest. The walk-behind tractor has only one drawback - the price is too high. It is also likely that potato tubers will be accidentally damaged.

When processing plants with a walk-behind tractor during planting, you need to take care of the same distance between the rows. For this, a special marker is often used. With its help, lines are drawn on the beds.

To perform hilling with a walk-behind tractor, a pair of openers in the front and a hiller in the back are installed on it. The latter is needed in order to cover potato bushes with soil. Now you know exactly how to properly spud potatoes with a walk-behind tractor.

Taking care of large plantings is easy. Three-row nozzles are perfect for this. With their help, it will be possible to huddle three rows of bushes at once. Everyone chooses the way of caring for the plants. You can spend a lot of money and a minimum of time on this, or vice versa.

When hilling is used

Gardeners are incredibly resourceful. They are constantly looking for new solutions. Hilling was no exception. Innovative planting methods have been invented, which made this procedure unnecessary. An example is a black nonwoven fit. It has also been empirically proven that unwillingness works much more efficiently.

If you do not know why potatoes are spud, know that in the process it is possible to solve several problems. First, the soil is loosened. Secondly, it is possible to create additional volume for the formation of tubers. It is possible to push the plant to actively form stolons from the bottom of the stems. Plant lighting is getting better. We do not let the bushes shade one another. It also manages to get rid of weeds. But these problems can be solved by the opposite method.

When uncooked, the growing tops do not rise up, but spreads along the ground. Soil, scraps or grass are poured on top. In this case, only the tops of the shoots remain on the surface. This procedure is repeated during the growth process. But in this case, more space is needed than with the traditional version.

Now you know exactly when and how to spud potatoes. We hope our article will help you get big yields without much difficulty.

Gardener Tips

I do not recommend spudding potatoes with earth in a rainy summer. It is better to use mulch, and regularly loosen the soil in the aisles, otherwise the plants will hurt, with strong waterlogging, the roots and tubers will rot. In drought and heat, hilling is also harmful, if additional stolons grow in overheated soil, then the tubers formed on them will take up a lot of moisture, which is why the potatoes already in the nests will remain small. If the site is small and it is possible to periodically water the beds, then you can huddle.

It is enough to spud early potato varieties 1 time, when the stems grow up to 20-30 cm, the repeated procedure will not give a result, the tubers formed on the new stolons will not have time to gain mass and ripen before harvesting. With repeated pouring of soil to the bushes, it is important to have time to complete all the planned work before flowering, as soon as the buds open and after their withering, the plants cannot be disturbed, there is a high risk of damage to the tubers.

It is advisable to huddle potatoes if the soil is clayey or loamy, when the soil is sandstone, liquid fertilizers applied during the season will flow down the sides and will not get to the roots. Previously, we had a single-row hiller, now we switched to a two-row one, since the first one is convenient only for early hilling, and the aisles have to be made too wide so that the technique passes freely and does not damage the spreading tops. The disc hiller is the best, as for me, but it's a matter of taste. The main thing is to end up with high and wide ridges.

For most summer residents, growing potatoes is the longest and most tedious process. After all, you need to prepare the seed, then the soil. Next comes the grueling planting of tubers….

Do not give up hilling just because it is a laborious process. In small areas, it is easier to work with a hoe or a shovel, if you prepare correctly it won't take a lot of time, but there are so many health benefits. On large areas, special equipment is indispensable; it is worth choosing it carefully. If you follow the simple rules of hilling and do not ignore the recommendations from experienced gardeners, the reward for your efforts will be a bountiful harvest of delicious potatoes.

Watch the video: Things We do To Ensure HUGE Potato Yields

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