Introduced in France in 1785 by Antoine Parmentier, the potato is a tuber vegetable edible very appreciated, easy to cook and which lends itself to a multitude of culinary preparations. It is not surprising that many gardeners wish to cultivate this famous potato as our Belgian and Canadian friends call it. You still need to have enough space in your garden to meet the needs of the whole family in terms of annual consumption. Here is everything you need to know to successful potato cultivation for sure.
When to plant potatoes?
The planting period potatoes varies somewhat from one region to another since it is necessary to wait until the soil has warmed up sufficiently. Thus, we plant our potatoes in April north of the Loire but we can get down to it from mid-March in the more southern regions which enjoy a mild climate.
Where to plant potatoes?
The potato needs a sunny exposure to develop well. It is therefore essential to reserve an area of the garden for it away from the house or from large trees, as this tuber would suffer from their shade.
Before planting whole tubers, care is taken to prepare the ground beforehand by turning it over to a depth of 30 to 35 cm, spade or to tiller according to his preference (or his physical abilities). This is a step not to be neglected because the potato thrives in light and rich soil, well supplied with nutrients.
The sol absolutely must be personal property, without clods, stones or roots. After the bechageit is therefore necessary to take the time to break up the largest clods of earth and then to remove stones and plant debris.
Fertilize before planting
The fertilizer must allow the seed potatoes to benefit from a contribution of potassium essential for plant growth. Spreading can be done during the winter if this time of year is chosen to prepare the land for planting potatoes. Be that as it may, care must be taken to cultivate this type of tuber vegetable in a soil rich in compost or in manure. And potato fertilizer can also be buried in the ground.
How to plant potatoes?
It is necessary to count four seed potatoes per square meter. Here is the planting method to follow to grow this tuber vegetable.
- Digging furrows taking care to respect a 60 cm interval between two if you want to grow several rows of potatoes. Each furrow should be 15 cm deep.
- Place the tuber vegetables in 10cm deep in the furrows, taking care to observe the following points:
- Separate the tubers from each other by 35 to 40 cm,
- Direct the germ of each tuber upwards,
- Above all, do not break the germs.
- cover with earth,
It is not wise to reduce the distance between two furrows because it allows each row of potatoes to be sufficiently spaced from the others, thus limiting the risk of contamination in case of illness or invasion of undesirables. It is also essential to be able to have enough space when you have to maintain your potato beds. Also, when you have a very small garden where space is particularly limited, it is preferable to reduce the number of rows.
How to maintain your potato crop in the garden?
Even if growing potatoes is not rocket science, you still have to take care of these tubers until the harvest, which will only be more abundant.
Watch out, the potato does not like wet soil. It is therefore necessary to have a light hand on watering! Gardening pros know it well, it is not on the furrows that one waters but rather between the rows and the water jet must be directed so as not to wet the leaves. Irrigation should be carried out in moderation when weather conditions require it.
Mound the potato rows
The buttage consists of bringing soil along the stems, on a height from 12 to 15 cm. This has the effect of protecting the tubers from light. If this is not done, the brightness will irreparably cause a greening of potatoes which are then unfit for consumption since they become toxic.
It is absolutely crucial to two-period strike very specific:
- As soon as the plants sprout,
- Between three and four weeks after emergence, when the stems reach a height of 25 cm.
Hilling also has the effect of maintaining the young shoots (pushchairs) well.
Hoe the rows of potatoes
It is very useful to hoe the rows regularly because it eliminates unwanted weeds, keeps the soil loose, limits watering.
Monitor pest and disease attacks
Depending on its variety, the potato is more or less susceptible to insects and disease. The risks are much lower if Charlotte and Chérie are grown, while Belle de Fontenay and Amandine will have to benefit from increased vigilance. Anyway, the two main enemies of the potato are:
- The beetle: it can be eliminated by hand as soon as it appears,
- The mildew : this dreadful disease which can overcome a complete plot in just a few days is due to the presence of mushroom Phytophtora infestans. Horsetail decoction and Bordeaux mixture are natural solutions that have largely demonstrated their effectiveness in this area.
We can also sometimes see an attack of “wire worms” whose head is brown in color and the body yellowish. These are the wireworm larvae. They attack roots that are still young and mainly occur in damp soil. Proper hoeing is essential to eliminate larvae and eggs. Potato peelings can be buried shallow after placing them in containers that will serve as traps. This type ofbait is very useful because it works well. We simply “harvest” the undesirables and burn them, for example. The traps are to be put back in place with new peelings.
So ! All that remains is to wait for the moment of harvesting his potatoes, i.e. between June and November depending on the variety grown. Potatoes new also called early potatoes are quite early. These are the ones that can be uprooted two to three months after planting. We can still pick up for each square meter of crop between 2.5 and 5 kg of potatoes, which is very significant.
Lovers of good garden products who make it a point of honor to garden with the moon can plant their potato plants in waning moonprovided it is during an air constellation such as Aquarius, Capricorn or Taurus.