Proper watering and mulching potatoes

A key factor for high potato yields is systematic watering during the growing season. It is important to keep the soil evenly moist from the moment of emergence until the end of the season. Do not allow it to dry completely, which can lead to unintended re-growth during watering and the growth of tuber growth. Consider how much the potato can withstand the subtleties of mulching.

Culture prefers cool, but frost-free conditions. The ideal temperature for the cultivation product depending on the vegetation period of the spring stages: 8-25 ° C.


  • temperature conditions
    • What temperature above zero withstand potatoes
    • What storage temperature
    • How to store a vegetable store, cellar refrigerator
      • Vegetable store
      • Cellar
      • Refrigerator
    • What negative temperature does the culture withstand, and at what freezes
    • At what temperature does the spring in the ground freeze potatoes
  • Mulching of the
    • after planting
    • Irrigation rules for a good harvest
    • instagram story viewer
    • How often water potatoes in open ground
    • Watering in the heat: how often to water
    • How to water, so that the tubersbedspreads scab and other diseases
    • How often to water the potatoes in a season
    • How do you know that needs watering
    • Signs of oversupply and lack of moisture

temperature conditions

Origin culture of mountain areas with a cool climate has implications for agro-meteorological culture responses. Climatic features, the physiological environment is extremely important for the production of high yields with good quality tubers, in conditions typical for each particular plot.

It's no secret that a good climate provides a large number of tubers from a bush.

Potato has a fibrous root system, at best, no more than 60 cm deep. As a result, a plant often cannot fully use nutrients and moisture within the soil profile.

What temperature can a potato withstand above zero

It is best to plant when the soil temperature is 7-10 ° C, daytime is in the range of 18 ° C, night-time is 12-18 ° C. The optimum condition of the soil for root growth is from 10 to35 ° C, the most active development occurs at 15 -20 ° C. Conditions are similar for the development of stolons.

For growth of the tops - from 7 to 30 ° C, the best mode — from 20 to 25 ° C. The appearance of tubers is caused by a short photoperiod and includes growth hormones. The cooler the temperature of the soil, from 15 to 20 ° C, the faster the tubers are formed and in larger quantities.

Favors the process of low nitrogen levels and high levels of sucrose in the plant. High temperatures( 35-40 ° C) reduce and actually stop the formation of tubers. Also, the long duration of the day delays the beginning of the development of tubers.

Too high temperatures adversely affect the growth of the culture
  1. At 9 ° C there is a slight elongation of the seedlings, very slow - at 6 ° C.
  2. At temperatures below 6 ° C, development almost stops.
  3. The presence of tubers in the soil at 1-2 ° C for several days leads to serious damage that affects the normal growth of the plant.

potatoes prefer the well-drained fertile soil with a high content of organic matter, with an acidity level of 5.0 to 5.5.As the soil becomes more alkaline, the size of the crop increases, but the incidence of scabs also increases - a condition that affects the skin, but not the nutritional value of the product.

The best for harvesting and processing of tubers are temperatures from 12 to 18 ° C. Under cold and heat stress, when below 5 ° C and more than 25 ° C, they are susceptible to diseases that are at risk of microbial rot.

What is the storage temperature of the

? The potato storage area must meet the temperature conditions in order for the product to remain healthy and the natural decomposition process to slow down.

It is imperative that it be dark, well ventilated, for long-term storage of seed varieties maintained at about 4 ° C.

For short-term storage of , followed by cooking, it is preferable to have a medium in which 7-10 ° C.

Storage forA long time at temperatures below 4 ° C turns potato starch into sugar, which changes the taste and culinary qualities. It takes on a bitter taste and the cause of this phenomenon is an enzyme called invertase.

As soon as starch turns into sugar, it causes a potentially dangerous chemical reaction during preparation. When baking or roasting, the sugars are combined with the amino acid asparagine present in the tubers and produce chemical acrylamide, , representing the genotoxic carcinogen.

In order to maintain a low sugar content in tubers, the culture is stored at intermediate temperatures of 8-12 ° C, although there is a risk of tubers germinating.

Potatoes are stored in an adequate environment in commercial warehouses for ten to twelve months. At home, the term is only a few weeks .If green areas containing glycoalkaloids are formed on the tubers, they must be trimmed before using the product.

Green spots on tubers should not be allowed to eat

How to properly store in a vegetable store, cellar, refrigerator

Optimum conditions for temperature, humidity, aeration, degree of oxidation are the most important factors for storing potatoes. Being a living organism, its quality decreases due to the loss of moisture and physiological decay. Impairments are directly related to storage temperature.

Vegetable storage

Before being placed in storage, the tubers must be cured at a temperature of 7-15 ° C and a relative humidity of 85-95% within two weeks. During the curing process, skin thickening and healing of small cuts occur, minimizing the penetration of pathogens.

The smaller open wounds on a tuber, , the lower the risk of infection during storage of .Soft, wrinkled, damaged by insects, slugs, wireworms, and other pests are sorted.

Most pathogens transported to the storage with tubers logarithmically increase population growth at 5-26 ° C.

Potatoes vegetable store
  1. Store potatoes in a dark place at 4-8 ° C and humidity 80-90Although it loses moisture due to respiration, low humidity is the main cause of shrinkage during storage. In good conditions, the product lasts up to six months.
  2. At temperatures above 8 ° C , the tubers germinate after two to three months.
  3. When stored with an temperature regime below 4 ° C , the potato gets a sweetish taste. But normal taste can be restored if left for several days, before use, at room temperature.

Do not allow the freezing of potatoes.


In most modern homes there are several places with good conditions for storing vegetables. The ideal place is the cellar in which the tubers are stacked in heaps. It is better to store in several small heaps.

In a piled pile of potatoes, the lower layer is often damaged due to the weight of the upper layers. In addition, the ventilation does not reach the center, and the product is very hot, which reduces the quality and reduces the shelf life.

Storing potatoes in the cellar is the classic storage option for the

culture. You can fold the tubers into small plastic buckets, which are covered with a layer of wet sand, boxes or baskets. Paper or perforated bags work well. The use of shelves on which containers with tubers are stacked, provides good air circulation.

It is necessary to do everything possible to keep the potato storage medium cool, dry, with a sufficient level of humidity. This is due to the prevention of loss of moisture, the development of rot, excessive growth of seedlings, the accumulation of highly concentrated sugars in potatoes.


Storage of in an refrigerator( usually at 2 -5 ° C) is undesirable .Cold temperatures contribute to the conversion of starch into sugar, which leads to a sweetish taste and discoloration of the product during cooking. To weaken this effect will warm the potatoes, before cooking, at room temperature for some time.

Perforated plastic or paper bags in which potatoes are placed provide the environment for extending shelf life in the refrigerator.

Potatoes are not washed before storage. A thin layer of earth protects the culture. Tubers are not stored close to apples and other fruits that produce ethylene gas, contributing to germination.
Refrigerator with potatoes

Losses are mainly caused by processes such as respiration, changes in the chemical composition and physical properties of tubers, damage at extreme temperatures. All the mentioned losses depend on the storage conditions of the .

Air circulation, atmospheric composition, relative importance( 85-95%) is well controlled in the vegetable store, which is pre-treated with germination inhibitors and equipped with mechanical ventilation.

What negative temperature does the culture withstand, and at what time does

freeze? Direct frost damage occurs when ice crystals form inside the protoplasm of plant cells( intracellular freezing).The degree of damage depends mainly on how quickly the temperature drops. At a slower pace, extracellular ice formation occurs, and the plant has a chance to recover.

The saturated vapor pressure above the ice is lower compared to water. As a result of extracellular ice formation, water evaporates, passes through semipermeable cell membranes and precipitates onto ice crystals outside the cells.


Potatoes When water is removed from the cells, the concentration of the solute increases, which reduces the likelihood of freezing. But as the ice continues to grow, the cells dry up more and more. In damaged plants, extracellular ice crystals are much larger than the surrounding dead cells, which causes secondary stress to the surrounding cells.

Culture does not withstand severe frosts. Normal depth of planting in the soil from 3 to 8 centimeters can prevent the potatoes to freeze at 0, -2 ° C.The seedlings are damaged, however, the potato, due to the development of dormant cells, forms new shoots, replacing the frozen upper part.

With long-term exposure to the freezing effect of , the plant dies completely .In an adult plant, the processes of biosynthesis( assimilation) stop at 2-4 ° С, as a result of which the tops turn brown. Freezes the plant at minus temperatures of −2 ° C.

The slope of the land affects the severity of frost. Potatoes growing at high levels experience warmer temperatures and less frost damage. Conversely, planted in a lowland, falls into microclimatic conditions, known as frost pockets, collecting cold air.

Any lowland creates microclimate conditions, so it is necessary to carefully plant a crop in such conditions

At what temperature will the spring in the ground freeze


Potatoes are planted in April, when the ground is thawed, dried and warmed up sufficiently. When planting in soil with a temperature of less than 6 ° C, some tubers may rot and die. Unexpected late frosts can damage shoots when the green foliage turns black. In the ground, potatoes will not suffer, but only if the upper part survives. Early plantations, subjected to long periods of cold weather, are dying for other reasons:

  • cold and wet conditions delay germination and cause seeds to grind;
  • light frost, about 0, -2, do a little harm to potato plants, but the difference between a light frost and a hard frost is only a few degrees;
  • temperature -2.5, -3.5 cause serious damage to potatoes.

Potato Mulching

Potatoes grow best in rich, loose soil. helps to create it using organic mulch. The reasons for using mulch include retaining moisture in the soil, improving fertility and health, reducing weed growth and increasing the visual appeal of the area.

What are the advantages to potatoes from being under mulch?

In hot summer periods, mulching is a factor in plant survival. The practice of mulching has a huge impact on the consistency of soil moisture. Potatoes are particularly susceptible to excessive temperatures and irregular soil moisture.

A good thick layer of organic mulch helps to keep it in optimal condition in hot and cold weather.

By the beginning of the growing season, mulch retains the warmth of the soil, which is especially important at night. As the potato grows, it stabilizes the temperature and humidity of the soil, preventing the growth of weeds.

The effect of mulch is complex. It forms a layer between the soil and the atmosphere, preventing sunlight from entering the surface, thereby reducing evaporation. On the other hand, it can prevent water from entering the soil by absorbing it.

About proper mulching: to maximize benefits and minimize negative effects, mulch is more often used in late spring or early summer, when the soil temperature rises, but the moisture content is still relatively high. Unlike the soil , it is not rich in nutrients , so it is better to feed it with organic fertilizer based on fish emulsion.
Example of mulching with mowed grass

How to plant potatoes for mulched grass

Mowed grass for mulch is best mixed with leaves or coarse compost to ensure aeration and decomposition of the material without rotting. Freshly mowed grass can damage a plant; decomposing leads to a destructive accumulation of heat that blocks air circulation and moisture, so it is better to dry it before use.

Comparison of Mulch, Mown Grass and Straw

Mowed grass Straw
Mixed with dried leafy litter forms a good compost with a healthy balance of nutrients( nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium; this dramatically reduces the need for artificial fertilizers). Controls the moisture of the and reduces the high temperature stress of the plant, but is more vulnerable to frost and wind.
quickly decomposes due to the correct ratio of carbon and nitrogen, which also helps to avoid problems such as mold, the unpleasant smell of rotting. Controls the weeds of the , but at the same time there is the likelihood of contamination by seeds( weeds).
Fresh grass has a relatively high nitrate content, and most of it returns to the soil. Do not apply too thick a layer of , as the mowed grass decomposes into the mucous pulp, which is very hot and can burn the plant. Basically carbon. It dries nitrogen from the soil and therefore it should be mixed with grass, manure, compost to minimize losses.
microbes can suck nitrogen and other nutrients from the soil during decomposition, for this reason they add a little fertilizer to compensate for the loss. Ideal environment for slugs, attracts mice, voles.

Benefit from any mulch - high yields and easier potato harvest.

An example of straw mulching

Cultivation of potatoes under the mulch

Any biodegradable material works. But the most preferred method for growing high-yield potatoes is freshly cut grass or straw mulch. They keep the soil cool and moist, protecting it from the Colorado potato beetle and other crawling insects.

potatoes need a thick layer of , unlike other vegetable crops. Every few weeks it is checked for gaps and another layer is added.

To ensure the best results of potato cultivation by mulching, it is necessary: ​​

  1. To loosen the soil well.
  2. Prepare a landing area. Dig a furrow about 10 centimeters deep and 25 cm wide four to six weeks before the last frost.
  3. Thoroughly mix garden compost( it will prevent compaction of the soil after planting).
  4. Plant seed tubers cut side down( or whole) with eyes directed upwards, at a distance of about 30 cm from each other. Whole tubers are pressed into the soil about 8 cm, cut - 2 cm deep.
  5. Fill the furrow with a 15 cm layer of pure straw.
  6. When the plant breaks through the covering litter, add another layer 10 cm thick.
The culture requires a thick layer of mulch

Water as needed, keeping the soil evenly moist but not moist. In this case, remove the mulch is not necessary.

Watering Potatoes

Water is a vital component in potato production, necessary for both yield and quality. Irrigation at the beginning of the growing season minimizes common scab, stimulates the growth of the bush, and maximizes the number of tubers.

At the end of the season, helps to harvest with minimum losses .But water must be applied in sufficient quantities and at the right time to achieve a good harvest.

Irrigation features

Regional climatic conditions, weather, soil conditions affect the choice of planting time.

The amount of water available for yield depends on the depth of rooting( deep roots draw from a large supply of soil water).This factor should be taken into account when assessing how much water in the soil is available for use in an culture, the structure of which changes as it develops during the growing season.
For a root culture system, the optimal depth is about 70 cm.

The depth of root formation of potatoes may vary, but the optimal is usually 700 mm .Reduces the ability of the roots to find water in the soil compacted soil, and accordingly affects the recommendations for irrigation planning.

A moderately acidic soil is preferred, but this is not essential, as the potato is adapted to a wide range. Dig a furrow with a depth of 10 centimeters, where the tuber with the buds pointing upwards is placed and covered with soil.

If necessary, fertilizer can be spread from above. Thus, when growing potatoes in an alkaline environment, after planting, sulfur is used, which maximizes germination and eliminates common scab.

Is it necessary to water the potatoes when planting

Potatoes - culture that loves moisture, but when planted it is not watered. It is preferable to plant in an open and well-lit position in a fertile, evenly moistened, well-drained soil.

The need for water is provided by the parent tuber. On the contrary, additional watering can cause rot.

It is believed that overflow can cause rotting of the tuber chosen for growing

potatoes. To supply the culture with water usually begin after germination.

Irrigation rules for good harvest

Reliable irrigation schedule, cool soil temperatures will ensure uniformly shaped tubers. Both moisture saturation and lack of water affect the yield, endangering the health of the plant.

The general rules are:

  • to water potatoes once a week, taking into account possible rainfall, with plenty of water that moisturizes the soil about 30 cm deep( minimum consumption 50 liters per 1 square meter( or about 3-4 liters per bush), but in fact it all depends on the characteristics of the soil);
  • young plants are watered more often - once every 4-5 days;
  • increases the frequency of , once every 2-3 days, when tubers begin to form( this happens almost simultaneously with the flowering of the plant);
  • by the end of the growing season, when the tops turn yellow and begin to die, watering is stopped, which will allow the tubers to dry before harvesting.

Uneven watering causes growths and cracks in the tubers. This is due to the fact that with an insufficient amount of water they do not develop, but with subsequent abundant irrigation a second( new) growth occurs.

How often water potatoes in open ground

Potatoes need a lot of moisture, especially during the flowering period, when the tubers begin to form. If Mother Nature is reluctant to supply the necessary water, then you may need some type of irrigation system( drip irrigation has a great advantage).

Which open ground is better: loamy soil is considered ideal for potatoes. Its structure retains moisture well, and watering is sometimes better to replace with loosening( it is sometimes called dry watering).

Watering in the heat: how often do you need to water

In dry times, it is advisable to water the plant at least once a week as .It is better to do this in the evening and in two steps. Occasional abundant watering is sometimes better than insufficient frequent, which moisturizes only the surface layer of the soil, stimulating small rooting.

After watering, you can loosen the soil. Brings its effect and irrigation.

Loosening the soil after watering will have a positive effect on the growth of the bush. The afternoon sun evaporates water. A plant that remains wet at night is susceptible to disease.

Warm, wet foliage encourages the growth of fungi and weakens the structure of the plant as a whole .In addition, watering should be directed to the roots, where it is needed most, and not on the top of the plant.

How many times to water the potatoes for the season

The need for moisture in April-September varies depending on factors such as climatic conditions and soil type. Watering at certain stages of growth:

  1. Planting and watering up to 30 days : before the emergence of seedlings, watering is avoided if the soil is dry before planting( always consider prior irrigation).Young plants( after emergence of shoots) receive the first watering in about 5 days.
  2. 30-60 days : moisture is critical for vegetative growth and tuber production.
  3. 60-90 days : correct and careful watering is necessary for the growth of tubers.
  4. 90-120 days : tops yellow and die. Watering about a week before harvesting can still be continued, but in moderation.
The plant on the bush turns yellow 3-4 months after the first shoots.

How to understand that you need watering

The rate of moisture absorption by sowing depends very much on the weather. Potatoes finely rooted plant, sensitive even to small water deficiencies( in the root zone).Whenever it is exposed to moisture deficiencies, growth rates are reduced.

In order to stimulate the formation of tubers, it is important to prevent soil temperatures above 25 ° C. At higher temperatures, many of the initiated tubers are reabsorbed, and the plants end up with only two or three tubers.

The soil is stocked with water during heavy rainfall after irrigation. Well-structured porous soil, like loam, is capable of flowing up to 100 mm of water per hour. Compacted heavy soil( clay) is limited to 5 mm per hour.

Signs of overabundance and lack of moistureExcess moisture contributes to decay, increases the risk of disease. On the contrary, the lack of moisture when the soil dries out completely stops the formation of tubers or leads to the development of various defects.
As with ordinary flowers, the lack or excess of moisture can adversely affect the plant. It is important to comply with the schedule of irrigation

Potatoes - one of the most useful vegetable crops. It grows easily, requires little preparation, a bit of care and even pleasure at harvest time.

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