We all remember the story of Christopher Columbus and how he brought the main staple food to the country. Since then, much has changed and the peasants began to come up with different ways of planting this root. Today we will learn about growing potatoes under straw and other details of this planting option.
Potato Cultivation Rules
Many people plant this product according to the traditional method, but to apply the method of growing potatoes in straw, we recall What standards does most of the peasants use in our time:
- To start in the fall, it is necessary to fertilize the land.
- Next, you need to dig the ground.
- In the spring, it is also necessary to dig and level the ground with a rake or plow.
- For planting, you first need to make holes for tubers.
- While growing potatoes, you need to spud its tops.
- Periodically deal with pests.
- Infrequently watered root.
- After the tops have dried, it is necessary to dig potatoes.
The variant with the method of planting potatoes in hay is much better than the standard one. First, thanks to the hay, you can save time and effort. Secondly, grass does not grow under hay, which will perfectly save the tops from climbing plants. Not many people know that potatoes were grown under hay in the XIX century on the territory of the fraternal countries of Ukraine and Russia. By our time, this method of planting potatoes has been forgotten, but there are some who actively use this method.
Planting options for hay
The method of planting potatoes under hay is very simple and this is popular among farmers. Nevertheless, even such a simple method has multiple landing optionswhich we will talk about.
- No burial of tubers. The initial stage of such planting without the instillation of tubers is digging holes. The main rule of the holes is that their depth does not reach more than 15–20 cm. Next, you need to put potatoes in the garden. Do not forget that the interval of the holes should not be too large, but it should not be made small either. Ideally, the ground should be looser and softer than in planting other root crops. It is also necessary to moisten the ground before putting potatoes there. Next, we put straw or hay on the beds, taking into account the previous 20 cm. To do this, report another 10 centimeters. In this case, there are several drawbacks that are sharply striking. For example, the presence of loose soil and placing straw every time the previous layer settles and small potato sprouts appear. Many at this point damage the shoots and further growth of the root can stop.
- With digging. This method will be useful for those who live in arid regions with loamy soil in the garden. In this case, you need to fill the potatoes with earth, then put on the beds a little straw and again sprinkle with a thin layer of earth. But this method is also more difficult in that the sinking of straw or hay must be constantly monitored. Otherwise, there will be a violation of gas exchange and the cultivation of potatoes will not lead to a successful result. The remaining stages are exactly the same as in the previous method. But some farmers argue about which layer of ground to cover the beds. According to some, the beds should be completely covered with earth, because after a while, the soil will sow. Others argue that you only need to cover the top of the tub with earth, and the rest will handle hay or straw.
The process of growing root vegetables on straw
Since the previous methods also have their drawback, which consists in the absence of the main “ingredient” during planting - hay, there is one more way of cultivation. Planting potatoes on straw - no less popular method among experienced farmers. To implement it, you need to know two steps that are included in it.
First you need to divide the site into two equal parts, where the first will grow any grain, legumes or cereals, and the second - potatoes. This is done so that the stems of these crops can be used as hay or straw for planting potatoes. This method will greatly reduce your finances, pleasantly saving on not to bring hay from afar.
So, after oats or legumes have been removed from the garden, it is necessary to begin to lay our future hay in beds. It is legumes and oats that are perfect as straw for planting potatoes. But the beds in this case are made not from the ground, but from mixed straw with the ground, into which the potatoes “fit” afterwards. The main rule of such holes - their depth should be no more than 5 centimeters.
The main advantage of this method is that both parts of the plot can be used more reasonably than using standard landing methods. That is, while one part of the site is resting from planting, the other next year will flourish thanks to this “rest.” Using this method, you can alternate parts each time. For example, in one year, plant potatoes on one side, and the next year - on the other. This allows you to reduce labor, which in our time is little appreciated. In addition, the fertilizer will be of high quality and in large quantities.
If you did everything right, then you can safely return to the garden only when it is already necessary to harvest. Knowing that the temperature is different at night and during the day, you can guess about the condensation of moisture using hay. That is, in dry times, you will not need to water the potatoes, because hay will make it for you. The method of growing a root in the straw is famous for the fact that watering the root is completely excluded.
In addition, there is another great advantage of this method - external environmentin which the root vegetable is located. That is, thanks to the straw, as mentioned above, the potato is at the ideal temperature (20–22 degrees). As well as the main problem when planting potatoes is the Colorado potato beetle, which is quite quickly and perfectly destroyed by residents of hay (predatory insects).
Do not forget about such a plus, as the resulting fertilizer left over from the past years of this method of planting. Due to the fact that fertilizer as hay remains from previous cultivations, it is no longer necessary to import a new batch of fertilizer. It will save both finances and your time.
Features of the methods and recommendations
Not bypassing other methods of planting potatoes, this method also has several features.
One of these features or problems is that rodents are not averse to making nests in such cozy beds. To prevent mice and rats, there are only two options:
- Get a cat to protect the crop.
- Watch yourself so that no rodent is an uninvited guest in the hole.
In some regions, often there is a strong wind, which simply blows the straw from the tops of potatoes and each time it is necessary to carry out the process again. To prevent this from happening, it is necessary to strengthen this “structure” with a small layer of soil before growing potatoes in straw. In addition, you can make additional fertilizer for straw, adding to it materials such as reeds, sawdust or hay.
So, today you have learned how to properly plant potatoes with straw, as well as several ways that will appeal to any potato breeder. Based on this, it can be concluded that these variants of planting and growing are much more profitable and better than the classical method. The results of these methods are already noticeable immediately, and if you continue to use them later, you will be able to forget about standard plantings much faster than you think.
Thanks to planting with the help of straw, you can reduce the time that was previously allocated for the root-care of the root. And also excluded such moments as watering potatoes, fighting the Colorado potato beetle, observing the correct temperature of the soil, and many others. If these methods are applied periodically, the yield increase will increase several times, which will undoubtedly please every farmer.
Many farmers refuse to plant potatoes because of poor yields. But having tried this method, it is used with great desire in the future, which, of course, only justifies the advantages of this method. In addition, due to this fertilizer, the amount of the resulting crop suits absolutely everyone, there is another big plus - the taste of the product grown on its bed. Therefore, before you give up growing completely, try this planting option and be satisfied.
Preparing the soil in the winter
We start cooking land in the fall. Sow rye by removing vegetables and clearing land from plant waste. Seeds zavoronit rake. Winter rye rises quickly. For the winter it does not need to be cleaned, since in the spring it will continue to grow.
It is estimated that before sowing potatoes, rye at a site of 10 x 10 m increases about 200 kg of green mass. The benefits that you get by sowing rye in the fall:
- in the land, the percentage of pests and pathogens of vegetable crops decreases,
- the amount of weed decreases
- green mass embedded in the ground serves as an excellent fertilizer.
How to prepare planting material
March is coming - time to prepare seed potatoes. Inspection is the first thing to do. Discard potatoes with signs of infection. Leave healthy chicken-sized seeds.
Prepare a solution of pink manganese. Hold the tubers in it (15-20 min), dry, put in boxes. If there is sawdust, then on wet sawdust.
Three weeks boxes should stand in a bright room. The optimum temperature for germination is from 5 to 15 ° C. During this time, the tubers must become green and covered with strong shoots. Good consider sprouts that do not exceed a length of 12 cm.
We are planting potatoes
Top layer of earth pererykhliv, seized in the ground rye. Outline the rows. To sustain an interval between ranks - 60 cm.
- In the ground to make shallow grooves (8 cm) for laying potatoes.
- Spread the tubers in them, observing a step of 30 cm.
- Cover the grooves with a layer of straw (20 cm).
- For spring tillage, you will need a Fokin planer or a hand cultivator.
If the weather is dry, before laying potatoes furrows can be watered.
Alternative method of growing under straw
Tubers sprinkled with earth - this is the main thing that distinguishes the alternative method from the classical method.
In the area designated for potatoes, holes are formed (8 cm). The step is 30 cm, the distance between the rows is 60 cm. Potatoes are laid out in them, sprinkled with earth and the entire area is covered with a layer of straw (25 cm).
Lay out the tubers carefully, without damaging the sprouts. Make sure they look up.
Minimum straw to plant
Planting in the ridge will reduce the consumption of material at times. First form the ridges. The height of the ridge 10 cm, width - 20 cm. The holes are made in the ridge. Tubers cover with a layer of earth and straw, which is placed between the ridges.
The advantage of this method is to avoid greening the tuber.
Straw needs less with this method of planting, but the tubers do not turn green, the moisture in the ground is preserved, the weeds germinate more slowly and in smaller quantities.
How to grow with cardboard and straw
Household cardboardThey make boxes for household appliances, suitable for planting potatoes. They need to close the entire area of the ridge. Before laying on the ground on cardboard, make cross-sections.
It will take a clerical knife. Holes position at 30 cm intervals both in a row and between rows. The process of planting potatoes consists in carefully placing the tubers into the holes and covering the “cardboard” ridge with straw.
Features of the harvest
Instead of a shovel, a rake is needed, which can be quite easily pushed off from the ridge of the finished mulch. It remains only to harvest. Tubers are practically on the surface.
From one nest you can get at least 12 potatoes. Tubers are clean, large, rarely affected by disease and therefore are well stored in winter.
Pros and cons of planting under straw
The method provides a significant saving of time for care, as there is no need for hilling, loosening, weeding.
Consider other positive points.Those who will convince to use the way to plant under the straw:
- It is not necessary to dig deep soil; this preserves its fertility and reduces the time and effort required to prepare the site for planting.
- The need for watering decreasesas the mulch well holds moisture, interferes with its evaporation.
- It is noted that the population of the Colorado potato beetle is decreasing. Culture under hay suffers from the Colorado potato beetle less and to a lesser extent.
- Wet hay disappears, decomposes, releases nutrients necessary for the growth and formation of tubers.
Need to evaluate and cons - costs of this technology. The main disadvantage is the volume that a gardener needs to have on hand throughout the season.
What can lead to its lack of clear. A large percentage will turn green.
Such potatoes are not eaten, they are used only as seed. Rodents settled in the straw can spoil a part of the crop. Fighting them should be included in the work of caring for the plantation.
Planting options under the straw
Hay used for planting back in the old days. The climate and soil are different everywhere, so there are several ways of planting according to our method:
- classic planting method with tillage,
- planting on virgin soil,
- landing in the ridge
- relatively new method using cardboard.
Using the method in the garden without the hassle
There is a correct experience of using dry reed stalks for growing on ridges, which shows:
- Using hay gives an increase in the fertile layer. Cellulose (fiber) contributes to this. She is - food for soil microorganisms, which process it, while carbon is released - a source of energy and life for plants and all living things in the upper fertile layer.
- To provide a family with potatoes, it is not necessary to plant a field. Several ridges on a plot of 3 x 3 m are capable of providing a family of 3-4 people with potatoes.
- According to statistics, one bucket of seed varieties planted under straw, yields up to 10 buckets.
Plus technology - next year, you can plant melons, carrots, beets or cabbage at this place. Crop rotation will be observed. The soil when planting potatoes will receive an additional supply of nutrients.
Description of technology: under the straw
The essence of the technology of planting hay is to replace the land, which is filled with tubers in the traditional method, a mulch layer of any dry grass.
Throwing a row of potatoes will take several times. The first time - in the spring when landing, several times - during the summer. This is necessary for two reasons: hay overheats and the layer becomes thinner, the potato grows and requires additional shelter.
So the potato bush is fully developed. Large tubers form on it. This is possible because the mulch:
- overheating, provides the plant with the nutrients necessary for growth,
- retains moisture
- holding back the growth of weeds,
- protects the tubers from the sun and overheating.
If you are not sure of success, you can try out the method for hay, which received a second life, on a small ridge. If the result is convincing, the area of the experiment for the next season can be increased.
The main advantages of the method
In what only modern folk craftsmen do not grow potatoes - in pots, in bags and clamps, in the form of crests and so on. But it is precisely straw and hay (in other words, mulch) that have become increasingly popular in recent years, since they have significant advantages over the traditional way of breeding culture.
Straw is an excellent material for growing potatoes.
- Straw is an environmentally friendly natural material, which, if a certain proportion is observed - 5: 1 - can be replaced by manure.
- Thanks to the use of straw, planting, care and harvesting potatoes are greatly simplified. This is explained by the fact that the tubers do not need to be cleared from the ground, and it is much easier to collect them than with ordinary digging.
- Straw will play the role of a mulching layer that will protect the crop from pests (in particular, from the Colorado potato beetle) and weeds.
- Digging as such when growing is generally not required, as well as any other work with a shovel.
- With the onset of autumn, you will receive not only a clean, but also a well-fertilized area (rotted straw will serve as fertilizing).
- Harvesting can be carried out with bare hands, it does not require much effort.
- It is not necessary to loosen and pile up the land - instead, it is enough to pour the necessary amount of straw.
- Finally, from one planted bucket of potatoes in the fall you can get from ten buckets of fruit.
Harvesting is quick and easy
As you can see, this technology of cultivation is definitely worth learning, because it is easier than other known methods.
Stage one. We prepare the soil in the winter
Selected plot for planting potatoes
In the classical method, the selected area does not need digging and cleaning, even if it is a “virgin soil”, covered with wheat grass and turf. Просто переверните траву при помощи лопаты таким образом, чтобы корни в итоге получились сверху, а сама она (трава) ближе к земле. За зимний период зеленая масса перепреет и удобрит почву к последующей высадке.
Note! Еще с осени выбранной участок рекомендуется засадить растениями-сидератами. Они не только вытесняют сорные культуры, но также обогащают грунт фосфором, азотом и полезными микроэлементами.
К лучшим предшественникам картошки относят:
Горчица белая — сидерат
Посев горчицы как сидерата
You can choose two cultures at once (for example, phacelia and oats) and sow them in August at the site where the potatoes will be planted.
Phacelia - one of the best sideratov
In the spring there will be no weeds, and the plot itself will turn out well-fertilized. It is compulsory to remove weeds before planting green mans, and you should not forget about digging up the soil either.
Stage Two. Preparing planting material
Use potatoes the size of a chicken egg. As for the landing dates, they depend on the specific region, although on average in the country this is the second half of May. To harvest earlier, you can sprout seed tubers in April.
Step 1. Take a wooden box with low walls.
Step 2. Put the potatoes in a box so that they touch each other.
Step 3. Place them in a well-lit room with natural ventilation. It is important that the temperature there is in the range of 10-15 ° C.
Step 4. After some time, when strong sprouts form on the tubers, the potato will be ready for transplanting into open soil.
Note! If you wish, you can shift the collection time by planting a part of the tubers without germination in another area.
Stage Three. Preparing straw
Very often fresh or dried grass is used instead of straw. The results of such experiments are not bad, but it is still better to give preference to hay / straw, since the grass fertilizes the soil less and does not provide adequate protection.
It is not necessary to use fresh high-quality straw - it may well be old. Moreover, the used straw can also be used for the next planting. To this end, dry after harvesting the potatoes what is left of it (not rotted), and place in a dry place until next year.
Stage Four. We plant potatoes
The landing procedure should look something like this.
Table. Planting potatoes
Actually, that's all. Weeds will not break through such a layer of straw, moisture evaporation will be excluded, and the formation of fruits will begin in conditions ideal for potatoes.
Stage Five. Further care
When the shoots grow to 15-20 centimeters, create around them a small straw hillock. This simple action will replace the hilling process, because the tubers will be formed in the straw above the ground. Try to keep the tubers away from direct sunlight, otherwise they simply turn green.
Also, do not forget about the soil moisture - it must be permanent and uniform. Only then the tubers will turn out beautiful and of the correct form. During the development, continue to add straw.
As you grow, you can pour hay
Potatoes can crack if it does not rain for a long time. If so, this is clear evidence of moisture deficiency. Conducting watering, try not to fall on the stems and foliage - direct the jet exclusively at the root. If everything is done correctly, then you will be able to taste young potatoes as early as 12 weeks after planting. This time is often enough for the tubers to develop to a decent size.
As for the harvest, the optimal time for this comes when the tops begin to fade.
Blooming potato bush
The disadvantages of the method
Of course, there were no shortcomings here, so for the sake of justice, we will consider them too.
- If the area of the potato plot is large, then it may be difficult to find enough straw.
- Where the layer of mulch is thin, the potatoes can turn green.
- In the straw, rodents may be brought in to nibble the tubers, while slugs may live in the hay.
Nevertheless, the advantages are so obvious that they more than cover all these disadvantages.
Growing potatoes in hay allows you to get a rich harvest
Alternative way: a combination of natural and traditional farming
Here, potatoes are also desirable to sprout, so that the harvest could start earlier. The plot chosen for planting does not need to be dug up beforehand.
Step 1. Using a chopper, mark potato grooves on the area pre-raked.
Step 2. Using a shovel or the same chopper, make holes six to seven centimeters deep with the same step as in the previous method.
We make holes for planting potatoes
Step 3. Put the potatoes. Sprinkle the wells with a thin layer of soil.
Put potato sprouts up
Sprinkle the wells with soil
Step 4. Cover the entire area with 25 or 30 centimeters with a layer of straw. At this landing procedure ends.
We fall asleep a field
Note! Plant sprouted tubers very carefully, so as not to damage the sprouts. In addition, the sprouts after planting should be directed upwards.
As many gardeners say, in such conditions, the potato is not subject to attacks of the Colorado potato beetle. The latter is either very small or not at all. If there are few larvae and bugs, you can collect it with your hands, without resorting to the use of fungicides.
Comparison of potato planting methods
Using the minimum amount of straw
If there is really very little straw, then when digging out the holes you can form a comb 20 in width and 10 centimeters high in parallel.
Straw potatoes - photo
Thanks to this ridge, the tubers:
- will not remain on the surface even after heavy rain,
- Do not start to turn green when there is not enough straw.
Moreover, in this case, mulch will need much less.
Next, sprinkle the wells, pour dry straw between the ridges. Characteristically, a layer of mulch can be minimal — it will dampen weeds and retain moisture anyway. Yes, the most powerful weeds will still be able to break through, but there will be few of them, so you can easily get rid of them. Subsequently report the straw, gradually thickening the layer. In principle, until the autumn there is nothing more to do here.
Cardboard and straw
Another interesting way to grow.
- thick cardboard (it is advisable to use boxes from household appliances),
- actually, potatoes.
Place the seed potatoes in each of these holes.
You can close the cardboard with hay
The essence of the method is as follows: the cardboard is laid on the selected piece of land with an overlap (there should be no gaps with which a weed can make its way). With the help of a knife on the cardboard, X-shaped cuts are made, the distance between which should be 25-30 centimeters in all directions. The tubers are stacked in cuts, after which the whole area is still covered with a layer of straw.
Methods of growing potatoes under straw
Throughout the history of agriculture, there have been ongoing disputes about whether to plow the land or not to plow, to dig it or not to dig, and there are many arguments in favor of one or another concept.
The described method would greatly please the supporters of tool-free tillage.
Planting under straw or hay does not provide for:
- digging the soil
- plant nutrition,
- watering potatoes
- weeding rows and row spacing.
Only in exceptional cases with very dry summer may there be a need for watering the site.
The essence of the technique in the following:
- potatoes are laid out on the ground,
- covered with a layer of hay or straw
- hilling is done by overlaying an additional layer of mulch around the bush,
- after drying the tops of the potatoes going.
Many followers of this method have already been convinced of its usefulness. Not only are the costs of growing potatoes reduced, but there is also a beneficial effect of mulch on the soil. A thick layer of straw at 15–20 cm completely covers the evaporation of moisture, creating a moist environment under the shelter. In such conditions, straw or other mulch actively rot at the soil level. Microorganisms and earthworms, processing rotting products, fill the fertile layer with nutritious humus, providing the growing potatoes with necessary substances. Experienced gardeners claim that in the second year the plot gives even greater yield, due to an increase in fertility. Dense virgin land after exposure to microorganisms begins to comply with the well-known dictum “earth as down”.
Weed growth completely stops due to the overlap of mulch sunlight. Hay thickness 15–20 cm for them, it turns out, an insurmountable obstacle.
Of course, it is somewhat scary to go completely to this type of landing at once, so you can first experiment in a separate area of size, for example, in two rows. In the autumn there will be something to compare the traditional method and the proposed one.
Practical tips for planting potatoes under the straw
First of all, of course, you need to stock up on the necessary supply of hay or straw. This can be done in several ways:
- buy from peasants,
- mow meadow grass and dry,
- gather in the spring forest last year’s fallen leaves and dried grass,
- sow the planned plot with peas, rye, oats and after ripening, do not remove, but leave until next year for planting potatoes under it.
The plot for potatoes is chosen, as usual, well lit and warmed up by the sun. The timing of planting is no different from the traditional method. Planted in that period, as always, adopted in your area. Some gardeners mistakenly believe that, thanks to a thick cushion of straw, it is possible to plant it earlier, saying that it will protect against cold. But they do not take into account the fact that the earth is also not yet warm, but it can warm up under hay much later than under the sun, thanks to mulch thermos effect. And instead of reducing the time of emergence, we get the opposite picture with delayed development and decrease in fertility.
Preparation of tubers for planting is similar to that used everywhere. Somewhere a month before the intended planting, the selected fruits are placed in a lighted room with a temperature 18–22 degrees. To protect against pests and diseases, potatoes need to be treated with a spray dispenser with solutions:
- potassium permanganate 1 gram per 10 liters of water,
- copper sulphate 10 grams per 10 liters of water,
- drug Fitosporin 4 tbsp. l 300 milliliters of water.
After scattering the potatoes in a thin layer, we endure for three weeks, after which we move to a dark room 7 days before the planting and cover with a damp cloth. During this period, small roots will intensively develop on the sprouts of tubers. Before planting, we process the potato with pest preparations.
Planting is carried out on a flat part of the garden, nekopany and uncomfortable. It is allowed to plant on virgin land, i.e., on a plot, preferably with pre-cut grass. The soil under the potatoes should be moist, not overdried.
The harvest will be much greater if you prepare a bed of humus, rotted leaves, peat, compost for potatoes. This is like a launching pad for bacteria, which, until the beginning of overtravel of straw, will have a wide front of work, providing humus with tubers.
The landing pattern is maintained with distance between rows 70–100 cm and 30–40 cm between tubers in a row. In the case of a test planting, you can reduce the row spacing to 50 cm, but it is necessary to plant the tubers in a staggered manner, maintaining a longer diagonal.
The initial layer of straw can be 2-10 cm, but after the appearance of the first shoots, its size is adjusted to 20 cm, guaranteeing the isolation of weeds from sunlight.
Talk about the fact that this method of growing hassle-free, to put it mildly, exaggerated. There are also disadvantages, but quite solvable. A large mass of straw is an ideal bait for mice, rats, and slugs.
It is possible to fight with them by generally accepted measures and there is nothing new here. Against slugs, spices and eggshell work well, scattered around the perimeter of the plot.
Preparations Ferramol, Meta, Thunderstorm, Slyneed are effective assistants in the war against their coming.
The first shoots need to help break through the surface of the straw, freeing the way by raking mulch with your hands. And regularly carry out hilling by adding a layer of hay down to a thickness of 50 cm. At the same time dividing the stalks of potatoes with straw.
In the case of a dry summer watering still have to be applied. Indeed, the soil surface should not dry out, ensuring the normal operation of bacteria and worms.
The fight against the Colorado potato beetle, the wireworm has not been canceled yet. These pests are constant companions of gardeners, however, in the straw of the Colorado potato beetle is still less than in normal conditions.
In the case of using hay as mulch, the soil is more friable and nutritious. This is due to the lighter structure of plants for processing by bacteria. Straw is denser, heavier and less digestible for recycling processes.
After the tops have dried, you can start harvesting. Raking the hands with mulch, we choose potatoes, rejoicing in the absence of dirt and excellent harvest. Especially nice to collect young potatoes.
When raking up straw and breaking off the sprouts you like the tubers you like, return the mulch to its place and potatoes continue to bear fruit. After harvesting, we rake the straw evenly around the plot and leave it to winter until the next season.
In words, everything looks beautiful. But before you decide on the cultivation of potatoes under straw, you need to try yourself to hold a test planting. Believe me, the results will not be long in coming.
The advantages of the method
Instead of the traditional way, potatoes are grown under hay, straw, in bags, pots. But preference is given to growing potatoes under straw or hay, as this method:
- Eco-friendly. After all, there are no chemicals in straw; it is a pure natural material.
- Plain. Planting of seed tubers is easy, vegetable care does not require care, and dig potatoes without effort and effort.
- Helps the growth of potatoes. Thanks to a layer of straw or hay, moisture around developing nodules lasts longer. And plant pests cannot get inside the mulch layer.
- Easy in terms of care and cleaning of potatoes. In the fall, it will not be necessary to dig up the tubers by planting the back. It is enough to scrape a pile of straw or hay to get the potatoes under the straw. And loosen planting vegetables, spud throughout the season is not necessary.
- Gives a high crop of tubers. It is easy to get a perfect potato from a bush. And when cultivating varietal potatoes and more buckets are collected from one plant.
But in order for the method of cultivation to be successful, you need to have the knowledge of how to plant seed correctly and at what time.
How to grow potatoes in straw or hay?
There are several ways to grow potato tubers under a layer of straw or dry grass.
The classic version is used most often. Begin to prepare for planting vegetables in the fall, immediately after harvest. The area for vegetable culture is dug up, cleaned from plant debris, garbage. It is important to get rid of weedy perennial herbs that can crush potatoes with their powerful rhizomes.
It is better to choose a virgin plot for potatoes or the one where rye, oats, mustard were grown. Mustard roots, remaining and rotten in the ground, well fertilize the soil, do not allow the top layer of soil to erode. Especially in the second half of summer, siderats are planted on the plot for potatoes: mustard, oats, in order to mow them in autumn. In the spring, it remains to dig up the fertilized area and that's it.
Tubers of potatoes prepared in advance for planting. For a month, root vegetables are laid out in boxes for vernalization. Place the seed container in a room where the air temperature will reach no more than fifteen degrees Celsius and not fall below ten.
Use and method of wet vernalization within two weeks. In the boxes with the fruit add wet sawdust or humus, sprinkling them tubers. Moisturize the environment around potatoes not with pure water, but with the addition of superphosphate (thirty grams) and potassium salt (twenty grams). Fertilizers are dissolved in a bucket of water.
Tubers with sprouts are kept in the light, until they turn green. The optimal length of sprouts is three to five centimeters. With a larger growth they will have to break off before landing to the desired length.
Many wonder if it is better to use hay or straw. Experienced potato growers choose dry straw material. He will provide reliable protection of seed tubers, give them food. Hay is also used in potato farming, but just cut grass is not suitable for growing vegetables. You can use the same straw for several years in a row, placing it for the winter in a dry and ventilated room for storage.
How to plant potatoes under hay or straw step by step
Planting potatoes under straw begins, as usual, in May. Specific dates depend on weather and climate. We plant no later than May 15, and the tubers will not have time to achieve optimal weight and quality during the growing season.
Step landing goes like this:
- Water the cleaned bed, well moistening the ground.
- Tubers with sprouts laid out on the surface in rows. Sprouts while looking up. The distance between the tubers should be thirty - forty centimeters. Rows are located apart from each other - seventy centimeters.
- Around the tubers pour a glass of wood ash.
- It remains to be placed on a potato planted in a layer of twenty to thirty centimeters of hay or straw.
Some summer residents use straw as mulch. Bury seed, as in the traditional method, placing two tubers in each well. Присыпают тонким слоем земли, а сверху раскладывают на поле солому или сено. Картошка под соломой будет чувствовать себя защищенной от вредителей. Ей хватит влаги и питания в течение всего периода вегетации.
Если сухой травы недостаточно, чтобы прикрыть им весь огород, то картофель под сеном размещают гребнями. Каждый гребень будет шириной в двадцать сантиметров, а в высоту – в десять. This is one of the methods when, after heavy rains, the tubers do not appear on the surface and do not turn green.
Growing in cardboard and straw
Potatoes can be placed not only under natural material, but also under cardboard. To do this, take the box, put them on the selected site overlap each other. At a distance of twenty to thirty centimeters make slots in the cardboard. Then sprouted tubers are placed in holes with the seedlings up. A layer of straw or dry grass is poured on top. Potatoes under hay and cardboard will be reliably protected from the Colorado potato beetle. Yes, and weeds will not be able to break into the light and die.
The yield of potatoes is increased when using this method. It will be realistic to get a bucket from a bush of healthy tubers in the fall.
The peculiarity of the methods is that the care of vegetables is minimal. It is only necessary to add natural material to where the tubers were slightly exposed.
Potato harvesting, storage of tubers
When potatoes are grown by such an unconventional method, it is a pleasure to collect tubers.
Rakes rake a layer of straw, and clean tubers are placed in bags or buckets. If the roots are wet, then they are laid out under the tent. Potatoes cannot be kept in the light for a long time, otherwise it will turn green.
To use potato tubers for food until spring, they must be properly stored:
- The room under the potatoes should be dark, with constant ventilation.
- The temperature of the air in the cellar or basement is monitored. Its stable rate is three to five degrees above zero. Raising it will lead to fruit flabbiness, sprout appearance. At low temperatures, the potatoes will freeze slightly and its taste will deteriorate.
- The floor of the store is covered with sand, which absorbs moisture well. Cover it with linoleum, slate is not recommended. These materials help build up moisture in the room. Hence the emergence and growth of fungi, mold, which can spread to the tubers.
- Potatoes poured into wooden boxes. Plastic packaging is also suitable. It is important that the containers are with holes for airing the roots. To save from rodents harvest potatoes can boxes made from iron mesh.
- Along with potatoes store beets or apples. Beets will not allow moisture to accumulate, apples - to germinate tubers.
Putting potatoes under the straw and growing it is easy, harder to preserve the crop, provide yourself and your family with “second bread” for the winter.
Opinion gardeners on the method of growing potatoes
Experimenting in the period of growing vegetables is not everyone decides. It is difficult to move away from tradition, but the reviews about this method and its high yields, lead to the fact that he found his fans. Planting potatoes for hay is chosen by those who are not able to engage in the time-consuming process of caring for the plant.
Hilling, weeding of the summer cottages of the elderly is especially difficult. Placing seed tubers under the dry stalks of straw or grass, you can forget about garden troubles before harvesting. The mass of tubers harvested in autumn is also striking, their purity and healthy appearance. And to work on digging potatoes is not necessary. It is convenient to collect the tubers from under the straw. It is only necessary to competently place the vegetable in storage and feast on the fruits of their labors during the winter.
History of growing potatoes under straw
They say that potatoes under straw have been grown in Russia since the nineteenth century. The legend says: at that time, the peasants were so busy with hard work that they tried in every way to make their lives easier. The potato has always been the second bread, it needs a lot. But optimization is usually done where the maximum labor costs are concentrated. This is how know-how appeared, which even today seems new to many and unusual.
The essence of the method: seed tubers are laid out on a flat, till soil and covered with a thick layer of dry straw. The technology has become popular these days against the background of successfully developing trends in natural farming. Here are his three important principles:
- refusal to dig the ground
- mulching as a way to preserve the loose soil structure and enrich it with humus,
- refusal of chemistry: mineral fertilizers and pesticides are not needed, because potato tops, grown over dry bedding, are less sick and do not attract the Colorado beetles.
The potatoes laid out in the holes are covered with a thick layer of hay or straw.
Every modern gardener brings to this way of growing potatoes something of his own, focusing on his own experience. The results are strongly influenced by the climate of the growing region. Someone makes mistakes, someone gets it right the first time. But even in 50% of cases, success is intriguing, it is interesting for every gardener, who is not without curiosity, to conduct such an experiment on his site.
The land for planting potatoes should definitely be heated to + 8 ... +10 ° C, especially with this method. If you cover the cold, not yet thawed ground with a thick layer of straw, it will warm up for a very long time. Potatoes will be like in a thermos. At moderate humidity will lie and wait for the onset of a favorable temperature for growth, and in the damp - rot. Perhaps, the early planting of potatoes under straw is one of the reasons for the late emergence of shoots and the poor harvest.
Plant potatoes under straw in the same time as usual. In most regions of the Russian Federation, this period lasts from mid-May to early June. If you want to plant earlier, then cover the ground with a film. And only when it warms up well, proceed to planting under the straw. But in this case it is necessary to make sure that the seedlings do not fall under the return frost.
How I planted potatoes on turf
I was interested in the idea of planting potatoes under straw or hay because the crop can be obtained without hard physical labor - digging the ground, weeding, loosening and hilling. But the main arguments in favor of the experiment were: superfluous, the smallest and most suspicious, seed tubers and a virgin patch of approximately 5x5 m in the very corner of the vegetable garden, to which no hands reached. In other words: I did not feel sorry for the place or the seed. Why not try?
I was mistaken in thinking that potatoes under straw was a problem-free cultivation. Immediately the question arose: where in the spring to take so much straw. I didn’t understand the difference between hay and straw, for me it’s all - dry grass. And where to get a lot of dry grass? Of course, in the forest glades. They just melted and dried, green grass has not yet made its way, but dry lay on top of a good layer. My husband and I went to nature, and with a rake and pitchfork gathered a considerable amount of last year's grass. Then I realized that clearing a forest clearing is no easier than digging up a small piece of virgin soil, we are pretty tired and hungry.
This method will require a huge amount of hay or straw, without special equipment can not do
I had enough grass for two beds 3 and 5 meters long, 70–80 cm wide and 30 cm high. I decided to arrange the beds in parallel at a distance of about 3 meters from each other, along the boundaries of the virgin area, as the gooseberry grows in the center. The potatoes were already with sprouts and rudiments of roots, so I felt sorry for them and helped a little with the turf for survival. I chopped off the already grown grass and in places where I planned to decompose the potatoes, pick up the turf a little so that the ground would become bare.
Tubers laid out in chessboard order. In each garden I got 2 rows, one from another 50 cm, between tubers in rows - 30 cm. I put half of hay on top, I poured it, because it was dry, and covered it with the second half, well primped, gave the shape of a bed. So that the whole structure is not blown away by the wind, it is crushed from above with heavy and spreading branches left after pruning the apple and pear trees.
Tip: if you plant on turf, then be sure to treat the tubers and the soil under them with the preparation of wireworm. The larvae of this pest overwinter in the roots of perennial grasses. Putting the potatoes on top, we serve them food directly to the habitats and mass concentrations.
Ways of planting potatoes under the straw
Different ways of planting potatoes under straw differ only in details. Potatoes are planted:
- in a box, beds with sides or just on a flat surface,
- in the ground of varying degrees of preparation: dug up or only loosened, in the holes, grooves or along virgin soil over the grass,
- without fertilizers and with their use: scatter nitroammofoska, ashes on the ground, sprinkle the tubers with humus, etc.,
- spreading it on the ground and covering it with straw or making hollows in the already laid out straw,
- using not only straw, but also hay, dried weeds, large shavings, fallen leaves, green manure specially grown for this method.
It is impossible to lay freshly picked grass, tops, kitchen waste directly on seed tubers. These materials will create a dense, air-impermeable, moist layer, they will rot themselves and destroy the potatoes.
It is very important that the straw layer is at least 30 cm thick. Only under this condition will it be able to restrain the growth of weeds and will keep the temperature and humidity near the tubers constant. If there is little straw, then after planting regularly with a thin layer of top weed weed. In the sun, they dry up and turn into hay.
Digging potatoes for me was very exciting. The fate of the experiment was decided: it was all for nothing or it was a success. I read and heard enough on the Internet that it is enough to remove the straw from above, and here it is potatoes - all clean and beautiful. It was not there. From the middle of summer I stopped looking under the straw, the bushes were lush and healthy, to check that there was no need there.
By the end of the season I was surprised: it was no longer possible to just pick up the straw and look under it. The bottom layer turned into humus, the middle layer - into dust, and only on top of the hay remained the same. Despite the fact that I laid the tubers on top of the turf, the bushes were pulled out with difficulty, they sprouted into the ground and held fast to its roots.
I had to grab the pitchfork and break in like a regular potato. The tubers were large, the harvest was good, but not better than on the plot where I planted potatoes in the traditional way, watered, polola and fed. That is, the productivity is about the same, but the care is much less. By the way, there is no trace of turf. The experiment was a success, but I don’t want to repeat it yet.
Reviews of growing potatoes under straw
I read a lot about potatoes under straw, but I could not find straw last summer, planted potatoes under large chips. I planted 700 grams, the area for potatoes was 2.5 sq. M. Gathered 19 kg 450 g of large potatoes with a fist, the size of an egg and a walnut - 1 kg 130g, the size of a cherry - 70g. One bush gave 2.5 kg! From 0.7 kg it turned out 21 kg. My mistakes: it was necessary to plant a varietal, even better elite, and I planted the one that was bought for food in Auchan and on the market, and it was necessary to water it at least twice, because the heat was there! This summer I will try to get a straw. Share your success!
Planting potatoes under straw is an idea for areas with a humid climate. I live in an area with a hot, dry climate. I tried to plant potatoes under the grass with leaves, I had to water it often, because the dry air and the wind erode all the moisture, but the harvest was much better than with the usual landing in the ground. There were no trifles at all, the smallest - with an egg. I liked this agricultural technique. Once put the beds (you can do a trench bed). No need to dig the ground, do not spud potatoes, do not weed. In the spring, he laid the beds of potatoes, covered them with leaves, watered in the summer, and in the fall he chose dust and potatoes and chose them. A weed does not grow through a thick layer, only a birch (bindweed), but it does not interfere with potatoes, it even helps with heat. One care only - to find enough leaves in the fall (straw) and so that it does not rot until spring (put it in bags).
Regarding the planting of the cutlery “Way under the straw”, then as the saying goes: “How to sink, you will burst” ”If someone dreams that he will lay potatoes on the ground, throw straws, say“ Brex Fax ”and grow wonderful potato trees, large wrong, grow peas.
In my first year, when I used the mowed grass I was used to, it began to mold in a thick layer. I had to keep it almost dry, which nullified the development of the stalons. In the second year, I used leaf litter instead of grass, but it did not immediately decompose into the entire thickness of the layer. Decomposed in a thin surface layer, and the entire mass remained intact. I think this led to failure.
I planted potatoes under the straw. Where the EARTH was more or less fertilized, some results were obtained. But where the land was poor - the result was deplorable. Those potatoes that were in the ground turned out to be smaller and affected by wireworm. Potatoes laid on the ground turned out to be cleaner, larger, not affected by anything. During the summer, new portions of grass were placed 2-3 times. By the way, when the potatoes grew, it was not so easy to do. It's hard to add mulch without damaging the trunks. Parents' conclusion is unambiguous - NOW ONLY UNDER HAY, WITHOUT ANYTHING WAS DECLINED. The yield of potatoes turned out somewhere CAM 15. That is, 4 kg of potatoes were planted, 67 kg were removed.
I do not plant a field. Only for personal consumption. First, a little hay or straw is needed, just to “drag” from above. In the process of growth of the tops, add mulch. I have a large area under Kosh lawns almost every week, pouring on top, as if spuding. There were not enough rains this year. There were no rotten potatoes. Row sprouts - fresh chicken dung pie + freshly cut grass. It comes longer than with traditional planting. , once spud-low))) Next podsyp Ala mowed grass. I have never watered, Harvest is equivalent to potato under hay. There were no green sides. Land loam. Weeds climb there and (under the hay) and here (mixed method), but pulled out easily. Most likely I will give preference to landing in the ground, with subsequent mulching.
I will share my experience. Six varieties of 5–10 tubers were planted. Well, as "planted" .. Spread the tubers on the ground and covered with straw. In general, taking into account the subsequent care - I can not say that it is easier than under the flat cutter in the groove. But if someone digs on a shovel - then it will probably be easier. Although further care - a question. As the potatoes grow, you need to add straw. The plant is falling apart. At the exit a lot of greens. If you have a mouse - they are expanse. Since the straw layer must be high, the tops will come out later. In principle, this is a plus, since the wave of the beetle is already based. And from the land, not all will get. But the bug was still. Zaleletny from the second wave. On exit - different varieties showed themselves in different ways. From CAM3 to CAM14. I concluded that for such agrotechnics it is necessary to select varieties. The shelter of straw from the second half will not interfere with something opaque. If you succeed, of course, get into the tops.
The main thing that attracts in planting under straw is the ability not to dig the ground and even plant on virgin soil. Food and microclimate required provides a thick layer of gradually decomposing mulch. To implement the technology requires a large amount of straw. Finding it, picking it up or growing it up and drying it up, covering the potatoes with it, and then putting it as the bushes grow is also quite a hard job.
Planting method under straw or hay
The method fits well with the concept of "natural farming" and corresponds to one of its principles - do not dig the soil. When planting for hay and straw do not need: dig, fertilize, weed, water. And the hilling process is fundamentally different from the traditional one.
The essence of the method is that the potato is laid out on the surface of the earth, and the top is covered with straw or hay. Many have already seen the benefits of mulch, and here it can be traced to the full. With a layer of 15–20 cm, weeds do not make their way through mulch, moisture is preserved in the soil, temperature fluctuations are minimized, the bottom layer is processed by earthworms, potatoes receive valuable nourishment — humus. Moreover, when planting, even on the virgin soil, turf and dense earth turn into down, according to gardeners.
Video: potatoes grown on virgin soil
There are different ways of planting under straw, they are being improved and complemented by useful nuances. If you are afraid of deplorable results, then arrange an experimental bed under a straw, plant the rest of the potatoes in the traditional way: in the ground, with hilling, watering and feeding. In the autumn, compare the results and labor costs, draw conclusions for yourself.
How to plant potatoes under straw
First of all, you need to find a lot of straw or hay. Experienced farmers offer several options:
- buy by ad
- in the spring, go to a forest or field and collect last year’s fallen leaves and yellowed grass (without seeds),
- in the summer to mow the grass in the meadow and dry,
- to grow by yourself: in the spring to sow siderats (oats, rye, vetch, peas), leave to overwinter, next spring on this plot will lie an even layer of hay, and plant potatoes under it.
Подготовка посадочного материала и пошаговый процесс
- За месяц до посадки семенной картофель перенесите в тёплое (+18 ⁰C… +22 ⁰C) место.
- Смочите (опрыскайте) препаратами от болезней: Фитоспорин — 4 ст. l концентрата из пасты на 300 мл воды, медный купорос — 10 г на 1 л воды, марганцовка — 1 г на 10 л воды.
- Разложите тонким слоем в светлом месте.
- За неделю до посадки перенесите в тёмное помещение. Можно накрыть влажной мешковиной или опилками. At the base of the sprouts formed roots, shoots appear faster.
- On the day of planting, treat for pests with solutions: Turbo - 8 ml per 1 l of water, Prestige - 10 ml per 100 ml of water.
For the first planting under the straw is often taken the worst tubers, which is a pity to throw. In most cases, in the fall, surprised by a good harvest, growers regret that they did not plant the seeds of the best varieties using this technology.
Suitable for growing under straw:
- leveled piece of land in the garden, undisturbed and uncomfortable,
- virgin soil, that is, the potatoes laid out over turf, grass. But it is better to mow the grass, cover it with newspapers,
- furrows cut in turf.
In any case, the layer under the tubers should be wet. The harvest will be richer if you make a substrate of humus, peat, litter from the chicken coop, half-broken leaves, compost, add ash, deoxidize the soil with dolomite flour. The planting pattern should be the same as in traditional cultivation: between rows 70–100 cm, in a row 30–40 cm. If you plant only two rows, for example on a bed, you can reduce the row spacing to 50 cm and decompose the tubers in a staggered manner. Top with a layer of straw or hay. For a start, its thickness may be small — 5–10 cm, so that the seedlings appear faster, but the optimal layer that does not allow the weeds to germinate is 20 cm.
Cultivation and care
Cultivation under straw has disadvantages. Care mainly consists in their elimination. So, a large cluster of hay attracts slugs, mice and rats. To fight rodents, place ultrasonic repellents around the perimeter of the straw field. Against slugs, use the same tools as in any area:
- Pile spices along the perimeter of the beds (salt, pepper, cilantro, dry parsley), ash, egg shells, fluff lime,
- set up traps (beer bowls) and clean them regularly,
- use special preparations: Slizneed, Thunder, Meta, Ferramol, etc.
Do not plant potatoes near cabbage that is very attractive to slugs.
During the entire cultivation, especially at the beginning of germination, follow the moisture in the lower layer. In regions with wet summer, the straw should be gently shaken (whipped) so that it does not rot from high humidity and is ventilated. In hot climates, on the contrary, you will have to water it, otherwise the earthworms will not want to wade on dry land to mulch and process it. Potatoes dry.
The sprout shoots must be helped, but only when in the straw you clearly see the hillocks - potatoes sticking out from under the dry grass. If you rake straw at random, shoots can be broken.
Video: the first shoots under the straw
The only time-consuming technique that needs to be done when grown with this technology is hilling, that is, adding straw, hay, or cut grass as the leaves grow. The level of mulch can be brought up to 50 cm. Significantly increases the yield fan rolling. When the sprouts rise 10–15 cm above the straw, dissolve the stems in different directions and place the mulch between them.
Video: correct fanning
Also have to carry out the fight with the wireworm, Colorado potato beetle and disease. According to gardeners, the Colorado potato beetle is less on straw than on a conventional field. Diseases also do not have time to accumulate, because under one straw potatoes are grown for no more than two years. Interestingly, in the second year the harvest is greater than in the first. Apparently, this is due to the fact that part of the mulch has already turned into humus, the soil structure has improved, and gardeners have taken into account the errors of the first year of cultivation.
Planting in a bucket under the straw
The method is good only as an experiment or in the case when there is no plot of land, and you want to grow potatoes, for example, on the balcony. Another plus is a very early young potato, because a bucket can be kept in a greenhouse or at home and carried out on the street only on warm days. However, the harvest with this method is several times lower than when grown on the site in the traditional way.
To get started, prepare the container. Drill drainage holes in the bottom of the bucket, pour a layer of expanded clay (3-4 cm) to the bottom. These activities will eliminate stagnant water, otherwise the roots and potatoes will rot. On top of the drainage, arrange a fertile pillow - 5–7 cm of wet earth, humus or compost. Now put 1–2 germinated tubers and cover with a layer of straw 5–10 cm. As the stems grow, place the straw until the bucket fills it to the brim. Periodically check the moisture under the mulch, if necessary, water it. With this method, it is not clear how the straw will be processed into food available for potatoes. All hope for beneficial bacteria that have fallen into a bucket and will survive in it. Therefore, the crop grows very modest.
Instead of a bucket, you can use the box.
Which is better: hay or straw
Hay is a meadow grass, mowed green, before ripening, and dried. Straw is what is left after threshing of cereals, legumes, that is, part of the plants that completed their cycle, without leaves, inflorescences, seeds. The latter is an advantage over hay, if we consider these materials as mulch. Hay can contain weed seeds, and this is a problem for gardeners. Although weeds grown through mulch are easy to pull out, their roots are superficial. In addition, it is an additional organics, which can be placed under the potatoes.
Straw - dried stems without leaves, inflorescences and seeds
In the hay there are more nutrients, it is looser, lighter, it will be faster and more willing to process into humus worms and bacteria. Straw - heavier and denser, worse ventilated. Therefore, in dry weather, the soil under the straw will stay wet longer, and the potatoes under the hay will have to be watered. To create a layer of the same thickness of straw you need more than hay.
Video: comparing the yield of potatoes without mulch and under mulch from different materials
During the summer, mulch is inserted, so most often a layer of a mixture of fallen leaves, straw, hay, weeds, and tops is formed on potatoes. And this is good, because the potato receives comprehensive protection (from cold, drought, damp), as well as a varied diet. It is not recommended to put cabbage leaves, they begin to rot, infect with the spores of rot all the mulch and potatoes. Any other greens, especially weeds, first dry or lay on top of a thin layer of roots in the sun.
For harvesting, the forks and shovel are not needed, it is enough to rake the mulch by hand If during planting you sprinkled the tubers with earth or humus, you will have to dig. A big plus of the way is that it allows you to collect new potatoes during the summer. You can carefully rake up the straw, pick the largest tubers without damaging the bush, and cover it again. The plant will continue to grow and develop.
Video: harvest of potatoes grown under hay
The method requires a large amount of mulch, which you need to put all summer, so lazy to call it difficult. In addition, you have to deal with rodents and pests, if necessary - water. But the method is justified by a richer and healthier crop with much lower labor costs. The difference between growing under hay and straw is noticeable only at the first stage. Through harder and more dense straw sprouts it is more difficult to break through. In the future, the beds accumulate a mixture of different materials (hay, straw, leaves, weeds). Each has its own advantages and compensates for the disadvantages of others