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Potatoes are one of the most common vegetables, without which it is difficult to imagine a summer cottage. The ripening period of potatoes depends on many factors. First of all, this is the variety of tubers itself, as well as climatic conditions. If the first factor can be influenced, then the second has to be simply put up with. If it is a cold summer, then the harvest may be poor.
After how many days to dig out the potatoes?
When planting potatoes, it is important to consider the region of residence. In different areas, the time from planting to harvesting the same variety may vary due to differences in climate.
The growing season for potato varieties:
- An early potato, which ripens approximately 50–61 days after the tubers are planted in the soil.
- The early ripening variety ripens 66–85 days after planting in the ground.
- A mid-season variety will ripen 86–95 days after planting.
- Medium late - from 96 to 115 days, after planting the tubers in the soil.
- Ripening dates for late potatoes start at 115 days.
The growing season can vary up or down. Again, this depends on the weather conditions in the season. It is impossible to influence this.
What determines the rate of ripening of tubers?
But, even having chosen a variety according to the ripening period of the tubers, after planting, one cannot be sure that the harvest can be obtained precisely by a specific date. The growing season is influenced by a large number of factors.
Factors that affect growth rate:
- In which region is the vegetable growing.
- Planted potatoes will grow earlier if tubers are planted in early May.
- Application of a large amount of mineral and organic fertilizers.
- The growing season of potatoes is reduced if they are planted in poor soil on nutrients. On fertile soil, growth does not accelerate, and harvesting can be done until late autumn.
- Lack of moisture also affects how quickly tubers grow. If the summer is dry and there was little rain, then the period for harvesting potatoes is shortened.
If the growing season has been shortened for the last two reasons, then such potatoes will not be as tasty and will also be poorly stored. Therefore, if possible, it is advisable to regularly water the potatoes (if there is no rain in summer) and, before planting potatoes in the open ground, apply mineral and organic fertilizers to the ground. When the tubers ripen on time, they turn out delicious and can be stored for more than one month.
How to accelerate the ripening of potatoes?
You can try to speed up the ripening of potatoes after the flowering period so that the young potatoes do not have to be dug out in late autumn. This will help those summer residents who have delayed planting planting material. You can also try to increase the growth of potatoes if it is a cold and rainy summer.
What to do if the bushes have grown strongly and cannot be delayed with harvesting?
- The easiest way is to cut the green tops when the planting material has recently begun to sprout and the bushes have not yet begun to bloom.
- In order for the potatoes to ripen earlier, you can spray the bushes with a solution of copper sulfate 14 days before harvesting. The product draws moisture from the leaves and the tubers mature faster. In the same month, the tops begin to become covered with brown spots, curl and dry out.
- If you have a long and cold summer, you can accelerate the ripening of potatoes with the help of magnesium chlorate. For 1 liter of water, you need to take 25 grams, dilute the chlorate in water and spray the bushes with it. The ripening stages of the potatoes will then be reduced, and after a while it can be dug out. If the weather is dry, then the potatoes ripen after spraying for 6 days.
- In order for the potatoes to ripen earlier than they should, they can be treated with superphosphate. Spray potatoes after flowering. For 1 liter of warm water, 25 g of superphosphate. It is better to choose the time for the procedure in the evening.
- Tubers ripen faster if germinated before planting. This is easy to do and it takes a little time to germinate. Potatoes are germinated in a well-ventilated area. You can put straw or hay on the floor. During the day, the temperature should be no more than +15. At night, for full germination, it needs to be lowered to +7. Potatoes should germinate in 2-4 weeks. After the first roots began to grow on the tubers, they are watered with a solution of sodium chloride, ammonium nitrate and superphosphate (15:15:55 per 10 liters of water). After two days, the tubers need to be watered. This will promote the growth rate when the potatoes are planted in the soil.
- Wilting is another way to grow faster. The potatoes need to be laid out in one layer (it is not necessary to lay them out so that the sun hits the tubers). After a week and a half, eyes should appear on it. Then you can start landing. Dried potatoes are planted in the usual way.
After these procedures, the stages of potato growth will be reduced and then you can safely dig up young potatoes without fear of damaging it in the ground. This issue is especially relevant for those summer residents who have a plot located in a lowland where water accumulates or when the ground contains a lot of peat and potatoes grow slowly.
When to dig out potatoes?
As mentioned earlier, potatoes ripen in different ways. By what signs can you determine that the time has come to dig out the harvest?
The main signs of ripening potatoes:
- The main sign by which you can determine that the potatoes are ripe is dried tops. In early maturing varieties, this can begin at the end of July. After all the tops of the grown potatoes have dried up, you can start harvesting.
- The second important point to pay attention to is the weather. It is better to dig up potatoes in dry and sunny weather. As a rule, potatoes ripen by the end of August. Therefore, it is better not to delay until autumn and do it before the rains. If the shade of the vegetative organs of plants (leaves, stems) is green, then it is worth considering how to artificially accelerate ripening.
- Also, ripening depends on the sowing. If the potatoes were planted at the end of May, then they will not have to be dug out until September. This can be determined by the phases of development of the bushes. If the tops are still green in August, it should take several weeks before they dry out.
You can dig out a potato crop at a temperature of at least +17 degrees. Then, during storage, the potatoes will not turn black and deteriorate. The most unfavorable time is the morning hours, when frost has already come. If you dig up potatoes at such a time, then they will quickly dry out and cannot be eaten.
After harvesting, you must collect all the tops and weeds. If this is not done, then on the next goal the site may be overgrown with weeds and then it will take a long time to remove it from the garden.
While digging up potatoes, you can immediately select the best and largest tubers for further planting. They need to be left in the sun for several days so that solanine begins to accumulate in the potatoes. The rind should take on a greenish tint. Such tubers will be stored longer and will not be spoiled by rodents. And next year you can grow a good harvest from them.
If space permits, then before putting the potatoes into the basement, you need to hold them in the sun for a while. In this way, you can kill all pathogens, as well as increase keeping quality.
Dried potatoes should be scattered into bags, after throwing out the spoiled and gnawed tubers. It is advisable to store potatoes out of direct sunlight so that they do not germinate. The room should be well ventilated, the humidity in the cellar should be high. Observing all the rules of planting and storage, you can eat potatoes all year round.