Growing potatoes according to the Chinese method
When growing potatoes, farmers use different planting methods, for example, in holes, ridges. Chinese agronomists have developed their own simple technology - in a pit or trench. This method allows you to plant several varieties in one pit and makes it easier to care for the crop.
How the Chinese grow potatoes and whether this method can be used in Russia, we will tell further.
The content of the article
- What is the Chinese method of growing potatoes based on?
- Is it worth planting potatoes in Chinese
- Chinese potato planting technology
- The transformation of the Chinese method into a Russian way
What is the Chinese method of growing potatoes based on?
The Chinese method of planting potatoes is based on the ability of bushes to grow shoots underground. (stolons), at the ends of which tubers are formed. The more underground stolons are formed, the more tubers will form and grow. Accordingly, more crops can be harvested in a small area.
Besides, less seed is used when plantingthan usual, since it is assumed that each tuber will produce several times more underground shoots.
The Chinese method potatoes require minimal maintenance, infrequent watering and a small area. And with this cultivation, the Colorado potato beetle cannot get to the foliage.
How is it different from usual
When planting in the usual way, make holes 8-12 cm deep... As it grows, the bush is huddled, raking the soil with a slide around the tops. This stimulates the growth of underground shoots. If you plant potatoes in Chinese, you need to dig a deep hole, about 50 cm, put the tubers in it and cover them with soil mixed with mulch and fertilizers. As the bush grows, nutrient soil is poured. In deep holes, the soil dries out more slowly, so watering is less frequent with this method.
Reference. Bushes growing in Chinese style do not require weeding and hilling.
Is it worth planting potatoes in Chinese
The idea of growing a large potato crop on a small plot attracts many summer residents. But not many have managed to grow the declared volumes so far.
Mainly when applied unusual method gardeners get about 1.3-2 kg of potatoes from a tuber... Breeders claim 10-15 kg. The reason for this discrepancy in yield may be the wrong choice of variety (we will talk about this later), the difference in the climatic conditions of China and Russia. The experimental pit does not take up much space, so many people decide to try a new method.
The Chinese way has many advantages over the traditional fit.:
- a small area is allocated for planting potatoes, while the usual method requires many long beds;
- the use of a small amount of planting material, since with the Chinese method, one tuber forms several kilograms of potatoes;
- weeding and hilling of bushes is not required;
- water less often, but more abundantly;
- the culture is rarely affected by the Colorado potato beetle;
- no chemical insect pest control agents are required.
There are also disadvantages:
- the method does not guarantee high yields;
- it is difficult to manually dig a deep volumetric hole or trench;
- it is necessary to correctly calculate the amount of fertilizer when preparing the soil;
- not all varieties are suitable for this method.
Chinese potato planting technology
Only high-yielding varieties are suitable for Chinese planting.: Bernina, Madeira, Giant, Arizona, Evolution... Varieties with average yields will not produce the expected results. To increase yields, you need to create optimal conditions under which stolons will form along the entire length of the stem.
It is necessary to sprinkle young shoots with soil in time so that they do not have time to turn green. It is recommended to apply the powder at the time the foliage appears.
Attention! To prepare a pit or trench, light, breathable soil is needed. On heavy, clayey soils, the culture will develop poorly and form tubers with difficulty.
Preparation of planting material
For planting, using an unusual method, choose healthy, undamaged medium-sized tubers.... The pre-selected planting material is stored at a temperature of no more than + 15 ° C.
Immediately before planting, the tubers are laid out in a warm room with an air humidity of 60-65% with good lighting until the potatoes begin to turn green and sprout. This usually takes 15-20 days. When the length of the shoots reaches 3-4 cm, part of the pulp is removed around the circumference of the tubers in the middle. The incision is made no deeper than 1 cm and no wider than 1.5 cm.
Important! To prevent decay, places where the pulp is removed are treated with wood ash and dried a little.
Potatoes in the pit
One way of Chinese planting is pit cultivation... To do this, you need to choose the right variety and adhere to the recommended technology. When growing 1-2 tubers in one pit, Chinese breeders manage to harvest up to 20 kg.
For planting, dig a hole 50 cm deep and 60-70 cm in diameter... Half a bucket of prepared earthen mixture is poured to the bottom with the addition of compost, rotted manure, wood ash, superphosphate. One tuber is placed on the nutrient mixture carefully so as not to damage the sprouts. Some gardeners lay two tubers as a safety net. Sprinkle the potatoes with an earthen mixture with a layer of 10 cm and moisten a little.
When the seedlings reach 15 cm in height, add soil around the stem... 5-6 cm of the stem are left above the soil level. When the tops stretch up to 20 cm, the bush is again covered with a nutrient mixture, leaving 5 cm tops on the surface. This procedure is carried out as the bush grows. Ultimately, the hole with the bush is completely filled up, and a small mound forms around the tops, from which only the upper leaves are visible.
Attention! Before each dusting, leaves are removed on the lower part of the tops. Only the stems should remain underground.
14-20 days after flowering, the tops are cut, leaving 15 cm above the surface... After the tops have dried, harvesting begins.
New planting method involves frequent fertilization... When the first shoots appear, a solution of potassium sulfate (15 g per 10 l of water) and a solution of bird droppings (1:30) are introduced into the soil. Foliar dressing is carried out with fertilizers containing magnesium. After drying the tops, add the earthen mixture. Top dressing contribute to the formation of additional stolons.
Fertilizers are applied before each powder of the bush: organic matter around the stem, mineral fertilizing is carried out along the tops. Good results are obtained by pollination of tops with wood ash. Ash enriches the soil with potassium and prevents the appearance of diseases and pests.
Important! The concentration of fertilizers applied is made two times less than when growing potatoes in the traditional way.
Watering is carried out after the soil layer dries out to a depth of 10-12 cm... 8-10 liters of water are introduced into the pit. When the bush blooms, the volume of liquid is increased to 12-15 liters. Some time after watering, the soil is loosened to remove the soil crust. This contributes to better aeration of the lower soil layers in the pit. In order for the potato bush to retain more strength for the formation of new tubers, some of the buds are removed.
Although the appearance Colorado potato beetle it is unlikely that garlic or calendula is planted near the pit to accurately secure planting. Their scent scares off the beetle.During dusting, onion husks can be added to the soil, thereby preventing the appearance of a wireworm.
Potatoes in the beds
Chinese potato beds are similar to traditional ones, but a close inspection reveals the difference. Gardeners who love to experiment plant several varieties in one garden bed.
Caring for the beds is simple. The main condition is periodic loosening of the soil... The beds do not require constant hilling and weeding. The multi-layer earthen mixture does not require frequent watering. Soil moisture is monitored only during flowering and ovary formation. Feeding with ash protects the underground parts of the plant from decay.
In the trench
If the size of the site allows, you can apply the Chinese method of growing crops in trenches. This requires:
- Dig a trench 50 cm deep. Place the nutrient mixture on the bottom.
- Make holes at the bottom with a depth of 25-30 cm and a diameter of 55-60 cm. Leave the distance between the holes 25-28 cm.
- Pour 20 g of ash and 10 g of superphosphate into each well.
- Put 1-2 prepared tubers in a moistened earthen mixture, cover with a layer of the mixture, water.
- Fill the mounds formed at the bottom of the trench with straw mulch. The straw retains moisture, preventing the soil from drying out, and the roots have good air access.
- When young shoots reach 15 cm, they need to be sprinkled with a nutrient mixture, ash, fertilizers, then mulch.
- The procedure for adding the mixture is performed as the tops grow, each time reducing the number of dressings until the stems grow 15-18 cm above the soil level.
Farmers in China use a method of planting a crop, in which it is possible to get two crops from each garden bed. For this, two varieties are planted in parallel at different depths. The first crop is harvested in mid-June, the second at the end of July.
To obtain a double harvest, you need:
- Dig a trench 1.3-1.5 m wide and 40 cm deep.
- Lay a layer of rotted manure 10-15 cm thick at the bottom.
- Cover the manure with a layer of earth.
- Make two parallel furrows above the manure layer at a distance of 60 cm.
- Place humus and wood ash in the furrows.
- Put tubers of an early maturing variety in the furrow and sprinkle with an earthen mixture with a layer of 5-6 cm. With a thicker layer of soil, seedlings will appear a few days later.
- As soon as the seedlings reach 15-18 cm, carry out hilling.
- 2-3 days after hilling along the edges and between the two previous beds, make three more beds.
- Fill them with humus and ash and lay medium late variety tubers.
During the collection of potatoes in the first beds, hilling of medium late potatoes is carried out... Thus, two crops are obtained on one area.
Under the film in the greenhouse
In the northern regions of China, the soil in greenhouses for planting crops is prepared at the end of winter.... Burning coals are laid in trenches, warming up the ground for planting early-maturing varieties. In this case, the temperature of the soil is controlled. Its optimal indicator for the formation of new tubers is + 18… + 20 ° C.
Planting and leaving
When the soil in the trench warms up to + 18 ° C, the prepared tubers are planted... A layer of covering material (lutrasil, agrospana) is laid over the beds to retain moisture and heat. The material prevents weeds from growing. Fasteners are installed above the trench, on which the film is pulled. It serves as a shelter from the cold and scorching sun rays. With the onset of heat, the film is removed.
The transformation of the Chinese method into a Russian way
Following the rules of the Chinese method, Russian gardeners have mastered planting potatoes in large plastic bags, bags of sugar, cereals. For stability, the bags can be dug shallow into the ground, placed near the support, the walls of the building, along the paths on the site. Containers with tubers should be in a well-lit place.
It is better if the bags stand on a surface that can absorb excess moistureflowing down from plantings after watering. The method is good because the crop does not need to be dug up.You just need to cut open the bag and collect the tubers.
Let's go back to how the Chinese plant and harvest potatoes. When the potato tops are completely dry, harvesting begins.
With the help of a shovel, they carefully rake the ground, removing layer by layer to the bottom of the hole or trench, while selecting new tubers.
When applying the Chinese method, high yields are achieved if the variety is correctly selected. In the process of growing, you must strictly adhere to the recommended rules of agricultural technology, and then the new method will allow you to get even a double harvest from a small plot.