Why plant potatoes in the summer?
Most of the plants we sowed or planted in the spring and it seems that in the middle of summer you can already relax. But experienced gardeners know that July is the time for planting vegetables for a late harvest and the possibility of longer storage. The early summer harvest of potatoes requires a quick harvest, because at an elevated temperature the tubers quickly age. Such potatoes are better to use faster, it is not suitable for long-term storage. But the second crop of potatoes is exactly what is needed for winter and spring consumption.
Benefits of a Second Potato Harvest
Having managed to plant potatoes a second time, you get several winning moments at once:
- The second harvest of potatoes, even with incomplete development of root crops, allows you to grow a much larger crop in one farm.
- Late potatoes are stored longer and will feed you until spring.
- From potato tubers of the second harvest, the highest quality planting material for the next season is obtained.
- Tubers planted in summer and harvested in autumn do not germinate, and their regeneration process is much slower, which allows them to preserve valuable varieties of potatoes longer.
- For the second crop, they choose varieties of potatoes that germinate faster, do not spend time on long-term cultivation of tops, so tubers are stronger.
- Ripening at a low temperature, potatoes are less susceptible to diseases, such as, for example, the stem nematode. The Colorado potato beetle is already cold in September, the peak of its wrecking falls at the beginning of summer.
What is needed to grow a second potato crop
For the possibility of growing a second potato crop, one should take into account one's climatic zone. The most suitable for the summer planting of potatoes are the southern and central regions of the country, where at least 170 frost-free days per year.
For normal maturation of potatoes, the night air temperature is +13 degrees.
To potatoes of the second planting grew faster, it is better to plant them in high warm beds. Warm beds, among other things, help protect potatoes from unexpected night frosts.
To better maintain moisture in the soil, after hilling, the potatoes are covered with a layer of straw. Mulching potatoes planted on hot summer days also protects it from overheating. It is good to use mulch for mulching, which also enriches the soil with nutritious microflora.
To protect potatoes from diseases, and especially from late blight, planting material can be treated with Fitoftorin.
Selection of planting material
Particular attention when planting potatoes in July to obtain a second crop is given to the choice of potato variety and the quality of planting material. Potato varieties that are resistant to disease and with fewer growing days should be selected. In super-ripening varieties, harvesting can begin as early as 60-70 days.
Potato varieties may include:
"Skoroplodny" - a variety of potatoes of winter use, with a long shelf life. Resistant to viral diseases. The ability to grow on any soil.
"Luck" — table grade, suitable for winter storage. High productivity, resistant to late blight. The possibility of ripening in two months with a crop of 120-150 kg per hundred square meters of land. The mass of tubers reaches 400 g. Tolerates any soil. It grows well in the northern and Far Eastern regions.
Cleopatra - an excellent high-yielding potato variety with a short ripening period. After 2.5 months, you can harvest up to 140 kg per one hundredth. Unpretentious in leaving. Suitable for winter storage.
"Souvenir Chernihiv" - medium early variety. Tubers weighing up to 300 g. Very high productivity up to 800 kg per hundred square meters and long shelf life. Rapid tuber growth at mid-maturity Resistant to disease. Great taste.
Here are some Dutch potato varieties suitable for summer planting:
"Fresco" - early ripening variety, resistant to many diseases, hygrophilous. Suitable for cultivation in the northern regions of the country.
Fambo - a potato variety of medium maturity. Tubers weighing up to 140 g, resistant to many diseases, high susceptibility to late blight.
"Agatha" — mid-season variety. Grown throughout the country, is not picky about the soil. Differs in high productivity. The growing season is 80 days, but large tubers can be detected after 60 days. Very good keeping quality.
Planting material for repeated (summer) planting of potatoes can be selected from the tubers of last year's crop, which is most acceptable for areas with a short warm period.
If the duration of warm days allows, you can wait for the summer ripeness of potatoes and sprout the harvested tubers of the new crop.
Where to plant potatoes for the second harvest
Re-planting potatoes in parallel with the ripening of the first crop
The first planting of potatoes, depending on the region in this case, is carried out in April-May. Early ripening crops, such as greens, radishes, early ripening vegetables, are planted on the neighboring square of the site. After harvesting the ripened early vegetables in their place around the end of June and in the middle of July, summer potatoes are planted for the second harvest.
This option is suitable for colder regions, so as not to wait for the ripening of potatoes planted in the spring. In this case, the potatoes are harvested with the onset of the first frost, in September and early October.
Re-planting potatoes in place of the first harvest
By planting very early varieties of potatoes in the spring, by the beginning of July you can already get the first crop. Carefully choosing large potato tubers, the small ones are left in the ground. Dried and yellowed tops are removed, leaving only green with nodules. Sprinkle the ungrown nodules with compost and earth, and then plant potatoes on top for a new crop.
Replanting potatoes between rows of the first crop
If for some reason the first potato has to be planted later than usual, or it is a potato of a late maturity, then when planting it, you need to maintain a distance between rows of about 70 cm.
In this case, for planting summer potatoes you do not have to wait for the ripening of the first crop. And to obtain a second potato crop in the same garden in early July, tubers sprouted in June are planted between rows of growing potatoes.
Features of care when planting a second potato crop
Before planting, the soil is watered so that it is well moistened to a depth of half a meter. On hot summer days, the soil dries quickly and planted potatoes require additional watering.
It is also necessary to take measures to protect young leaves from phytophthora. High temperature and humidity contribute to the rapid development of this fungal disease. By carefully choosing healthy material for planting, observing crop rotation and picking potato varieties that are resistant to late blight, you can avoid it.
If preventive measures did not help, then already at the initial stage of infection, potatoes should be treated with phytophthora with some kind of biofungicide or use folk remedies against phytophthora.
Read more about the methods of controlling late blight in the article on late blight - symptoms, methods of prevention and control.
Conditions for a good summer potato crop:
- Potatoes can be planted on any soil, but without stagnation of water.
- Potato grows best in slightly acidic soil.
- Organic fertilizer from rotted manure or compost is enough to feed potatoes.
- An excess of nitrogen fertilizer contributes to the growth of tops, but reduces the productivity of tubers.
- An additional dose of potassium (25 mg per 1 m2 before or during cultivation) can significantly increase the shelf life of potatoes.
- To prevent soil "fatigue", potatoes are planted in the same place no more than once every 3-4 years.
- Potatoes of the second crop are planted at a greater distance - 40 cm from each other and 70 cm between rows.
Late potatoes of the second harvest in warmer regions are harvested in October or even in early November. Early frosts are not yet strong and will not damage the crop, perhaps only slightly reduce it.
In case of early frosts, potatoes can be protected by covering with a film or fleece fabric.
Dear readers! If you have not had experience planting potatoes in the summer to get a second crop, be sure to try. With proper care, you will receive an additional crop and provide yourself with your potatoes for a whole year.