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What is potatoes under mulch, what materials are needed for such planting and how to carry it out?

What is potatoes under mulch, what materials are needed for such planting and how to carry it out?


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In the forest or in the meadow, bare ground can rarely be found; it is covered with a layer of foliage and old, last year's grass. So nature protects the soil from drying out in summer, and young sprouts from spring frosts and all sorts of pests.

As soon as people figured out this issue, they began to apply the technology of nature in their plots, thereby increasing the yield of some crops. Mulching potatoes significantly reduces labor costs - the potatoes do not need to be weeded and raked, but these are far from all the advantages of this technology.

What is mulching and why is it needed for potatoes?

Reference! Mulching is a technique in agricultural technology that creates a protective layer on the soil surface using various materials. Mulch can be organic or artificial.

The result of this landing is:

  1. protection of young potatoes from spring frosts (you can learn how to get a rich harvest of early potatoes here);
  2. even distribution of moisture;
  3. hindering the growth of weeds;
  4. retention and distribution of heat under the mulched surface, and as a result, plants grow and develop much faster.

It should be noted that in the rainy season, mulch prevents the washing out of the fertile layer from the site... Pests rarely live in it.

Potatoes respond very well to mulching, especially if the soil in the region is heavy and loamy. On sandy soils, mulch is indispensable, as it helps to retain moisture, while saturating the poor soil with the necessary fertilizers.

The following materials are used as mulch for potatoes:

  • straw or grass cuttings;
  • peat;
  • humus;
  • sawdust;
  • agrofiber or dark film;
  • last year's foliage;
  • different types of bark;
  • cardboard and so on.

Each of these technologies has not only advantages, but also individual disadvantages.

Objectives of the procedure

Thanks to mulching, you can achieve positive results in growing potatoes.:

  1. Reducing moisture loss - this is especially true if it is impossible to install an irrigation system on the site. A 5 cm layer of mulch can protect the soil from drying out.
  2. The tubers under the mulch layer will not overheat in the heat, as it reflects sunlight.
  3. Protection of plants from hypothermia.
  4. After prolonged rains, a dry crust will not appear on the ground, and therefore the tubers will be constantly supplied with oxygen.
  5. Mulch inhibits the growth of weeds, this is important for gardeners who rarely visit their plots with potatoes.

There are a lot of ways to mulch a plot, so that every gardener can choose mulch within their means.

Planting guide

The soil, before laying mulch on it, must be carefully prepared.:

  1. weeds are removed from the entire area;
  2. moisten the earth well;
  3. loosen, which should be at least 5 cm deep;
  4. apply mineral and organic fertilizers;
  5. leave the top layer for a few days for airing, so that after mulching the soil does not compact.

Read about new, unconventional methods of planting potatoes in a personal plot in this material.

The ways

Straw

Mulching potatoes with straw is one of the most common methods, especially among farmers, since there is a sufficient amount of this material in the fields in the fall. Even lawn grass can be used as mulch. It is not necessary to use fresh material, you can not ripen the straw from the last season... The straw can be from any crop.

The straw or grass cuttings must be dry. Freshly cut greenery will not work, it does not allow air to pass through, in addition, fungal diseases will develop under it.

Step-by-step instruction:

  1. Loosen the soil with a cultivator and cut furrows at a distance of 60 cm from each other.
  2. Place tubers in the furrows in 30 cm increments.
  3. Cover the field with a layer of mulch - 20 cm.
  4. As soon as the sprouts appear 6 cm high, cover them with a second layer of 15 cm straw.

The straw will remain on the site until the fall... In this situation, additional processing is not required - weeding and hilling. Foliar feeding can be done if desired. To prevent the layer of straw from being blown away by the wind, sprinkle it a little with earth.

Film

Mulching potatoes with a film is a good way to protect plants and soil from spring frosts in cold regions of the country, since under the film the ground temperature will be 2-3 degrees higher.

Step by step instructions for the whole process:

  1. The previously prepared soil is covered with a black film at the end of April, when weeds begin to grow. The edges of the material are sprinkled with earth or equipped with a special frame so that it does not blow off.
  2. As soon as it is time to plant the tubers on the film, make cuts in a criss-cross pattern, in the places where the seeds were laid.
  3. Plant potatoes and water each hole.

There are two ways to mulch with film:

  • first - it remains on the ground until harvest;
  • second - it is removed after the first shoots appear.

Peat

Peat is an excellent material for mulching, as it has properties not only to retain moisture, but also to saturate the soil with useful microelements.

Attention! Not all types of peat are suitable for this process, for example, if the material is fresh or poorly dried, it can have a detrimental effect on plants.

Step-by-step instruction:

  1. Sprinkle the prepared soil with a layer of peat no more than 2-3 cm and slap it slightly.
  2. The furrows are cut into which the potatoes are planted.
  3. The second layer of material is poured - 5 cm, in this case it is not necessary to compact it.

The advantages of this method are that no need to carry out seasonal feeding, weeding and hilling of potatoes.

Humus

Mulching with humus - this type of material can be used without fear of harming the plants.

Step-by-step instruction:

  1. Prepare the soil in the usual way.
  2. Plant potatoes, if the weather is dry, then the site should be moistened.
  3. Lay a layer of humus on top of 10-15 cm.

The only drawback of this method is that you need a lot of humus. Humus is a storehouse of trace elements and vitamins for plants., it perfectly retains moisture, inhibits the growth of weeds, while suppressing most of the pathogenic bacteria. Compost is suitable for this type of mulching.

Do not forget that humus is saturated with nitrogen, and it is better not to use it on oily soils, as there will be a rapid growth of tops. And this, in turn, can interfere with the formation of tubers.

Sawdust

Sawdust mulching is the most common and demanded method of shelter. It is especially often used in the northern regions of the country. Under a warm sawdust shelter, potatoes germinate faster and do not rot, since the sawdust acts as an absorbent.

Step by step instructions for the whole process:

  1. Before mulching the soil with sawdust, it is prepared - weeded and watered.
  2. Next comes the planting of potatoes in the ground.
  3. As soon as a crust forms on the surface of the earth, the aisles are covered with cardboard, and dry sawdust is poured on top with a layer of 5-10 cm.

Thanks to this method, it is not necessary to weed the site, but it is worth remembering that sawdust is not fertilizer and therefore it is strictly necessary to apply fertilizers before planting potatoes.

Important! Do not use fresh sawdust for mulching, they will thicken and begin to grind, thereby not allowing air to flow to the roots of the plant.

Possible mistakes

Let's analyze the most common mistakes gardeners make when mulching:

  • Many gardeners mulch the soil with straw in early spring - this should not be done. The fact is that under a shelter made of straw, the earth warms up much more slowly - it reflects the sun's rays. Therefore, before covering the ground with this material, you need to wait for it to completely warm up.
  • When using the film, you need to remember that it does not allow air and water to pass through, therefore, after sprouting potatoes, it must be removed from the site, or ventilation holes must be made. Another thing is agrofibre, which allows moisture and light to pass through, it can not be harvested until harvesting.
  • Hay or lawn grass, when used as mulch, must be dried well, otherwise the potato will be hit by late blight.
  • Many gardeners think that watering a mulched area is not necessary at all, but this is not the case (read about when to water potatoes here). If it is a dry, hot summer, then it is necessary to irrigate the soil, although not as often as open ground.
  • Peat is a good material for mulching potatoes, but there is a danger of harming plants if the wrong material is used. For mulch, only transitional or lowland peat is taken, it must be dry and loose.
  • Some gardeners cannot withstand the recommended mulch layer.

Mulching is a great way to grow potatoes without the hassle as long as you do it right.

Conclusion

It is worth saying that mulch is a great way to make your life easier during the summer. Protecting the land with various materials helps the gardener get a good harvest with less effort. There is no need for constant weeding of potatoes, hilling and watering.


Watch the video: HGV How to grow Carrots in a pot, start to finish. Organic Carrots in a bucket. (May 2022).