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Potatoes are one of the most common foods on our table. Growing potatoes does not require much maintenance. Hilling is a technique in agriculture and horticulture, which consists in rolling moist, finely lumpy soil to the lower parts of the plants while loosening it. All potatoes need is weed control, pest control and hilling.
You can sprinkle potatoes in different ways. It all depends on the capabilities of the owners. Here are the main ones: If a person himself will huddle potatoes, without anyone's help, then in this case he will need a hoe or a shovel. One of the most important care procedures is hilling. The need for hilling potatoes is pushing for new, more automated methods for easy handling without hassle and hassle.
What is potato hilling?
Hilling is scooping up a small amount of slightly damp soil to the bottom of the bush.
Why is the hilling process important? In most root crops, the root system grows downward, while in potatoes it develops sideways and even upward. Young tubers may end up on the surface as they grow.
Correctly and on time spud potatoes give a higher yield... After hilling, new ovaries are formed inside the poured mound.
What is the correct way to do it manually?
You need to huddle wet soil. The time after the rain is the most favorable. If the weather is dry, the soil should be watered first. Hilling early in the morning no later than 10 o'clock or in the evening after 6. In the hot afternoon, the warm earth poured in damages the shoots and prevents their development.
Hilling is carried out most often with a hoe. The foot can be triangular or trapezoidal. The edges of the boot are rounded or sharp.
Read about what other tools are used for hilling here, and in this article we talked about hilling with a walk-behind tractor.
Step-by-step instructions for traditional potato hilling:
- We dig in the space between the furrows with a flat cutter.
- We huddle the beds in one direction. Moving along the beds, we scoop up the earth from the aisle to one side of the bushes.
- We huddle the beds on the other side, moving in the opposite direction. We rake up the earth from the aisle to the other side of the bushes.
- With a boot we scoop up the soil to the bush from all sides. The result is a mound from which a "bouquet" of stems sticks out. The mound should be wide and high.
- At the end of each row, we fill in a small dam, which will retain water after rains.
Fan hilling is carried out when the stems have already reached a height of 15-20 cm. A boot is not suitable for this method. Better to use a shovel.
Step-by-step instructions for rolling potatoes:
- With our hands we push the stems apart and spread them on the ground in different directions in a fan.
- We take the earth from the aisle with a shovel and fill it right into the center of the bush.
- We distribute the ground so that only the tops of the stems with leaves remain at the top.
- From above we throw the weeded out weeds from the aisle. They will serve as additional fertilizing and retain moisture in the soil.
There is no need to be afraid for the safety of the stems. The very next day they will direct their growth up. After 10-14 days, the bush will noticeably grow to the sides and up. New shoots will appear on it. With this method of hilling, the potato yield becomes higher due to the appearance of new tubers.
According to Zamyatkin
This method is used by the well-known Siberian potato grower I.P. Zamyatkin, a practitioner of organic farming. He believed that traditional hilling creates competition within the bush for light and water and reduces the yield.
Zamyatkin recommends planting tubers in a checkerboard pattern at a distance of 20-40 cm... As soon as the tops grow up to 15-17 cm, we move the stems apart and fall asleep in the middle of "organic matter" - last year's foliage, grass, straw, leaving only the tops of the stems open.
The bush turns out well leafy, vase-shaped and grows very quickly. This method gives a yield increase of 1.5-2 times. Under such a "fur coat" the earth breathes and under it is always humid, even in drought. The Colorado potato beetle and other pests avoid mulched beds.
- First hilling... The reference point for the first hilling is the height of the shoots. As soon as the sprouts have reached a height of 5-8 centimeters, the first hilling can be carried out. If there is a danger of frost, then the shoots are completely covered with earth.
- Second hilling spend 15-18 days after the first. Shoots should be 15-20 cm high. This is done before flowering. The second hilling is a more laborious process.
It is necessary not only to sprinkle the bushes, but to make sure that the height of the embankment is 15-18 cm high. Otherwise, the tubers will begin to bulge out of the ground and accumulate solanine under the influence of the sun.
- Third hilling carried out after the shoots grow to 25-30 cm. The comb is poured already 17-20 cm high.
- If the bushes grow very much, which happens on wet soil and the tubers begin to climb out of the ground, it makes sense to spend fourth hilling.
Without hilling, the potato yield will be 20-25% less. When loosening, moisture is retained in the soil, which has a beneficial effect on the growth of potatoes. The looser the soil, the more crumbly the potatoes will be. Young shoots, once underground, are forced to grow in order to get to the surface. There are more leaves. With a large number of leaves, photosynthesis is enhanced. Soluble glucose accumulates in the leaves, which enters the tubers and is deposited there in the form of starch (read more about the benefits of hilling here).
We offer you to watch a video on how to properly spud potatoes: