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Potatoes are the most popular culture among Russian summer residents. Literally everyone is engaged in its cultivation for their own consumption. There are a lot of technologies for getting an early healthy crop, but the method of growing potatoes in bags has appeared relatively recently. This method at first seems absurd and not sucking convenient, but it has won thousands of fans. It is thanks to him that the owners of sites that are not quite “convenient” for growing potatoes have the opportunity to get a good harvest of tubers.
The advantages of the method
The first and most important advantage of growing potatoes in bags is space saving. No row spacing, free space for the convenience of handling planting is not required. Sacks of potato bushes made up anywhere on the plot can play the role of borders along paths, a natural barrier for other plants. Moreover, they can even be moved from place to place!
There are other equally significant advantages:
- weak, compared with the usual planting method, damage to plants by diseases and pests;
- young potato seedlings do not run the risk of getting frozen “on the ground”;
- more active heating of the soil, which contributes to the rapid growth and maturation of tubers;
- lack of need for weeding, cultivation and hilling;
- root crops are protected from the danger of spoilage by pests in the soil, including wireworms and teddy bears;
- in bags, the crop practically does not rot, and the tubers are more even.
An equally important point for summer residents is the possibility of using soil mixtures from a bag to improve the composition of the soil on the site.
How to plant potatoes in bags
Potato Variety Selection
For growing in bags, medium-early and early varieties are ideal, as well as potatoes with medium ripening periods, which have a fairly high resistance to various diseases. They can rightfully include:
- ultra-early variety of German selection "Bellarosa", giving very large and even pink tubers;
- a medium-early variety of the Dutch selection "Shante", giving a crop of yellow root crops 2.5-3 months after planting;
- medium early variety of Ukrainian selection "Slavyanka" ripening 3-3.5 months after planting;
- early ripening variety "Povin", forming full-fledged tubers weighing up to 200 g by mid-July - early August;
- medium early variety of Kiev selection "Svitanok Kiev", which has high commercial qualities and excellent yields in all weather conditions.
Using these varieties for planting in bags, summer residents from the end of May can harvest a tasty and healthy potato.
As with growing potatoes in open ground, it is important to properly prepare the soil mixture with which the bags will be filled. An ideal composition for this crop would be humus soil with the addition of forced and potash fertilizers. In order not to be mistaken with the proportions, you can add a comprehensive dressing for potatoes in the amount of 0.25 cups per bag (about 4 buckets of soil) or in accordance with the instructions on the package. If pure humus is used for planting, taken from a rotted manure or compost heap, the need to introduce mineral substances at the time of planting is completely eliminated.
The most important thing in the preparation of the soil mixture is to ensure its friability and breathability. Before bagging, it is also recommended to sift the soil to remove solid fractions, weed roots and pests (wireworms and bears, for example). This will further increase the chance to get beautiful smooth root crops.
Technology of planting potatoes in bags
As bags with this technology of planting, any bags made of synthetic fibers, for example, from sugar and flour, are suitable. Landing can begin with the onset of steady heat: in late April (for regions with a mild climate) or early May (for Siberia, the Urals, the Non-Chernozem Territory and the Far East).
In general, the landing is the following sequence of actions:
- The bottom of the bag is covered with 20-35 cm of prepared soil in advance, depending on the total height of the future "bed".
- 4-5 potatoes or lobules with sprouted eyes are laid out on the soil surface.
- Planting material is covered with a layer of soil mixture, the thickness of which does not exceed 15 cm.
If necessary, you can water the plants, but not too abundantly. After 8-15 days, the first sprouts should appear. When they rise high enough above the ground surface, it will be necessary to add a new portion of the earth to form additional lateral roots so that only the tops of the shoots remain on the surface. This is done until a third of its total height remains to the edge of the bag.
Note: too high beds from bags should not be done. Their ideal height should be about 60 cm.
Immediately after sowing, place the bags in a suitable place for them. It should be well lit and not covered by air currents. Water flowing from the roofs should not get on the bags, so as not to provoke overmoistening of the soil in them. To avoid this phenomenon, it is important to make small cuts in the bags.
Further, the beds will need only watering, which the potato needs more than planted in the ground. The fact is that such beds dry out faster. On one bed, you need to pour up to 7 liters of water 2 times a week. In hot weather and at the time of flowering, the amount of watering should be increased. When tying tubers, watering can be supplemented with potash fertilizers under the crusts. Loosening and other typical procedures for growing potatoes such beds do not require.
We also offer you to read an article that describes the varietal features of Scarlet potatoes.
Reviews of gardeners
Reviews gardeners who have experienced a method of growing potatoes in bags are mixed. Some post enthusiastic posts on the forums and blogs with photos of the harvest, while others reproach themselves for their time and effort. The secret of this paradox is, in fact, very simple.
This method is suitable only for those summer residents who can devote enough time to caring for garden beds. The fact is that even short-term drying of an earthen coma in them can lead to the death of horses, due to which potato bushes “live”. If gardeners cannot regularly water their experimental plantings, they risk collecting peas instead of full-fledged tubers.
An equally important problem, which summer residents mention in their reviews, is the gradual compaction of the soil in bags, which is why tubers "choke" and stop growing. But she has a simple solution! Experienced gardeners advise placing pieces of hoses or tubes with holes in their walls in a bag and filling them with fine gravel, for example.
The indisputable advantage of growing potatoes in bags, without exception, all the experimenters who used this method, call the convenience of harvesting. To remove the tubers, just turn the bags on their side.
Potatoes in bags: yield check
In general, this method deserves the attention of many summer residents who are desperate to grow a good harvest of tasty and large tubers on their site. It is ideal for owners of small plots that previously had to make a choice between potatoes and fruit trees, because bags can simply be placed in the aisles of the garden. With the invasion of the bear and moles, this method is also the most convenient.