Features of growing potatoes in boxes
Growing potatoes in a box is one of the best alternatives to the traditional method of cultivating the crop. This technology makes it possible to obtain high potato yields with minimal free space. In addition, using this method, you can establish an uninterrupted system of fruit bearing crops for a long time. From the article you will learn how to grow potatoes in boxes correctly, and what you need to successfully apply this method.
Features and principle of growing potatoes in boxes
Potatoes are a traditional crop for both the temperate and southern climatic zones. It bears fruit well in almost any soil, and is also undemanding to the microclimate and conditions of detention.
This contributed to the fact that this plant became one of the most grown in the world, however, not all summer residents are able to collect really rich crops of high quality on the site.
The main reason for the low potato yield is often errors in care, including in the process of cultivating the beds. As you know, for safe fruiting, the plant requires a fairly dense layer of soil in the near-stem circle.
To eliminate this problem, the method of growing potatoes in boxes is used. Each bush is cultivated in a separate space - a box, the walls of which are the boundary of the habitat of plants. It can be either a separate tank with a bottom and side walls, or a general structure without a bottom, divided into cells.
Thanks to this, favorable conditions are created so that each bush forms a powerful root system, on which its productivity depends.
Did you know? Based on potatoes, one of the most popular toys in the world was created. This is the so-called Mr. Potato Head, which is a plastic tuber with all kinds of accessories (eyes, ears, hands, boots, cap, tongue, mustache, etc.).
Thus, the system makes it possible to solve several complex problems at once when growing a crop:
- simplifies the general agrotechnics of growing plants;
- makes it possible to get a bag of potatoes per 1 square meter;
- provides long-term fruiting without rapid degeneration of the variety.
Advantages and disadvantages of the method
- The main advantages of the method of growing potatoes in boxes:
- high productivity;
- space saving;
- minimization of labor costs;
- simplified harvesting;
- the possibility of using both in the natural environment (including when cultivating vegetables according to the Mitlider method), and in greenhouses and other closed conditions.
- The main disadvantages of the technology:
- requires additional costs for the manufacture or purchase of boxes;
- needs only specially prepared, fertile substrates (soil from the beds will not give the desired result);
- plants in boxes require close attention and constant monitoring of substrate moisture;
- containers can be a favorable environment for development in the area of slugs.
The main rule for obtaining a high yield when cultivating potatoes in boxes is careful planning of the whole process. It is necessary to prepare well not only the place for planting and capacity, but also the soil, as well as planting material.
The cultivated variety must be resistant not only to adverse environmental factors, but also to sharp changes in conditions.
Selection of planting material
To reproduce potatoes in boxes, you need to acquire high-quality planting material. The yield of such plants should be at least 40 t / ha.
- Blue eye.
Such planting material must be:
- elastic to the touch;
- without any putrefactive and other lesions;
- holistic and intact;
- uniform color;
- with a diameter of about 5 cm.
Important! Greened tubers do not need to be rejected, since during the growth, the toxins accumulated in them naturally transform into safe substances.
To cultivate potatoes in this way, you will need a standard set of garden tools.
- bayonet shovel;
- garden watering can.
You will need to get the most important thing - boxes. Any capacity made of plastic, wood, glass or metal can fulfill their role. The main condition of such a box is the absence of toxicity, as well as a size of at least 0.125 m³.
You can make a container for growing potatoes yourself.
- Prepare 4 wooden pegs about 50 cm long and 20 wooden boards 50 × 10 cm in size.
- Connect the pegs together with wooden boards, so that a stable frame is formed.
- From dense plywood or other wooden materials, create the bottom of the container and firmly fix it to the base.
Soil and fertilizer
As mentioned above, ordinary land from the plot is not suitable for planting potatoes in crates. It is not able to fully provide plants with nutrients, in addition, natural substrates with this application are not capable of self-aeration, which threatens plants with oxygen deficiency.
That is why potatoes are grown in closed conditions only on light, but at the same time nutritious mixtures.
Such substrates do not need additional feeding. When preparing them, a complex combination of organic substances and minerals necessary for potatoes, which are necessary throughout the growing season, is laid.
Peat can be replaced with a simpler mixture, for this you should mix turf ground, humus or compost in equal parts. For 10 kg of such soil add a glass of crushed wood ash. At the same time, it must be remembered that the land for cooking should not be taken from the place of the previous potato planting.
Such soils contain all kinds of toxins, pest larvae and pathogens of culture infections, which significantly reduces the effectiveness of the method.
Optimal conditions for growing
To obtain high-quality tubers by this method, the standard conditions used in cultivating the culture are required. The plants grow and develop best at a temperature of +15 ... + 25 ° С. In this case, not only the rapid growth of the aerial part is achieved, but also the activation of the growth of tubers.
Potatoes are quite picky about moisture. At the beginning of their development, young plants quench their thirst thanks to the mother tuber, but after reaching the stage of budding, the beds require regular watering. High yields are achieved only by maintaining optimal humidity in the range of 70–80%.
However, in the southern regions, plantations are slightly shaded, since intense sunlight in combination with high temperature can cause inhibition of plant growth.
Important! For planting potatoes in boxes, it is best to use seedlings (previously sprouted tubers). It not only takes root faster, but also allows you to harvest a few weeks earlier.
Step-by-step instructions for growing potatoes in boxes
The general method of cultivating potatoes in boxes almost completely coincides with the traditional methods of growing crops. However, this method has many specific subtleties, on which its final effectiveness and overall success may depend.
To plant potatoes in boxes, you must perform the following steps:
- Set the boxes in place of the intended bed. Place a brick at each corner of the structure so that a small, well-ventilated foundation is created.
- Place a blank paper on the bottom of each box, on top of which pour a mixture of equal parts of humus and expanded clay about 5–10 cm thick.
- Put previously grown tubers in the boxes, and then fill them with a layer of specially prepared soil (5-6 cm).
- Once the sprout reaches a height of 10 cm, cover it with a new layer of soil. This procedure is carried out until the plants enter the budding phase, after which the plants stop falling asleep.
Further potato care
It is not difficult to take care of potatoes in boxes, such plants require standard care measures, which include: timely watering, top dressing and protection from pests. The culture is watered every 7–10 days, the procedure is carried out in such a way as to completely wet the substrate, up to the lower horizons, pouring about 5–10 liters of water into each tank.
The procedure is carried out in the early morning or evening, in order to avoid excessive evaporation of moisture.
Every 7-10 days, plants require weeding and cultivation, carry out these procedures carefully, to a depth of not more than 5 cm. To improve the quality of the fruit, it is recommended to plant the plants, for this use a 2% solution of superphosphate, which is applied on the sheet. Between each dressing, a break of at least 30 days must be observed.
If potatoes on the site are grown in monoculture for several years, the plantings must be treated against specific pests. To do this, use drugs "Aktara", "Confidor" or "Prestige" (optional).
Did you know? Potato was introduced into the culture about 9 thousand years ago in the territory of modern Bolivia. In addition to eating, the local Indians worshiped the plant, considering it an animate being.
Preventive treatment of the bushes is performed no earlier than 30 days after planting the tubers, and at least 2-3 times per season.
Under optimal conditions, the potato crop in the crates ripens 3-4 months after the tubers are planted in the soil. About 1–2 weeks before the expected harvest date, the tops are cut from potatoes. This measure contributes to better ripening of tubers, so that a dense peel appears on them. Before harvesting, be sure to dismantle the boxes, which simplifies the removal of tubers at times.
The technology of growing potatoes in boxes is not only simple, but also quite effective. With its help, you can not only increase crop productivity, but also affect the quality and taste of tubers. However, in order to grow a really high-quality potato, planting boxes need to be provided with daily care and attention.