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Without potatoes, the daily menu would be less rich and far less varied. In addition, the hand-grown cultivation of great tubers is simply fun, because the horticultural yardstick is not too high even for beginners. Since only a fraction of the numerous delicious varieties are available in the trade, hobby gardeners like to plant potatoes in order to embark on a culinary journey of discovery through the potato country. A private bed is not mandatory. This is how it works in the garden and on the balcony.
A judicious choice of location sets the course for a lush harvest of plump, all around healthy tubers. Not only the light and temperature conditions play into it. In view of the omnipresent danger of cabbage and brown rot and dreaded potato beetle, the importance of crop rotation should not be underestimated. The cultivation of potatoes in the garden depends on the following location factors:
- Sunny, warm, sheltered location
- Humous, deep soil
- Ideally loamy-sandy
- A slightly acidic pH of 5.5 - 6
Tip: A mixed culture with spinach, nasturtium, parsley and tagetes is an advantage, because these seeds preserve potato plants from attack by herbaceous and brown rot. The dense plant carpet minimizes splashing water in the rain, so that at least this way no fungal spores get to the potato leaves.
The professional cultivation of potatoes already starts in the autumn of the previous year. The soil at the chosen location will be prepared in time to take advantage of the positive influence of a frost spray on the aeration of the soil. The better the soil is supplied with oxygen, the more active is the soil life. If you missed the fall date, the beetle will be processed accordingly in early spring. Here's how to do it:
- Dig the plaice 2 spades deep
- Work in tires, compost and horn shavings
- Let the beetle rest during the winter
By pre-sowing the seed potatoes, you benefit from harvesting up to 3 weeks earlier. Who wants to enjoy the first fresh asparagus of the season delicious new potatoes, will therefore use this little horticultural artifice. However, this measure is not mandatory. This is how it works:
- In the middle / end of March fill a used fruit box with potting soil, compost-sand-mixture or peat-garbage
- Place seed potatoes of an early variety next to each other so that the side with the most buds points upwards
- Set up in a bright location at 12 to 15 degrees Celsius
As long as there is still frost, it is too cold for seed potatoes. Only when the soil has warmed up permanently to about 8 degrees Celsius, the potato cultivation can begin. For pregerminated new potatoes, it is usually from early / mid-April so far. Mid-early varieties plant from mid / end of April, without the seed having to germinate. Late potato varieties should be planted until the end of May. Follow these steps:
- Carefully brush the bed and finely crumble it
- The addition of compost and rock flour serves as an organic fertilizer
- Just draw furrows along a taut planting line with a depth of 15 centimeters
- Embed in the seed potatoes at a planting distance of 30-40 centimeters
- A row spacing of 60 centimeters is considered appropriate
Care in the garden until harvest
The young potato plants have reached a height of 15 centimeters, they are first piled 8 centimeters high.Regular weeding is now mandatory, with no hacking into the ground. In case of dryness, ideally pour the potato juice with collected rainwater. Furthermore, accumulation is recommended, until a small mound has formed. In this way, you loosen up the soil while preserving the tubers from a green color. Organically fertilized with compost, horn shavings, rock flour and cattle dung until flowering. In the case of a planned course, the first tender potatoes can be harvested shortly after flowering. Once the foliage wilts, bring the stained tubers to the light and re-plant the plant. Potatoes with green spots contain harmful solanine and are not yet ready for consumption.
This is how it works on the balcony
A private garden is not essential to grow potatoes. Aromatherapy potatoes flourish wonderfully in the bucket on the balcony according to the following cultivation method.
- Use the largest possible bucket made of dark plastic
- Drill several holes in the ground as a drain
- Create a 10 cm high drainage from gravel or grit
- The substrate is a mix of potting soil and sand, filled in a 15 cm high layer
- Moisten the soil with water from the spray bottle
- On this first layer lay out 4-5 seed potatoes at a distance of 10 centimeters and do not cover with soil
- Place in a sunny, warm and sheltered place on the balcony
Tip: The cultivation of potatoes on the balcony is also possible in air and water permeable rice or jute sack. Start with 30 liters of substrate and at least 1 seed potato and follow the same method as when potato growing in the tub.
- Sieglinde: one of the earliest potato varieties, ideal for the home garden
- Linda: the popular festive summer variety for garden and balcony
- Nicola: mid-early harvest with firm, aromatic flesh
- Granola: one of the best late varieties with excellent shelf life
- Rosara: the red-skinned delicacy, predominantly hard-boiling and early ripening
- Vitelotte: French, blue-violet truffle potato for gourmets
- Blue Anneliese: very rare variety with blue flesh, firm and medium early
- Heiderot: new, hard-boiling potato for experimenting hobby gardeners
- La Bonnotte: the legendary mini potato from Franconia with marron-like taste
At least one bed in the vegetable garden is reserved for enthusiastic hobby gardeners for the cultivation of potatoes. This is fun and brings variety to the local menu, because even the planting of extraordinary varieties is quite easy. Choose a sunny bed as a location, where there were no potatoes or other nightshades in the 3 years before. Ideally, new potatoes may germinate in the house, so that the first harvest can be started from June. Moreover, regular accumulation, watering and organic fertilization fulfill all the fundamental requirements for vital growth. By the way, a private garden is not essential. In the bucket or plant bag, you can plant potatoes on the balcony. If all conditions are right, one kilo of seed potatoes will provide a lush harvest of up to 20 kilograms of the great tubers.