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The potato is in Central Europe to the daily diet and is therefore one of the most important staple food. It is also known to many people as the earth apple or the berry. It belongs, similar to peppers and tomatoes to the family Solanaceae. It thrives particularly well in temperate countries.
Originally, English sailors and Spanish conquerors brought the potato to Europe. Mistakenly, the plant was initially thought to be only a weed, and was therefore only used to beautify gardens. Later, around the 17th century, the aristocratic classes first discovered the potato as food. However, their triumphal procession in Europe began during the Thirty Years' War, when there was little food.
Cultivation and cultivation
Most potato varieties are perennial plants. Due to the change management of the fields, however, it is applied only once a year. The main component of the potato plant develops underground. The so-called branch tuber plays thereby the supporting role. It is these subterranean parts that are edible for humans. Everything the potato produces over the earth has a toxic effect because the parts form the toxic alkaloid solanine.
Contrary to all conventional opinions, the potato is a very care-intensive plant. Due to their enormous need for light, I have to be constantly cleared of weeds. The plant also needs a lot of space and more time to be able to produce enough greenweed above ground. Through the use of photosynthesis, the potato receives important nutrients, which it immediately stores in the underlying fruit.
Before sowing, it is important to be careful not to grow seed potatoes and tomatoes too close to each other. Thus, the transmission of plant diseases should be avoided.
Potatoes are spread with the help of so-called seed potatoes. It should be noted that the corresponding potato must contain at least one eye. These must be covered with sufficient soil, about 10 centimeters, to ensure optimal growth. The page containing the most eyes will be placed upwards. The optimum growth temperature for seed potatoes is 15 to 18 degrees Celsius. Potatoes also need a lot of light, even if they still thrive underground in the first growth phase. They should therefore be planted in preferably sunny places. Potato plants are always grown in rows, while a minimum distance of 30 centimeters should be maintained. Only then can it be guaranteed that the plant has enough space for the growth of the underground fruits.
Potatoes can be brought forward from the beginning of March in the greenhouse. The optimal planting time for the ever-popular new potatoes is mid-April. All other varieties should come in late April to about mid-May in the earth. The harvest time for new potatoes is when the first green of the above-ground part of the plant is already in bloom. For all other potato varieties, the rule of thumb is that they will not be harvested until the plant's green has yellowed. Depending on the sowing, this may be the case from the end of July to the end of October. It is important to remember that under no circumstances should potatoes be exposed to frost or cold. This applies to the growth time as well as for the subsequent storage. Potatoes are sensitive to too low temperatures and then taste very sweetish.
After that, when the first tender shoots have formed above ground, you should loosen and pile up the soil around the plant regularly. Care must be taken that the potato plant is not damaged. The regular accumulation of the earth ensures that not a single tuber from the earth penetrates and is therefore inedible. Even with water consumption, the potato is not without. Since it consists largely of starch and water, it must also absorb a lot of moisture during its growth phase. Therefore, it is important to irrigate the plants manually in case of dryness. The plant often thanks for it with a high yield of trained fruits.
When it comes to fertilising, potato plants are strong and grateful consumers. They know here a very high fertilizer requirement. It is therefore recommended to prepare the bed for sowing potatoes as early as autumn. It can be put on compost and stone meal. Often these two substances are already sufficient to prepare the soil for the potato.
Also on the subject of diseases, it has the potato in itself. The biggest danger comes from the so-called tuber or late blight. This is commonly referred to as potato powdery mildew, as it is recognizable by the milky discoloration of the plant green. This disease is a fungus that often infests the entire plant in a short amount of time. The same is true of potato scab, another type of fungal infection.This infestation is less destructive. In the area of pests, the North American Colorado beetle represents the greatest threat to the plant. For this reason, one should regularly control its potato plants for infestation and remove the animals from the plant or treat the foliage with algae lime. Other pests can be various flea and louse species and ants.
Potatoes should always be stored in dark, dry and cool places. Optimal for this are dark and dry basement rooms. Optimally, they are only exposed to green light, this inhibits the expulsion of eye germs and the potatoes are longer lasting.
Due to its very high starch content, the potato often forms the raw material for various products, such as vodka. Also in the field of cattle feed preparation it finds use.
Varieties and care tips
There are many varieties of potatoes, all of which have different requirements. So if you have decided to grow the potatoes in your own garden in the future and now want to set off to buy seed potatoes (or seed potatoes), it is good to know the exact location and nature of the soil.
Incidentally, the difference between normal potatoes and seed potatoes is their treatment. Since seed potatoes are only potatoes for setting and not for consumption, they are stored directly after harvest so that they do not expel. As a result, they develop a higher germination capacity, which then leads to the desired propagation when setting. A seed potato is almost the seed for table potatoes. Seed potatoes are controlled very strictly.
In addition, one should have an idea of when to harvest the potatoes. Here a distinction is made between new potatoes, very early, medium early, late medium, late, and late potatoes. In addition, it is also important for what the seed potatoes are needed. There are table potatoes and baked potatoes, which are processed, for example, in the production of animal feed. And last but not least, one's own taste preferences, such as firm or floury, play a role in the decision.
Now that the right seed potatoes have been purchased, it is recommended that they be driven in a bright, about 10 to 15 degrees, bright room to stimulate the growth readiness. Seed potatoes driven in March can often be harvested as early as June.
When is the best time to put the seed potato in the ground, can not be answered clearly. Many facts play a role in this. For example, the climate, the nature of the soil and its preparation, and whether the seed potatoes were pre-germinated or not. The core period is generally April and May, depending on weather conditions and variety. It is best if you give yourself a plant recommendation when buying.
Potatoes need a breathable, water- and heat-permeable soil. This must consist of fine crumbs without any stones. It is best to add sand to the soil so that it meets all of the above requirements. Potatoes need a lot of space. They should therefore be grown on a continuous surface.