On the use of green manure in growing potatoes

On the use of green manure in growing potatoes

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Response to the article by experienced gardener S. M. Korolkova "Preparing the soil for potatoes"

Any person with a normal education, accidentally hitting 6 acres of a horticultural plot, rummages through the mountains of Soviet literature, studying the basics of horticultural art, while constantly experimenting and constantly applying lighter and simpler methods of cultivating the land, preparing beds, sowing seeds, caring for plants. He also reads books by leading organic gardeners in England and America.

I, as well as S.M. Korolkova, not a slave to her backyard, but I love NOT (scientific organization of labor), when quantity and quality, with proper aesthetics, is achieved with minimal labor and real costs (article by N. Aleksandrova in the same issue "The prize worked all summer" - continuous NOT - from planning a vegetable garden and an assortment of crops to operating the prize itself). And, having the experience of 10 years of work on a plot of 6 acres, I believe that many statements of S.M. Korolkova require substantial clarification.

Soil preparation

Having dug up the potatoes, I also would not have dug up the soil if I had soil on the site, like Korolkova's: deeply humified, real black soil (I saw in the TV show "Advice to Gardeners" how S. Korolkova stuck into such soil (dream soil) twig stalk currants.

But since the soil under the potatoes is worse than in the beds, and much worse than in the greenhouses, I also dig it up because:

- when harvesting potatoes together, you involuntarily trample part of the soil (and quite significantly);
- when re-digging, you select all the potatoes that were accidentally left behind. This should be done not out of greed, but to eliminate foci. wireworm wintering - enemy number 2 potatoes. Yes, and the wireworm itself, when you re-dig it, you find and destroy twice as much. At the same time, you remove the rhizomes of weeds that were missed when digging potatoes.
- v (if, fortunately, you have the opportunity to get it) it is better to do it for the autumn digging. Lime (dolomite) for soil deoxidation - too.

I am also for the health of the soil I use green manure - winter rye. And for its sowing, it is necessary to perform a number of agrochemical techniques:
- make at least some fertilizer, otherwise the winter rye will take out more nutrients from the soil than it will later give.
- it is better to put the seeds into the soil: they will germinate faster, the "friends of the garden" will peck less.

Therefore, I do this: I dig with a shovel (you can use a mechanical cultivator) an area from under the potatoes about three meters wide (arm length + rake handle length). I select the roots of the weeds and destroy the wireworm that comes across. I scatter fertilizers (dolomite, ammophos). Standing on the undugged part of the site, I level the dug part with a rake, and then scatter the seeds of winter rye. After that, I close the seeds with a rake (I level the surface to an evenness acceptable to the eyes). Then I repeat the operation until the entire area from under the potatoes is completely digged.

As a result, after a week the entire, almost perfectly flat, area is covered with a dense emerald-green carpet, almost like an English lawn. And since it is often a good autumn almost before early November, then this type of site against the background of yellow foliage of the forest, garden is a real delight and a source of good mood, compensation for not being too lazy to dig up the site, not to mention the above benefits.

When spring comes

I, too, am in no hurry to dig up the site, and by mid-May, winter rye grows 50-70 cm high, forming lumps of roots with a fist. It is problematic to use (as S. Korolkova suggests) a manual cultivator without spending a lot of time and, most importantly, effort.

Then she says: "When the potatoes begin to sprout - take a rake in your hands and slightly loosen the soil between the rows, then ..." I will continue: you will pull out the roots of winter rye (with a fist the size) from the ground with your rake teeth. (Moreover, in the rows it is also necessary, because with a distance of 25 cm between the shoots of potatoes, there will also be a lot of weeds.)

And this must be done very slowly and carefully so that these lumps, which have stuck in the teeth of the rake, do not damage the sprouts of the potatoes. Believe me, you will not get any pleasure from the work itself, or from the type of site after this operation.

Moreover, the problem of the roots of winter rye, which remained on the surface and did not rot, will remain during the hilling of potatoes.

Having fucked up someone else's, you have to offer your own. My method is called "under the rake" or in the furrow. On the day of planting potatoes, measuring 75 cm from the edge of the plot, I use a shovel to cut the stems of winter rye, the longest ruble (already on the ground) into even smaller pieces. Then I dig it with a shovel (you can use a mechanical cultivator) onto the bayonet of the shovel, trying to close up the lumps of winter rye roots deeper. After the autumn digging, it’s not so hard.

Then I dig a furrow 2/3 deep of a shovel bayonet along the entire length. With a rake, I throw into it clods of winter rye roots, which turned out to be on the surface, mixed with the earth. It turns out a loose bedding on which I put seed potatoes, I spray a tablespoon of ash from above. Then, with a rake, breaking all large clods of earth, I cover the potatoes with fluffy earth. If again lumps of winter rye roots come across, then I throw them between the potatoes. Finally, I level the entire strip of 70 cm under the general level.

And so the whole site as far as time and effort. If he could not do everything, then winter rye for seeds will grow in the remaining space.

A neighbor plants potatoes under a shovel. When there is time, he mows winter rye. Digs up the entire area with a shovel and rakes it up. All the stems, roots of winter rye, which were at the top, are raked with a rake and transferred to compost heap... Then his wife, when she has time, digs holes with a scoop (along the cord) and plants potatoes.

Separate objection to expediency planting beans around the potato. First, some articles suggest that beans are detrimental to potato yields.

Secondly, having planted the beans to a depth of 6-8 cm (the optimal planting depth for potatoes is usually 8-10 cm, and for some it is even more), we just bury 1/3 of the beans in the ground at once, because they will not sprout from that depth.

Third, as soon as potato tops and weeds appear, and the bean sprouts have not yet appeared, you will loosen the soil with a rake and destroy (break off) another 1/3 of the beans.

Fourth, with the first and second hilling, you will add beans and potatoes each time. Potatoes are good, but beans?

Then the tops of the potato will close, blocking all the light from the surviving beans. Further - even worse, tk. beans are a favorite aphid habitat, and this is an additional source of attention and subtraction of time from "... admiring the delights of the surrounding nature."

Fucking someone else's, I offer my own. I plant beans around the perimeter (every 5 cm) of the entire potato patch. Potato processing does not interfere with the growth of the beans. The beans are an excellent approach, you can water, feed, spray against aphids, easy to get and enjoy the harvest, collect seeds. And they look aesthetically pleasing. And most importantly, the phrases "beans will be a good nitrogen fertilization and at the same time they will be able to protect your site from moles" is nothing more than an unsubstantiated phrase wandering from one publication to another.

Moles are insectivorous animals that feed on worms, beetle larvae, etc., and are indifferent to plant roots, including potatoes. Moreover, with a large lunge of beans when sowing around a potato, with the above-described cataclysms, there is always a passage for them. If S.M. Korolkova confuses moles with water rats, the latter can really spoil the planting of potatoes, but the beans are powerless against them.

Now about nitrogen feeding with beans. Bean roots do produce nitrogen, but only for themselves, and not around themselves in a 10 cm radius (where the potato roots will be). If potatoes like thistle, could penetrate with its roots into the roots of beans, then - yes. But in life, such properties are not observed for potatoes. Therefore, the nitrogen from the beans can pass into the soil only after the beans (roots, stems, leaves) fall into the ground and rot (Moreover, from 1 m² of beans - 15-20 g of nitrogen. And from two bobbins around a potato ?!). And this will be a nitrogen fertilization obviously not for the potatoes that were planted by S. Korolkova together with the beans.

S. Petrov, amateur gardener

Sideral crops - what is it?

Siderata are plants specially grown to produce green mass for use as fertilizer. In autumn or spring, the resulting green mass is plowed into the soil and it enriches the soil with organic matter and nitrogen.

When sowing green manures, the site is used more fully and more intensively - the long and warm autumn of recent years gives enough heat and moisture to form a powerful green mass even with the September sowing of green manure plants.

For sowing, we most often use monocultures of rye, oats, wiki, oil radish... They form excellent green mass and grow to frost. However, modern developments in the field of green manure have made it possible to obtain significantly more green mass. Balanced, selected depending on the site conditions, green manure mixtures from the company Agro-Soyuz allow you to more effectively adapt to the conditions of a particular autumn, better retain moisture in the soil and loosen it with roots. The composition of the green manure mixtures from the Agrosoyuz company includes oats, barley, rye, millet, triticale, raspberry clover, buckwheat, rapeseed, phacelia, common peas, soybeans, lentils, yellow and white mustard, flax, lupine, safflower, vetch, oil radish and Daikon, fodder beets, Sudanese sorghum, yellow sweet clover, crotalaria, turnips.

Complementary crops of different groups effectively drown out weeds, preventing them from seeding, and enrich the soil with nitrogen fixed from the air.

The best siderates for potatoes

Good potato yields can be obtained with optimal amounts of nutrients in the soil and the use of high quality seed material (elite).

We all know that complex mineral fertilizers are a product of the industry of chemical plants. Yes, they help plants grow, but such compounds are not considered natural.

Nowadays, every gardener on his site tries to get environmentally friendly vegetables that are good for human health. To increase productivity, organic matter (humus, compost) and green manure for potatoes (green fertilizers) are used.

The use of green fertilizers when growing potatoes improves the properties of any soil and enriches it with useful elements. If the predecessor of the crop in question is harvested early, then the area for potatoes should be sown with oats, mustard or peas.

It should be noted that the crops of mustard and oats are not afraid of frost, so the crops of green manure can be left until spring. But if green fertilizers are planted too early, then they can be plowed to a shallow depth so that they have time to release nutrients into the soil during the winter.

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What are the benefits and harms of sowing rye in the garden?

Gardeners discuss every issue. There is no consensus on the use of rye for fertilization.What are the benefits and harms of rye in the garden? Growing environmentally friendly products without the use of chemicals is the main idea of ​​organic farming. An effective and safe way to improve the structure of the soil on the site and enrich it with nutrients is to sow green manures, which are embedded in the soil, barely waiting for the beginning of flowering. Plants with a rapid growth of vegetative mass are used as green manure plants, capable of competing with weeds and displacing them, having a developed root system and accumulating certain nutrients in the soil. The choice of green manure depends on the type of soil and what problem needs to be solved (salinity, depletion, waterlogging, low moisture capacity, etc.). Rye, as a siderat, can be applied to all types of soil, which explains its popularity.

Rye is a hardy and aggressive plant. It adapts well to any soils, produces friendly shoots, is highly frost-resistant and early onset of growth. Cultivation does not require pesticide treatments and weeding. Moreover, rye is a phytosanitary, as it cleans the soil from pathogenic microorganisms and nematodes. It successfully displaces weeds, clearing the area even of perennial malicious weeds (thistle, wheatgrass). At the same time, rye is safe for vegetable crops, since it has no common pests and pathogens with them. Even vegetable corn (the only cereal in the garden) will barely suffer when grown as a catch crop.

An important advantage of rye is its ability to enrich the soil with potassium and phosphorus, converting the compounds of these elements into forms available for vegetable crops. A deeply penetrating root system is able not only to improve the structure on the site, but also to "lift" the necessary elements from the lower horizons.

Winter rye is indispensable as a green manure, since in a short growing season it is able to form a powerful biomass, which consists not only of tender succulent grass, but also of a dense network of roots. Succulent hay, after mowing and embedding in the soil, quickly decomposes and nourishes the soil, which is very important when using the plant as fertilizer. Thus, rye not only nourishes the soil with its biomass, but also heals it. Not all siderates can boast of this property.

The advantage of rye is the ability to grow it as a winter crop. Based on biological characteristics, it does not really matter when to sow rye: in spring or autumn. For the convenience and rational use of plots on the site, it is sown from the end of summer to mid-September as space becomes free. As a result, before the first frost, it should rise and bloom. Sowing is best carried out randomly with a seed consumption of 2 kg per 1 hundred square meters. To prevent the birds from picking up the grains, it is recommended to close them shallowly with a rake. On this, the recommendations on how to sow rye can be considered complete. The ease of sowing and maintenance adds value to this crop.

Rye perfectly tolerates even winters with little snow, and from the first spring thaw until the snow completely melts, it starts to grow. This early awakening allows you to get sufficient biomass already by the beginning of planting heat-loving vegetable crops. 2 weeks before planting, it is necessary to mow and grind the grassy part (a benzo cutter or trimmer gives a good result) and dig up the area or go through with a walk-behind tractor or cultivator. After planting the green mass, the area must be watered abundantly for a better course of decay processes.

Depending on the region and the timing of sowing, root crops or vegetable seedlings can be planted on the vacated bed by mid - end of May. When growing rye as a catch crop, there is no need to exclude certain beds from the useful crop rotation, since the development of the culture takes place outside the growing season of the main vegetable plants.

It is also possible to grow rye as a siderat in adjacent plantings (sowing wide aisles or strips along the perimeter of the plot with it), while the growing green mass can be mowed onto mulch all summer. But with this method, there should be regular irrigation.

In gardening and horticulture, there is not a single technique without flaw. If you decide to grow rye as a siderat, then you need to know some of the features of this plant. Rye dries up the soil, it actively uses thawed spring water and leaves nothing to vegetable crops. Taking this feature into account, you need to take care of abundant and regular watering. On the other hand, if you sow a plant in waterlogged lowlands, you can accelerate the maturation of the soil there for planting. Moreover, compacted soils will acquire good porosity and air permeability.

Some summer residents recommend planting potatoes after rye, which sounds doubtful. All cereals attract nutcrackers for laying eggs and the area where rye is sown can quickly turn into a breeding ground for wireworms, which willingly feeds on potatoes. However, this problem can be completely solved if you use traps for female beetles in the spring, and after mowing the green mass before planting the potatoes, arrange traps for the larvae. In a small area of ​​several hundred square meters, such measures will be effective and sufficient. However, it is useful to sow rye immediately after harvesting potatoes, as it perfectly cleans the soil from scab and rot. In areas with a high degree of infection with these diseases, the inclusion of rye in the crop rotation will be a real salvation.

Rye has no common diseases with vegetable crops, but if there are ornamental cereals on the site, then the risk factor must be taken into account. Although if you grow a winter crop, then in a short spring period it will not have time to turn into a source of infection.

Like other green manure, rye has its own mowing time. It is pruned as soon as spikelets begin to appear (beginning of flowering). If you tighten this procedure, then already coarse shoots will get into the soil, which will decompose longer. In no case should you leave crops without cutting for the entire season. Because of your laziness, you run the risk of getting the worst weed in your garden in the form of shoots of rye from a volunteer.

Sowing rye in free beds is an effective technique for increasing soil fertility. But the use of any means and methods of growing them requires a competent approach and responsible execution. The use of green manure does not negate the application of fertilizers, mulching with compost and preventive treatments with biological products against pathogens.

Summer residents who have received negative experience in growing rye themselves note such blunders as the lack of regular watering and the omission of the optimal mowing time. If this plant is left without leaving until mid or late May (depending on the zone), then seeding coarse, waist-length ears into the dried petrified soil will require titanic efforts. Unfortunately, the reality is that many summer cottages suffer from interruptions in the water supply, and they can only be visited on weekends.

Watch the video: No dig, two ways to clear weeds


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