Why does the potato turn black inside and what to do if the seedlings are frozen
Potatoes are the most popular crop in Russia. It grows in every vegetable garden, and with the arrival of autumn it is removed to cellars for long-term storage. But, unfortunately, it happens that the potato tubers begin to turn black. The most common reason for this process is improper storage. Let's figure out why this is happening and what to do if the seedlings had time to freeze.
Even healthy looking vegetables can have black spots. Why this happens is often a secret. If this problem has spread to most of the crop, urgent action is needed.
What varieties can be stored in winter
There are about 380 varieties of potatoes. All differ in the color of the peel, pulp, taste, size of the root crop, and ripening times. When choosing potatoes for long-term storage, you need to be guided by another indicator - its keeping quality.
The storage of potatoes is directly affected by the selected variety based on the ripening time. The most unsuitable variety is early maturing, such a vegetable is intended for use in food in summer and at the beginning of autumn, maximum. Medium to late ripening varieties are suitable for long-term storage.
When choosing a term, you need to watch that the technical maturity of the root crop reaches 100-130 days... Such potatoes form a thick peel, copes well with diseases, and contains a large amount of tannins.
It is better to purchase several varieties of potatoes if there is no experience in planting and storing a certain type of root crop.
Late varieties for long storage the most appropriate... They contain a large amount of trace elements and will last until spring without any problems. Popular late varieties: "Picasso", "Zhuravinka", "Lorkh", "Atlant", "Vesnyanka".
The right temperature and humidity for potatoes
Store the vegetable at a temperature +2 +6 degrees, and the humidity should be at the level 80-90%... The most suitable storage space is a cellar or basement.
Ventilation of the room is desirable. At a temperature of 0-1 degrees, the potatoes do not rot, but they become sweetish, and the flesh darkens. At a temperature of 7-12 degrees, the tubers begin to sprout, become soft, spots appear on the pulp.
Why does potato turn black inside during storage
Darkening can occur due to a disease - gray spot.
The main causes of darkening:
- culture does not like fresh organic matter, as excess nitrogen is released, which contributes to the growth of fungi. This contributes to the browning of the potatoes;
- at the origin of the root crop, there is a shortage or excess of moisture;
- the harvest is harvested ahead of time, the pulp darkens in unripe potatoes. Overripe potatoes, during the heat, may deteriorate if stored in an overheated room;
- if the harvest is done late during the frost period, the tubers may overheat and the pulp may darken. At a soil temperature of -2 degrees and frost, the tubers begin to rot;
- poor-quality transportation: shocks, pressure;
- improper storage conditions over a long period. The temperature is higher or lower than 2-6 degrees;
- tubers contain a high percentage of starch;
- disease affection - blackleg... It is transmitted through the planting material; disease and blackness continues during storage.
Why does it turn black in spring
It happens that a vegetable has survived the winter well, and with the arrival of spring it begins to turn black. The reason could be in poor ventilation.
The potato begins to grind with the arrival of warming and in the spring it sprouts, the flesh darkens, it becomes lethargic and soft. There is a sharp temperature drop in the storage. Moisture is released and this again contributes to the discussion.
What can and should be done so that the vegetable does not darken
To prevent the potatoes from darkening, you need to observe the temperature regime and store them in wooden boxes with ventilation holes.
Install pallets and move away from walls by 20 cm... Thanks to this, you can avoid: getting wet and freezing.
During the winter, it is recommended to sort out the potatoes at least once and remove the sprouted, soft, rotten tubers. It is recommended to cover the crops that are stored in the apartment on the balcony with a warm blanket.
After harvesting, you need within 20 days leave the potatoes to air out in the fresh air. It is forbidden to store the root vegetable with vegetables other than beets.
During the frost period
Sometimes it happens that a vegetable gets frozen. It is not entirely dangerous if the potatoes have not sprouted. But if sprouts have appeared, then the arrival of frosts can affect the quality of the future harvest and beat it.
Are the cold weather terrible for culture?
Spring frosts terrible for the harvest potatoes. This is especially true for the regions of Siberia. Young potato sprouts are afraid of frost and are especially sensitive to spring frosts, and any temperature from 0 and below can kill the crop.
Will the potatoes go away by themselves after freezing
Some gardeners plant potatoes at the beginning of March, and there are risks of freezing the crop.
If the young sprouts are frozen, this may affect the future harvest, although the potatoes will continue to grow as it warms. Older plants are not strongly affected by the cold.
How to save after frost
If frost is promised, you need it urgently huddle seedlings culture, and after frost to release the bushes then the ridges.
To avoid freezing and give the potato a chance to survive if it has been frozen, you can insulate the vegetable by covering the planting with grass. Some gardeners make fires from straw, shavings along the edges of arable land and thereby insulate the soil. To increase the smoke mass, it is recommended to drop mineral oils or coal tar inside the fire. You can also cover the beds with foil.
If the frosts have passed, and the vegetable has already managed to freeze, you need to give the bushes an opportunity to restore themselves on their own. Damaged bushes are able to recover, albeit with great effort. To help the crop, you need to feed it with nitrogen fertilizers.
The reasons that the potatoes in the garden are frozen
If the air temperature drops below zero degrees, or night frosts begin in spring, the potatoes begin to freeze and may freeze. This affects the sprouts, they turn black and wither... In the future, even if the plants continue to grow and "move away", the pulp of the fruit may begin to turn black.
What to do if the seedlings and tops had time to freeze
If the frost began unexpectedly and the seedlings froze, then you need darken them before dawn using: newspapers, dark film, rags.
The main thing is that thawing occurs gradually, then the tops will not wither and frostbite will be insignificant.
How to feed
Affected crop needs treatment nitrogen, as well as it is necessary to make top dressing: nitrophoska 5 gr. for 1 sq. m.
Foliar top dressing with 20 g of urea per 10 liters of water is also useful. To make the frozen tops come to life, you need to spray it "Epinom Extra».
If frosts began when the crop has bloomed, but it has not yet been harvested, then you can feed it with ash or potassium preparations. After the cold weather, it is forbidden to dig up potatoes, you need to wait for warming.
First actions if frost hit after planting
If, after planting, they grabbed and hit the frost, the vegetable managed to freeze, then in order to save it, it is urgently necessary to reanimate and treat with special means.
Ways to save the harvest if frost portends:
- hilling... After frost, sprouts suffer, so you should spud the crop so that the tops are completely under the ridge;
- mulching... Warm the crop with a thick layer of straw, hay or sawdust;
- covering the crop with a film. Only the film should not press on young shoots. Pegs should be installed around the perimeter and the film should be pulled;
- sprinkling... The crop should be watered abundantly when t is 0. The water will begin to evaporate and protect the plant;
- smoke warming... This frost protection method was mentioned above. It is necessary to light a fire on both sides of the crop so that the smoke poured over the entire area. To create a smoke screen, you need to light a fire so that the fire burns 50-70 cm in height. To do this, you can burn straw, firewood, manure. The fire should burn for 3-4 hours in the morning. The method is effective only in windy weather;
- strengthening of culture immunity... It is necessary to strengthen the planting material with the help of preparations of growth regulators even before planting the crop. They help young sprouts to cope with any weather conditions. The most popular are Silk, Biostim, Epin Extra.
To provide yourself and your family with potatoes for the whole winter, you need to choose the most "tenacious" potato variety, as well as follow the rules for storing root crops. I wish you a rich harvest!
Dutch potato varieties have long gained popularity among our gardeners and gardeners. They are great for our climate and have good yields. One cannot fail to note the persistent immunity of these varieties, which has long become their hallmark. The varieties bred in Holland differ from each other in terms of their ripening and overall yield. In this article, we'll take a look at one of the best mid-late to high-yielding varieties, the Sifra potato.
How to avoid blackening
In order for the potatoes not to darken after frying or boiling, you need to follow some simple guidelines:
- Buy potatoes that are as dense and free of damage as possible. In the event that you are planning to purchase a bag, examine it for moisture and odor (there should not be the slightest sign of dampness and rot).
- If you are a gardener, when growing, try to minimize the use of nitrogen-containing fertilizers, giving preference to potash fertilizing. Dry thoroughly and sort out the harvested crop, remove excess soil, discard substandard. Observe the storage conditions: the place must be dry, with adequate ventilation, but without the threat of frost.
- Wash the potatoes before peeling, as the soil may contain fertilizer residues that, if spilled on the peeled potatoes, will cause discoloration. After cleaning, rinse the tubers thoroughly in cold running water and place in the same water (you can add a little vinegar or citric acid). Water will remove excess starch, and acid is a preservative that prevents rapid oxidation.
- In the event that potatoes are stored in water for some time, immediately before cooking, the water must be changed to fresh. For more or less prolonged storage (in the refrigerator), the water must be changed every 2-3 hours. While cooking, add a few bay leaves (the essential oil they contain prevents browning).
Important! If you boiled potatoes (for example, for a salad with mayonnaise) and wait for them to cool, treat them with a little vinegar or citric acid. The acidic environment prevents the formation of dark spots, but will not negatively affect the taste of the salad. Do not overdo it with the amount: it will be enough to sprinkle with a few drops of 3% vinegar or a weak citric acid solution.
It turns out that not only raw potatoes darken, but also boiled ones. A raw vegetable turns black after cutting, because the tubers contain special components that, when in contact with air, give such a reaction.
After cooking, it also happens that the potatoes turn black. Do not be afraid and throw away the vegetable: using such a product is not at all dangerous and not harmful. The only drawback is the aesthetic appearance, which becomes unsightly, and the taste deteriorates slightly.
The reasons that lead to the fact that the vegetable turns black or blue:
- The soil where this root crop was grown was insufficiently enriched with potassium or was fertilized with a mixture containing chlorine. This is unacceptable, because a large amount of acid negatively affects the taste and color of the fruit. In summer, potassium deficiencies can be easily spotted by the plant's appearance. In this case, the upper leaves turn yellow and curl, and eventually the stem. To avoid this, it is important to properly grow the vegetable.
- Potatoes turn black after frosty days. Therefore, the plant should not be allowed to cool.
- The process of digging and transporting must be careful. In places where the tubers are damaged, blackness occurs.
- It is very important to store your vegetables properly. The room should be well ventilated and the potatoes should be well dried before being sent to the basement.
- During storage, you also need to monitor the temperature regime in the room. In high humidity, there is a risk of mold formation. Periodically, this needs to be monitored; if wet tubers are detected, they should be well dried.
There are also certain varieties that contain a lot of starch. If you come across such a variety, then the question of why the potatoes turn black after cooking disappears by itself. You just need to grow another variety, and there will be no problem. It should be remembered that you can not eat a green root vegetable: it is not only unhealthy, but also dangerous to health.
Potato seedlings are frozen - what to do
As soon as the snow melted and the winter warmed up, my husband and I planted potatoes in our summer cottage. The luxurious tops had just risen, so severe frosts hit and it froze! It was a very sad sight. My husband and I were upset that all our work was in vain.
We thought about digging up these frozen potatoes, buying new seeds and planting them again while there was time. A neighbor came up to us and told how she and her husband, with the help of urea, were able to save their harvest from complete destruction.
We followed her advice and after a week we noticed that all the tops had recovered and continued to grow. In this article I will tell you how to treat frozen seedlings and list the available ways to protect potatoes from sudden frosts.
Treatment of frozen tops
Plants die during frosts due to the fact that during low temperatures special channels on their leaves are paralyzed, from which moisture evaporates. And when the air temperature rises, the plant dies from dehydration, as all the moisture evaporates.
Fortunately, this can be prevented by monitoring the weather forecast. But if you did not have time to prepare the seedlings for frost, then before dawn you need to have time to cover the entire bed with film or newspapers so that the moisture does not evaporate. In this case, the future harvest will not die.
If you didn't manage to do anything and all the potatoes in the beds froze. First, you should carefully examine the bushes affected by frost.
If you find ice or frost on the leaves, in no case wash it off with water, as it will sharply increase the temperature of the plant and cause severe damage to the cell tissues in the greenery.
These damaged leaves and sagging branches should be trimmed with clean scissors. Only after that, the treatment of bushes begins with the help of medical dressings:
- Nitrogen - Potatoes need it the most, as nitrogen helps restore green mass and increases resistance to various diseases. Immediately after the cold weather, the entire garden bed is fed one or two times with nitrogen in any form. It is best to sprinkle everything with bird droppings or pour nettle tincture. You can sprinkle with stale manure solution.
- Urea - Most effectively restores the future harvest. To do this, dissolve 25 grams of urea in a ten-liter bucket of water, add the complex fertilizer "Nutrivant Plus". In parallel, every seven days, the tops are sprayed with "Epin-Extra".
- Potassium - They are fertilized with potatoes only during flowering, since at this time the vegetable needs more potassium, less nitrogen.
- Ash - It will help save potatoes after autumn frosts, since immediately after a sharp temperature drop, you cannot dig out the crop. If you dig it up right away, then it will be poorly stored and can quickly deteriorate. It is recommended to wait about three days for the ground to warm up slightly.
- Phosphorus - A week after the end of frost, the bushes are fed with a phosphorus-containing preparation "Folirus" so that the plant can fully recover. If this drug is given to a plant immediately after frost, then it can aggravate the situation, so you need to wait a few days.
Frost protection for potatoes
The best period for planting potatoes is considered to be the time when the bird cherry has faded, the birch leaves have reached medium size, the soil at a depth of 10 centimeters has warmed up to +5 o C. In this case, the probability increases that the spring cold snap will not return.
But the temperature can drop sharply in June, as sometimes happens in the northern regions of Russia. In this case, you can choose one of the following methods to protect the foliage from a sudden drop in air temperature.
If the area of the garden is small, then you can use this method, since it will not be difficult to accumulate several plastic bottles. They are all filled with water, well closed with a lid. Next, these bottles are placed next to the bushes.
The bottles are heated during the day from the sun, and at night they give the accumulated heat to the plants and the earth. Thanks to this method, the bushes do not freeze and successfully tolerate sudden changes in air temperature.
These bottles can be replaced with special hoses that carry water. This, of course, is more expensive and more difficult, which is why many gardeners use plastic bottles.
Many people know about this method, but few people dare to use it because of its complexity and insecurity. Ordinary smoke, like fog, is able to protect the earth from freezing. But for this, the smoke must envelop the beds.
If the night is windy on a cold cold, this is ideal. In calm weather, all efforts will be in vain.
To create the necessary smoke screen, dry firewood and straw must be prepared for the fire, which are mixed with special wet materials that emit abundant smoke.
After that, a fire is lit from the blown side, and all night long they make sure that the height of its flame does not exceed 50 centimeters. To be effective, all the smoke should envelop all the beds until the early morning. The fire can be completely extinguished only three hours after dawn.
If you have a lot of straw, then it can help protect the vegetable plant from the cold. To do this, the entire bed is covered with a thick layer of straw, which is then not removed, since it, decomposing, improves the composition of the soil. This method is ideal for a vegetable grown from eyes, seeds, but not suitable for early varieties.
Fortunately, spring frosts are most often very short-lived, so only the upper part of the tops suffers, and the tubers and roots remain intact. In order to save the top, it is necessary to follow the weather forecast and prepare the beds in time for a sharp cold snap.
If a sharp drop in temperature is predicted, then the vegetable plant should be hilled so that only the tips of the leaves are shown above the ground.
If the volume of the harvest is huge, then a hedgehog cultivator will help to cope with this matter. With its help, you can not only spud a vegetable, but also get rid of weeds.
With the help of this earthen slide, the bush will not only protect itself from the cold, but also put down more powerful roots. If the cold lasts for several days, then it is recommended to huddle every two to three days, since the top grows quickly.
There is one drawback, this method is not suitable for a vegetable grown from seeds, eyes, as it is too weak to break through a thick layer of earth.
Experienced gardeners, even before planting, treat the tubers with special preparations that strengthen the immune system and enhance frost resistance. These preparations eliminate the need to worry about protecting the plant from sudden frosts.
These drugs do not harm either the future crop or the environment. The best and recognized drugs are:
But you can also use other drugs, the main thing is that they contain potassium or phosphorus, which help to increase the frost resistance of the tuber.
This is the easiest and most favorite way of many gardeners. On the eve of a sharp drop in air temperature, the entire earth and plants are thoroughly watered with a hose or watering can.
During frosts, moisture from the soil and leaves begins to evaporate, thereby forming a fog that protects plants and the ground from freezing, since it does not allow cold air to pass to them.
Covering with film
This is the most popular and easiest way to protect all plants from frost. Ideal for all types of potatoes, especially early ones. As a covering material, you can use newspapers, spunbond, burlap, special film.
In addition, you need to take care of the presence of any pipes or sticks that will support the covering material above the tops so that they do not touch them.
First, pipes or sticks are stuck along the entire bed, then a covering material is thrown on top, its edges are pressed to the ground with stones. It is advisable that not a single leaf touches the covering material, otherwise it may freeze during cold weather.
Therefore, the sticks must be higher than the bushes. During the day, this material must be removed, as the greens can fade due to the heat.
But there is another way in which you can do without sticks. Barley is planted at the same time as potatoes. Since it grows faster than a vegetable, it can serve as a support for the covering material. After the warm weather has settled for a long time, all the barley is mowed and left in the beds as a natural fertilizer.
So that the future harvest does not suffer from a sharp fluctuation in air temperature, sudden snow, it is necessary to plant frost-resistant potato varieties that can withstand as much as -3 ° C frost. If only the usual variety is available, then it is recommended to process it with special preparations that increase frost resistance.
If none of the above has been done for some reason, then one of the following methods will help to save the tops from the cold:
- Creation of a smoke screen.
- Bottle thermostabilizer.
- Covering material.
In extreme cases, if the weather forecast could not warn of a sharp temperature drop and the entire crop froze, then the entire garden bed must be fertilized immediately with one of the following substances:
Phosphorus is fertilized only a week after the cold weather. One of these substances is selected depending on the period of development of the bush itself. If you do everything right and on time, then in the fall you can dig up a rich and healthy crop of potatoes.
Mold on potatoes - rot caused by fungal and bacterial infections... The fight against them is complicated by the abundant damage to the soil and the complexity of its processing. Also, the development of rot is facilitated by violations of the rules of crop rotation and agricultural technology - the regime of irrigation and fertilization.
Wet potato rot is caused by several types of bacteria. They are penetrate into the tuber with mechanical and fungal skin lesions.
Early disease begins in the ground or during harvest, however, with excessive watering or during the rainy season, it develops to a late stage already in the soil, infecting it with bacterial spores. Another cause of the disease is the lack of hilling of tubers and their "suffocation". Rot grows best in tubers that have been exposed to subzero temperatures during storage.
At the last stage of development, the disease is difficult to confuse with others. The inner part of the tuber softens to a liquid state and acquires a pronounced unpleasant odor... At the initial stages, the peel is not touched, however, at later stages, the softening and liquefaction of the tuber reaches it. Dark wet patches appear on the affected tubers. When squeezed onto the surface through cracks, an internal liquid starch mass is released.
To combat wet rot, it is necessary to follow the rules for storing seed:
- plant only whole tubers
- do not subject the seed to hypothermia
- store in dry ventilated rooms and disinfected boxes
- treat seed tubers with drugs against fungi and bacteria ("Glyocladin", "Microcid").
It is impossible to cure the disease... If rotten potatoes are found in the ground, all tubers within a radius of 20-30 cm are destroyed.
Interesting on the site:
Fusarium, or dry rot of potatoes, refers to diseases of fungal origin. The pathogen is very quickly transmitted from tuber to tuber and can destroy up to a quarter of the entire crop... The defeat of dry rot provokes the addition of a secondary infection.
The main causes of potato infestation include mechanical damage to seed and growing tubers during hilling, damage by insect pests, waterlogging, excessive manure in the soil.
Not only potatoes are infected, but also other nightshades - tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, as well as garden strawberries and wild strawberries.
In the affected plant, the tips of the leaves brighten, as the disease progresses, they become whitish... A characteristic pink bloom appears on the stems. At first, brown spots form on the tubers, which gradually increase, the affected areas dry out and form voids with white bloom inside.
It is impossible to cure the disease... Measures to prevent contamination of seed and soil include:
- compliance with the rules of crop rotation and agricultural technology
- regular inspection of plantings for damage to stems and foliage
- use for sowing only whole, undamaged potatoes
- removal of infected bushes together with tops and tubers by burning.
In no case do not put the affected stems in the compost heap.
Phoma rot (button rot, button disease, phomosis, potato gangrene) is a disease caused by several types of fungi. Phomosis is considered one of the most dangerous fungal diseases of potatoes.... The infection is spread by airborne droplets in rainy, cool weather. Spores settle on the stems or fall into the soil with water droplets.
Plants affected by button rot die, tubers do not have time to ripen... Foci of infection very quickly develop into an epidemic and affect up to 100% of plantings. In terms of danger, phomosis is second only to late blight.
The first signs of potato gangrene appear during the flowering period.... On the petioles of the leaves, dark oblong spots appear at the base, which gradually cover the entire stem. The affected foliage dies off quickly, falling off and infecting the soil.
On the developed tubers, rounded depressed spots first appear, similar to traces of buttons. On the cut, under the dark spot, a translucent strip is visible, containing the wastes of the fungus. Further, cavities with a gray fungal bloom are formed in the tubers. As a result, the tuber dries out almost completely, leaving only dead tissue.
It is impossible to fight the disease... All forces are directed to the prevention of infection and suppression of the focus of the disease:
- compliance with the rules of crop rotation and agricultural technology
- use of resistant potato varieties - Lazurit, Rosinka
- compliance with the rules for storing seed
- its treatment with fungicidal preparations "Ditan M-45", "Rovral Aquaflo"
- inspection of potato bushes and removal of affected plants entirely by burning.
Ring rot is a bacterial infection. She is develops slowly, while affecting up to 40-45% of the crop... The tubers are infected first, and then the whole plant. You can track it only by observing the growth of the aerial part of the bush.
The first signs appear during the flowering period.... Bushes wither and fall to the ground, which is considered a hallmark of ring rot. Small brown spots appear on the tips of the leaves. The leaves themselves become whitish and speckled. The lower ones are twisted up. With the development of the disease at an early stage of growth of the bushes, they are shortened in comparison with healthy ones.
On the cut of diseased tubers, yellowing and softening along the vascular ring are noted already at an early stage.... As the disease progresses, the entire vascular system of the tuber is destroyed, turning into a single mucous mass.
The disease progresses at high humidity and temperatures above + 20 ° C... In dry hot weather, development slows down to a complete stop. Bacteria do not linger in the soil, which makes it easier to fight them. The source of infection for healthy tubers is exclusively affected.
For the prevention of the disease, the following measures are used:
- use of resistant varieties - Merrimack, President, Teton, Frizo, Furor
- compliance with the rules for storing seed potatoes
- identification and removal of diseased plants
- compliance with the rules of crop rotation and agricultural technology
- sprouting potatoes before planting
- treatment of storage sites for seed, for example, with a slightly pink solution of potassium permanganate.
Rubber rot appeared on the territory of Russia relatively recently in comparison with other species. She is affects the germination of seeds and plant productivity, as well as the safety of tubers... The disease has a fungal origin and two forms - tuberous and sprout.
The pathogen enters the tubers through the eyes, lentils and mechanical damageobtained during sowing, processing or caused by pests.
The tubers are covered with brown spots of irregular shape with a black border around the entire perimeter. To the touch, the spots are dense, elastic, similar to rubber. On the cut, the affected tissue first turns pink, after which it becomes brown and black. When pressed, a brown content with a fishy smell is released from the cut tubers.
Rubber rot develops at high soil moisture and in acidic soil at temperatures above + 20 ° C... Infected seed tubers, soil residues and fungal spores in the soil are sources of infection.
- observance of crop rotation
- improvement of planting material
- deep plowing of the soil
- loosening in heavy rain
- compliance with the storage regime for seed.
Important! There are no varieties that are resistant to rubber rot.
The reasons why potato tops wither, dry and turn yellow
Sadly, but most often the wilting and drying of potato leaves is associated with the spread of fungal, bacterial or viral diseases.
Fungal and bacterial diseases
One of the most common fungal diseases on potatoes is late blight. The leaves underneath become lethargic, lifeless, then extensive dark and brown areas appear on them and they quickly turn black and dry. Over time, tubers also begin to be affected, and more than half of the crop may be lost.
The safest thing to do is to take the following preventive measures to combat this problem:
- Do not plant potato tubers too thick
- Do not plant potatoes in a place where symptoms of late blight have already shown. Moreover, since this disease is characteristic of the entire family of nightshades, it is worth paying attention also to the proximity of tomatoes and peppers.
- Choose potato varieties resistant to late blight
- Weeding, loosening and hilling potato bushes to enhance air exchange in ridges
- Treat potatoes with copper-containing preparations during the flowering period or phytosporin at a later date
- If the tubers are germinated in the light before planting, then the infected tubers from this procedure begin to rot and they are quite easy to reject.
If you notice small necrotic spots with a yellow rim on the leaves of potatoes, then most likely the potatoes have been affected by Alternaria. If the spots on the leaves are large, this is macrosporiosis. In any case, the potato dries up and you can try to save the crop by treating the bushes with phytosporin - after all, it does not contain harmful chemical substances and can be used at any stage of the growing season.
Another dangerous fungal disease, fusarium, begins with the wilting of the upper leaves.
Most often, the most effective way to combat this disease is dressing the tubers before planting with one of the antibacterial drugs (Baktofit, Fitosporin).
Ring rot is a very unpleasant disease of potatoes, the first signs of which can be noticed even during flowering. Some stems turn very yellow, while the top twists with leaves, and the bush begins to wither and decay. The most unpleasant thing is that the tubers are quickly affected. With these signs, diseased bushes are subject to mandatory destruction along with the tubers. And all potato plantings are immediately processed with medicinal preparations.
Known for experienced gardeners is the blackleg bacterial disease. It manifests itself immediately after germination and is expressed in the fact that the bases of the stems rot, and young seedlings turn yellow, curl and wither. To combat this scourge, sprinkling the potato area with a mixture of ash and copper sulfate can help (for 1 kg of wood ash, 2 tablespoons of copper sulfate are taken).
Viral diseases of the potato pose a particular danger to the gardener, since there are still no means that can protect plants from them. The variety of viruses is great, it is enough to name such as: mosaic alfalfa, mottling, leaf-rolling virus, Gothic and others. Symptoms of diseases are also varied, but most often they manifest themselves in yellowing and dryness of leaves, tubers acquire ugly shapes, stems die off prematurely, and the yield as a result of all this is sharply reduced.
Therefore, it is very important to completely destroy the virus-infected potato bushes together with all the tubers. Preparations such as epin and zircon increase the immune system of plants, so they can be used to further protect potatoes from viruses.
The best prevention of viral diseases is planting healthy tubers.
Parasites on potatoes
A kind of worms called nematodes can exist in the soil for decades. This species is a parasite on many plants. In particular, on potatoes, they settle in the root system, and their larvae actively suck out all the juices from the leaves. From the presence of nematodes, the tops turn yellow and dry, many black dots are clearly visible on it. Tubers practically do not develop. Future harvest can easily be minimized.
There are special chemicals that effectively combat the presence of nematodes in the soil.
The gardeners themselves have to subject all tools to thorough disinfection before each planting season and use seed material that is resistant to nematode damage. In addition, you can try to change the potato planting site every 2-3 years and plant corn, rye, oats, marigolds, lupines, peas, and beets in the infected areas. The root system of these plants is quite successful in combating the dominance of nematodes.
Among insects, there are also many who like to feast on juicy leaves, stems and tubers of potatoes. This is both a potato flea and a wireworm, but the most vicious enemy is, of course, the Colorado potato beetle. This insect of yellow color with black stripes can breed up to 3-4 generations in one season. The beetles themselves fly well, but the most dangerous for potatoes are their larvae, which are able to quickly destroy almost all potato leaves and stems. There are many ways to combat harmful insects, but not all of them are equally effective.
- Quite often they are collected by hand in a jar with a strong solution of table salt.
- To scare off the beetle, calendula, nasturtium, beans, marigolds and dill are planted between potato rows
- Sometimes the bushes are sprayed with herbal remedies, such as an infusion of elecampane or celandine.
- Biological agents cope well with them - boverin or bitoxibacillin
- If the invasion of beetles has acquired a large scale, then there are many chemical means of fighting the pest.
Speaking about the reasons why potato bushes wither and dry, one cannot but mention unfavorable weather conditions. This is especially typical for the southern regions, but in the middle lane, in a hot and dry summer, potatoes can begin to wilt without additional watering.
Therefore, even on large planting areas, it is important to provide for watering the potato field at least once a season during the phase of flower formation.
Of course, it also happens that even in June unexpected return frosts will come, and the tops of the bushes may dry out. But in this case, spraying with immunostimulants (Epin, Zircon, HB-101) can help and after a while the potato bushes will come to their senses and the crop can still grow very good.
Improvement of planting material
We plant potatoes on the site every year. Yields get worse over time:
- fewer and fewer tubers are in the nest
- the number of plants affected by viral diseases is growing every year
- taste is falling.
Why does potato degenerate
We buy planting material at the market or from our neighbors, and then we complain: either the land is not the same, or the potatoes have degenerated. This is not far from the truth. Every year, tubers collect negative genetic material like in a pantry, and viral diseases also accumulate.
Tubers are not seeds, but modified parts of the stem. Growing potatoes from year to year, we propagate it, strictly speaking, by cuttings that carry all both positive and negative genetic (and not only) information of the mother plant. In fact, we are growing the same plant.
To avoid this, you can buy seed material annually in specialized nurseries - you cannot buy good potatoes from your neighbors - there are problems there, it also carries a load of changes accumulated over the years, only others. But certified elite seed material costs so much that after looking at the price, we no longer want to renew the variety or potatoes in general.
If you are satisfied with the varieties grown in the garden, and only the yield and frequent infection with viral diseases cause dissatisfaction, heal them yourself.
Sprout healthy potatoes
We take out the tubers selected for the improvement of the planting material earlier than the rest of the potatoes, green them, as described above, and germinate them in wet peat or sawdust at a temperature of 20-25 degrees. Very quickly, the sprouts will reach a size of 5-7 cm. They must be carefully broken out, planted in plastic cups or separate pots, buried 2/3 into the soil for seedlings and immediately put in a bright place.
You need to care for potato sprouts in the same way as for tomato seedlings. It is necessary to transfer the plants into the ground when the ground warms up, at the same time as planting potatoes with tubers. They will produce two or three large tubers - this will be healthy planting material for next year.
In the fall, the tubers need to be washed, held in hot water and potassium permanganate, treated with phytosporin, dried and folded into the largest glass jars you have. Tie the necks of the cans with a cloth (you cannot cover them with lids or plastic) and put them on the windowsill until spring. From time to time, the cans need to be rotated relative to the light source.
In spring, tubers need to be cut into several parts 2-3 days before planting, and no additional processing is needed.
Getting planting material from seeds
Potato seeds are harvested when the berry turns brown. They are dried and stored in paper bags until spring. They are sown on seedlings at the same time as tomatoes, grown, looked after and planted in the same way.
In the middle or late summer we will harvest small, bean-sized potatoes. Store them in the lower section of the refrigerator or in the basement separately from the rest of the potatoes. Next spring, it can be planted directly in the ground, or it can be grown through seedlings. It will provide good planting material for the next season.
Comment! On sale you can find seeds of hybrid potatoes - it gives a full harvest in the first year, but is not suitable for further cultivation.