Any gardener on whose site there are beds with potatoes knows how much effort needs to be invested in growing this vegetable, and at the same time, it is not always possible to achieve the desired result. Fortunately, there are various techniques that can increase the yield of potatoes, and sprouting the tubers before planting is one of them.
Why sprout potatoes
Sprouting potatoes is a beneficial procedure, as it allows the eyes to be awakened on the tubers in advance. This ensures better survival rate, friendly seedlings and an increase in yield by 30–40%. As a result of germination, strong dark green shoots 3-5 cm long should appear on the tubers.
On long-stored potatoes, by the end of winter, white-pink shoots often appear. These are the so-called shadow (etiolated) sprouts. According to them, it is possible to determine whether the tuber is affected by late blight (by black tips), and to discard the damaged planting material in advance. Side shoots appear on them, on which tubers are formed.
Germination time and seed preparation
You need to start sprouting tubers in advance. The timing depends on the region where you plan to grow potatoes.
Table: timing of the germination of potatoes
Having decided on the timing, you need to prepare the seed for germination. For this:
- Manually sort through and remove too small and diseased (rotten, softened, pitted, etc.) tubers.
Only healthy, intact small tubers are suitable as planting material.
- Rinse the remaining tubers well in running water to rinse off all the soil, and remove the thin (threadlike) light shoots from them.
- Then place the potatoes in a disinfectant solution. To prepare it, dilute potassium permanganate (1 g) or boric acid (10 g) in a bucket (10 l) of water. It takes 30 minutes to keep the tubers in it.
If there is a lot of seed and the gardener stored it correctly (which almost always guarantees good immunity), you can not soak the potatoes in a solution of potassium permanganate, but simply spray the tubers
- Rinse the tubers again in clean water and then dry them warm (+ 22-25 aboutC), in a dry and dark room for 3 days, spreading out in 1-2 layers.
If stored improperly (in a too warm and humid room), the tubers may sprout ahead of time on their own, which is usually revealed quite late. In this case, lower the temperature to + 1–2 aboutC and give the tubers complete darkness. It is undesirable to remove or shorten the processes if their length is less than 20 cm.
Overgrown potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark place until planting.
The main methods of germinating potatoes
Potatoes are germinated in different ways.
This method can be done in this way:
- Prepare the required number of clear plastic bags and poke 10-12 holes in each of them so that the tubers can be ventilated. The diameter of such holes is 1 cm, and the distance between them is 8–10 cm.
- Fold 8-10 tubers into each bag and tie.
- Hang the workpiece to the window, and if this is not possible, then put the bags on a dry window sill in one row. Since it is usually cold near the window, it is better to place a woolen cloth, cardboard or a piece of foam under the bags for warmth. Also try to position the bags in diffused lighting rather than in direct sunlight.
Holes need to be made in the bags so that the tubers do not suffocate.
- Turn the blanks regularly (every 3-5 days) so that all sides of the tubers are exposed to the light for an equal amount of time.
It can take 25-30 days to germinate potatoes this way. Gardeners using this method praise him for the convenience of transporting tubers to the garden, but they advise at the same time to carefully monitor the safety of the sprouts.
In a wet substrate
This method is suitable if you want not only sprouts to form on the tubers, but also roots - for example, when germinating seeds or belated planting of tubers in the ground. Stock up on boxes and enough substrate (it should hold water well and allow air to pass through). Rotted sawdust, peat, humus, perlite, vermiculite are quite suitable.
To get the best results, you need to find the right potting medium.
Germination is performed as follows:
- A layer (3-5 cm) of a moist substrate is placed at the bottom of the box.
- Tubers are loosely spread on it.
There should be no more than 4 layers of potatoes in the sprouting box
- They are covered with the same layer of moist substrate.
- Repeat the procedure until there are 4 layers of tubers in the box.
It is not recommended to put more, as the tubers in the lower layers may suffocate. It is necessary to keep the boxes in a bright room at a temperature not lower than + 12-15 aboutC. Do not allow the substrate to dry out and moisturize it promptly.
After the first roots appear, pour the workpiece with a nutrient mixture: potassium chloride (10 g) + ammonium nitrate (10 g) + superphosphate (50 g) + water (10 l). The next watering can be fertilized with ash at the rate of 1 cup of powder / 10 liters of water. Please note that the first watering a bucket (10 L) of the nutrient mixture is designed for 50 kg of potatoes, with the second - 80 kg.
In a wet substrate, potatoes form roots and sprouts well
This method of sprouting potatoes is the fastest, as sprouts and roots are formed in just 10-12 days.
On open air
You can start this procedure already at the end of April - beginning of May, when the snow melts and the air temperature will be set at +10 aboutC. The procedure is as follows:
- Choose a location. It should be dry, even, free of debris and well lit.
- If possible, sprinkle a layer (5–7 cm) of dry manure on the ground. Experienced gardeners believe that this promotes faster germination of tubers.
- Place a layer (7–10 cm) of dry bedding material (straw, sawdust, peat will do).
It will take 15-20 days to germinate potatoes in straw in the fresh air.
- Lay the potatoes on top in one or two rows.
- Cover the piece with plastic wrap to keep the tubers free from frost and to provide them with sufficient heat.
It will take 15–20 days to germinate potatoes this way. During this time, try to ventilate the seed at least once every 2 days for 2-3 hours, but only in dry and warm (at least +10 aboutC) the weather.
In the light
This is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to germinate tubers:
- Arrange the potatoes in the crates in one or two layers.
- Place the workpieces in a bright room with a temperature of + 18-20 aboutFROM. If direct sunlight hits the potatoes, try to make the lighting more diffuse or shade the seed with newspapers (but do not forget to remove them when the rays are in another place).
- After 10-12 days, the temperature in the room should be lowered to + 10-14 aboutC to avoid pulling the sprouts. It is desirable to maintain this temperature before moving the tubers to the garden.
The room where the potatoes are germinated should have soft diffused lighting.
To germinate tubers in this way, you need 25-28 days.
Video: how to sprout potatoes
This method is suitable for you if you want to get an early harvest of potatoes. Combined germination is carried out as follows:
- Tubers are laid out in boxes in 1-2 layers and placed in a light cool (+14 aboutC) a place for 15–20 days.
- Then the tubers are placed in boxes with a moist substrate (peat, sawdust, humus, etc.) in 1-2 layers and the workpiece is stored at a higher (+22 aboutC) temperature for one to one and a half weeks. The substrate must not be allowed to dry.
- When the tubers begin to form roots, the substrate is watered with a nutrient solution. Ingredients: ammonium nitrate (30 g) + potassium salt (30 g) + superphosphate (60 g) + water (10 l). After 3 days, feeding is repeated.
Potatoes processed in this way form not only sprouts and roots, but also leaves.
Combined germination is suitable for early harvest
This method is suitable if the planting time has come, and you did not have time to carry out a full germination. On a heated floor (temperature should be + 22-25 aboutC) and a bright room, spread a dry film, cloth or paper (newspapers) and put the tubers on them in one layer. It takes about two weeks to warm up potatoes. Of course, he will not be able to germinate, but the seed will be properly ventilated, and the eyes will begin to wake up, and when the tubers are in the soil, young shoots will quickly form from them.
Withering the potatoes before planting will help the tubers grow faster in the future.
As you can see, it is not difficult to germinate potatoes, the main thing is to choose the right time and provide the necessary conditions for the tubers. Follow all the instructions and you will definitely get the desired result.
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When and how to germinate potatoes for planting
Sprouting potatoes, that is, creating conditions favorable for the awakening of the buds (eyes) on the tubers and the appearance of sprouts, is a simple operation. It is carried out by all gardeners, however, they do not always understand why. But mothers and grandmothers also did this, so sprouting potatoes for planting can be considered a tradition. A natural question arises: what gives the early awakening of the eyes on the tubers, is it not better to just put them in the holes as they are and calmly wait for the harvest.
- Do I need to sprout potatoes before planting
- When to start sprouting potatoes for planting
- How to germinate potatoes correctly before planting
- Greening potatoes
- Preparing potatoes for germination
- At what temperature to germinate potatoes for planting
- Sprouting early potatoes before planting
- How many days before planting small potatoes germinate
- How to germinate large potatoes for planting
- Methods for sprouting potatoes before planting
- In the dark
- In the light
- On a wet substrate
- Wilting before planting
- What to do if potato sprouts are overgrown
- Processing potato tubers during germination before planting
- Planting material update
- Causes of potato degeneration
- Healthier sprouts of tubers
- Getting healthy planting material from seeds
Selection of tubers and preparation of potatoes
In autumn, seed is selected and subjected to gardening - a procedure that increases the safety of tubers. Potatoes are left for a week in a lighted place, periodically turned over. Tubers become hard, do not lose moisture, mice do not touch them in storage, wounds heal faster. They are stored at a temperature of + 4 ° C and an air humidity of 60-65%. An increase in performance leads to the premature appearance of sprouts, and a decrease in performance leads to freezing of the material.
20-40 days before the intended planting, the harvested potatoes are taken out of the cellar and taken out into the sunlight. Then they are re-sorted out, discarded unsuitable for planting, calibrated and washed under running water to remove the remnants of the earth and pathogenic bacteria.
Before germinating potatoes, the planting material is treated with disinfecting solutions:
- 10 g boric acid per 10 l of water
- 10 g of copper sulfate, 2 g of potassium permanganate, 10 g of boric acid per 10 liters of water
- wood ash for dusting
- "Fitosporin-M", "Prestige" according to the instructions on the package.
Additional processing increases the plant's immunity to fungal diseases and insect attacks.
Healthy tubers with hatched eyes are suitable for germination. Practice shows that the best result can be achieved when planting tubers weighing 100 g.
In large potatoes, the supply of nutrients is greater than in small specimens. After planting, the tops grow rapidly until the reserves contained in the tubers are exhausted. The development of the rhizome lags significantly behind. After the tuber gives up its reserves, the underground part will not be able to fully meet the needs of the green mass. The situation will return to normal once the balance is restored.
Experienced farmers recommend cutting large potatoes into pieces 3-4 days before planting, leaving at least three eyes on each piece. During this period, the cut will have time to cork, blocking the access to pathogenic fungi and bacteria.
Planting small tubers will not provide you with a rich harvest. You will have to put 2-3 potatoes in the holes to make the most of the space. It will be inconvenient to dig such nests because of the risk of damage to the tubers with a shovel.
Reference. Some certified elite varieties have small planting tubers, which give a full-fledged bush of selected potatoes.
How to germinate potatoes for planting at home? 3 options
These procedures can be applied even in an apartment if you manage to create the necessary conditions in it. And then, when the potatoes sprout, they can be taken to the dacha and planted. It's even better if you have a barn. It will still be much more convenient to sprout there. And this can be done in different ways.
1. In sawdust
Sawdust is widely used by gardeners. They will help us in this matter as well. To do this, they will need to be moistened, and already wet poured onto the bottom of wooden boxes. The layer should be small - 3-5 centimeters. Next, a wet bedding is placed on top of the sawdust and tubers are already laid out on it.
After that, the first layer of potatoes is covered with the same substrate, and the same is done. There should be no more than 4 such layers in one box. The germination time of potatoes in sawdust is usually 15 days.
2. In packages
If you put the tubers in a plastic bag, you can create the conditions for a small greenhouse for them. It will be humid and warm in such a greenhouse.
We select a bag that is suitable for the size and put 8-10 potatoes in it. In order for them to breathe in the bag, several holes will need to be made. Next, we tie the bags and hang them in a dry room. Hang packages with potatoes in the light and at the same time be well ventilated. For 20 days, the tubers give good shoots.
This method can be used when the potatoes need to germinate quickly. This is usually done shortly before planting.
Tubers are laid out in a dry room (it should be warm enough) in 1 or 2 layers. When moisture is lost, enzymes begin to accumulate in the potato. It is these enzymes that further awaken the eyes. When dried, potatoes germinate in 7-8 days.
When choosing a germination method, you should start from the time left before planting potatoes. It is from this that we should proceed.
You will be told about preparing potatoes for planting in this video.
And from this you will learn about the results of the experiment when the potatoes were left to germinate in the light and in the dark. We look.