What care is needed during cultivation?
The things to know to take good care of one's potato garden are few but essential. The sowing of potatoes should take place immediately after winter, continuing during the spring. After about twenty days from sowing, check the first leaves. At this point it is advisable to perform a light earthing up, to lengthen the stem and multiply the number of tubers, as well as to eliminate weeds. Subsequently, after a month, the operation must be repeated, in a more massive way than the first. From the moment the leaves of the plant turn yellow, the potatoes will be ready for harvest. A trick to find out if the potatoes are ripe is to rub the skin: if it comes off it means that the harvest time has not yet come. In reality, the potato is edible even earlier, but only if it is ripe it can be stored for months after harvest.
Post-sowing: how much and how to water the potatoes?
After the seeding of the potato, which, as the best peasant traditions wish, it is preferable that it happens with a waning moon, the first question that may arise is how and how much the underground tuber should be watered. The potato needs a lot of water to grow, it is usually advisable to water the crops 2 to 8 times a month. If the garden is of considerable size, we can also water it through irrigation: the most recommended types are rain and sliding, to be carried out in the cool hours of the morning. However, it is essential to make sure that you avoid excessive water stagnation, which would damage the correct development of the tuber causing its mold. The advice is therefore to water the earth only if it appears excessively dry.
What fertilizers can I use?
The ideal fertilizer for our tuber is the one that contains small amounts of nitrogen: this element makes the leaves green and strong, a function that is all in all secondary to this cultivation. However the fertilizer must be rich in phosphorus and potassium, useful substances to increase the number of tubers produced. The choice that is then up to the grower concerns the type of fertilizer to be used. Some fertilizers are mixed with the water of the watering and are used every 15-20 days; others are granular and are distributed during the growth of the plant on the ground: the comfort of this type of fertilizer is that it dissolves independently thanks to watering. The most used, however, is the foliar fertilizer: it is vaporized on the leaves of the plant after having mixed it with abundant water.
Sowing potatoes: What diseases can affect potatoes?
Some of the most important pathologies to which the potato plant may be subject are given by the fungal agents, such as downy mildew, altica, alternaria. However, there are also diseases caused by viral agents and parasites. Speaking of fungal agents, the most common is downy mildew, which expands with dark spots starting from the leaves and then reaching the tuber. In general, treatment with copper and drainage of excessive water stagnation is useful for fungal infections. The main enemy, however, is the parasitic Doriphora: a insect that feeds on all parts of the plant, ruining the crop entirely. To eliminate it, it is necessary to use pesticides on the market. Finally, another category of problems concerns the physiopathies: given by atmospheric agents, they create cracks and damage to the tuber.