How to fertilize potatoes

Proper fertilizer application for potatoes during planting has a significant impact on the qualitative and quantitative indicators of yield and allows you to get tasty tubers suitable for long-term storage. The introduced substances must fully satisfy the nutritional requirements of the garden crop, therefore it is important not only to take into account the composition of the fertilizer, but also to observe the application rates at different stages of cultivation.

The need for fertilizer

Effective fertilizers and nutritional complexes are necessary for any vegetable crops, and potatoes in this regard is no exception. Knowing which fertilizer is best used at different stages of the growing season, you can achieve very good results when growing potatoes in the home garden.

The culture is characterized by a very intensive consumption of nutrients, its root system is rather weak, and the tubers are formed quite large. The secret to a rich vegetable harvest is the proper replenishment of nutrient loss in the new season.

Preplanting soil preparation

The great need of potatoes for basic nutrients necessitates the introduction of increased doses of fertilizer under this popular vegetable crop. When preparing soil on the site for planting potatoes, organic fertilizers, represented by horse or cow manure, are most often used. Very effective modern organomineral complexes can provide good nutrition to the garden culture.

Recommendations for preplant soil preparation for growing potatoes are as follows:

  • Autumn is not only a harvesting period, but also the best time to fertilize a plot for growing garden crops;
  • in the fall, land should be freed from vegetable debris, as well as deep digging of the soil with the introduction of basic fertilizers;
  • if the soil on the site is too acidic, then any formulations deoxidizing the soil should be added;
  • it is best in the pre-planting period in the fall to fertilize the site with manure or compost, which contain a full range of all the substances necessary for feeding a vegetable crop.

Potato: fertilizing the soil before planting

It should be noted that in spring you can’t use fresh manure, able to spoil the taste of the potato and making it watery. The disadvantages of using fresh manure include the risk of damage to potato planting by such fungal diseases as late blight or scab. A few weeks before planting seed tubers, it is recommended to sow green manure crops that improve the composition and structural characteristics of the soil. When planting, you can add wood ash to the hole, which will protect seed tubers from damage by pathogenic microflora and will serve as additional nutrition.

Organic Nutrition

Fertilizers of organic origin are very popular in home gardening and are widely used by domestic amateur vegetable growers. Gardeners have several types of organic fertilizers at their disposal that positively affect soil fertility and increase productivity.

Type of fertilizerFeatures of useAdvantages and disadvantages
Dung massIt is advisable to use fresh cow or horse manure in the late autumn period, before freezing, and rotted manure can be laid in planting holes. It’s best to mix the dung mass with compost or peat chips.Fresh manure can have a negative effect on potato tubers, causing burns and provoking fungal diseases
CompostThe nutrient substance is a well-rotted plant waste stored in special compost heaps and decomposed to a full nutrient massFully natural and cost-free fertilizer that improves soil structure
Bird droppingsThis full-fledged type of fertilizer is advisable to apply for the autumn deep digging of the soil in the area for growing potatoesIt decomposes as quickly as possible and effectively affects the growth and development of culture. It is superior in nutrition to other types of manure.
PeatIt contains nitrogen components in an inaccessible form and increases the amount of humus in the soil, and also makes it lighter and more airy, which allows application in the springPeat contains an insufficient amount of phosphorus-potassium components
HumusSuch organics can be of manure or plant origin and works best when introduced into spring diggingExcessive application often causes deterioration of the shelf life and taste of tubers
River sludgeMust be mixed with plant debris and soil and kept a couple of years in compost boxesVery nutrient-rich composition that positively affects the growth of garden crops

There are also ready-made organic complexes, intended for introduction on household plots and garden plots for planting vegetables, including potatoes.

Type of Organic FertilizerTitleFeatures
VermicompostVermixHumus enriched with enzymes, soil antibiotics, and growth hormones
Liquid organic"Ripen"The basis of the nutrient complex are salts of humic acids that increase soil fertility
Compost"Reliable"Completely devoid of pathogenic microflora composition enriched with essential trace elements
Compost"Peaks"Bulk organic complex with biologically active additives for entering into the hole
Liquid organicBioud PeaksThe basis of the nutritional complex are bioadditives that actively increase soil fertility

Mineral fertilizers

These nutritional formulations contain a variety of mineral salts. Such fertilizers can be either single-component or complex type. Complex nutritional formulations contain two or more nutrients. The use of any mineral complexes in vegetable growing is one of the main methods of intensive farming. Ammonium nitrate or urea is chosen from nitrogen fertilizers for potatoes. As phosphoric fertilizers, phosphorite flour or superphosphate are suitable for vegetable culture. The most commonly used complex mineral compounds.

TitleApplication featuresAdvantages and disadvantages
AmmophosConcentrated nitrogen-phosphorus complex, characterized by water solubilityLow hygroscopicity and fast, high efficiency
Potassium nitrateThe standard rate is approximately 15-20 g per square meterComposed of 44% potassium and 14% nitrogen, which makes top dressing highly effective
NitrophosIt is introduced in the process of autumn deep plowing of the soil on the site for planting potatoesContains 23% nitrogen and approximately 17% phosphorus.
NitroammophosOn heavy soils, nitroammophoska should be applied in the fall, and for light soils, optimum spring application at a rate of 20 g per square meter of landing areaQuickly dissolves with decay to ammonium ions, nitrate ions and phosphoric acid ions

Dates and application scheme

Judging by numerous reviews, amateur gardeners who do not have the ability to use organics most often use liquid complex fertilizers, or HCFs, as well as granular complex formulations in preplant planting. When making nutritional complexes, it should be remembered that in one container of 10 l contains:

  • ammonium nitrate - 8.5 kg;
  • slaked lime - 12.0 kg;
  • dolomite flour - 15.0 kg;
  • potassium chloride - 9.5 kg;
  • urea or urea - 6.5 kg;
  • ammonium sulfate - 9.5 kg;
  • potassium sulfate - 13.0 kg;
  • simple superphosphate - 12.0 kg;
  • phosphorite flour - 17.5 kg.

When growing potatoes, it is recommended to adhere to the classic, established by the cultivation technology, timing and feeding scheme.

Root dressingApplication DatesFertilizer used
First feedingThe last decade of May, the active growth and development of the vegetative mass of vegetable cropsAmmonium nitrate at a rate of 10-20 g per square meter or urea at a rate of 0.4-0.7 kg per hundred square meters
Second feedingThe stage of active budding of a vegetable crop, before floweringPotassium sulfate at the rate of 15 g per square meter or ordinary wood ash in an amount of 0.1-0.2 kg per square meter
Third feedingStage of active flowering of potatoesSuperphosphate at the rate of 20 g per square meter of landing area

A good result is the use of Kemira Potato, which contains an increased amount of potassium and has a beneficial effect on the yield of a vegetable crop. Also highly effective is complex fertilizer based on humus "Giant-potato", which should be applied directly to the prepared wells during planting.

How to grow potatoes

When feeding, it must be remembered that it is impossible to simultaneously add wood ash and nitrogen-containing complexes to the soil, and it is also necessary to avoid the simultaneous introduction of manure with lime. Foliar top dressing is carried out as needed, and the addition of a surface-active component such as urea, promotes the most rapid absorption of other compounds.

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