Dates and methods of harvesting potatoes

Potato care also involves harvesting. Harvesting potatoes from the field should be done in a timely manner. If overexposed tubers in the ground, then the likelihood of various diseases. If you collect unripe tubers, then a dense peel will not have time to form, which will negatively affect the keeping quality of the crop. Consider in what time frame this vegetable crop should be harvested, and what specialized equipment can be involved during harvesting.

Timing of harvesting

According to agricultural requirements, the timing of harvesting potatoes depends on several factors. The most important of these are the potato variety and weather conditions. Let's consider each of them separately.

Potato variety

Each variety has its own ripening period. In general, all varieties are divided into 5 groups.
  1. Early ripe. The vegetative period in early ripening varieties lasts about 67 days. Accordingly, we remove early ripe potatoes in July or August. Before you start harvesting, you should dig a few bushes and look at the size of the tubers. If their diameter is 3 cm or more, you can start digging.
  2. Medium.Ripen in 73 days. They are usually ready by the end of August.
  3. Mid-season. They can be collected after 83 days after planting.
  4. Late. Harvesting periods vary from 15 to 120 days after planting. Harvesting time for this potato is usually September.
  5. Late ripening. The growing season is 135 days. Harvest late-ripening varieties in the fall.
If you over-potato in the ground, it will slightly decrease in weight. Also, crops harvested later than expected are stored much worse.

Weather and climate conditions

We take into account the weather forecast for the first autumn months. If it rains, then harvesting work begins before they begin. If you tighten the harvest, then the gross harvest of healthy potatoes will decrease. Potatoes and early frosts will be negatively affected. We dig out the crop in dry and sunny weather. It is best to dig up potatoes during the Indian summer. You need to do this on a warm and sunny day.
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In different regions of our country, climatic conditions differ. In some areas, summer is long, in some - short. Therefore, the ripening period of potatoes varies. The main guideline for the farmer should be the condition of the tops. As soon as the leaves begin to fade, and the stems lie on the ground, it's time to start harvesting. Before harvesting potatoes, it is advisable to mow the tops. We start digging tubers 2 weeks after harvesting the tops.This time is enough to make the tuber peel rough. It is worth noting here that you should carefully select the varieties of potatoes for growing. For example, the Krasnodar Territory is famous for its long and warm summers, so any variety is suitable. But in the Ryazan region, summer is short and cold. The best varieties for this region are Nevsky, Spark. Pay attention to the crop in your region that the selected variety produced in 2016 and 2017.

Appointment of potatoes

Убираем при зеленой ботве

We remove it with a green leaf

It affects the timing of harvesting the potato and its purpose. Plots intended for growing planting material are harvested before the tops dry. But, the flowering at the time of picking potatoes should already be over, because during flowering, the underground part of the plant actively grows and develops. Potatoes, which are intended for eating, are harvested after withering tops. It is important to discard all damaged and diseased tubers when collecting seed material. It is advisable to feed sick potatoes to their own animals or birds. Damaged potatoes can be eaten. But it has a short shelf life. Therefore, you need to eat it first of all.
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The potatoes that go to the seeds in the new season are stored separately. We pretreat it with copper sulfate diluted in water. This treatment will prevent the appearance of fungal diseases.If it is not possible to prepare planting material, it is advisable to purchase it from the peasant farm (peasant farm).

How to speed up the process

Sometimes you need to speed up the process of ripening the crop. Such a need arises if the crop should be ready by the middle or end of September, but September is scheduled for rainy. In this case, it is more advisable to dig out the crop in August. To accelerate the ripening of a vegetable crop, you can use:
  1. Copper sulfate, which sprayed the bush 14 days before harvesting. 5 grams of chemical is taken per 1 liter of water.
  2. Magnesium chlorate, which is sprayed with bushes 5 days before harvest. We take 20 grams of chemical per 1 liter of water.
  3. Superphosphate. 1 kg of fertilizer is taken per 5 l of water.
Experts recommend artificially accelerating the ripening of crops only in exceptional cases. Do not ignore the lunar calendar, which indicates favorable days for harvesting. These terms are changed every year.

Harvesting methods

There are two methods of harvesting: manual and mechanized.

Manual harvesting

Manual harvesting of potatoes takes a lot of time and effort. It should be resorted to only if there is no way to work with special equipment in the garden. And you can’t use agricultural machinery if only part of the tops is lying, and the remaining bushes are still in ripening stage.This happens if varieties of different groups are planted together (for example, early ripe and mid-ripening). It is still not possible to use a potato digger if there is a different distance between the rows.
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Choose a tool for digging potatoes according to the type of soil. On light and crumbly soils we use forks. On heavy soils, which include chernozem, we use a shovel. With manual digging, weeds can not be harvested or tops. With manual harvesting, you can immediately sort potatoes for storage. We sort the crop by varieties and sizes of tubers. We eat early varieties in September and October. The longest shelf life in late-ripening varieties. We leave them for winter storage. As for the size of tubers, we first eat small tubers, then large ones. Medium sized tubers are stored for the longest time.

Mechanized picking

Mechanized harvesting can save time and energy. Great contribution to the process of mechanization of agriculture was made by V.P. Avdeev. But this technology is not always applicable. You can use agricultural machinery in areas where potatoes are planted in even rows, and the row spacing is the same. If these conditions are met, then you can use a potato digger. But, we take into account that the combine digging requires preliminary preparation of beds. Have to mow tops and weeds. A special technique cuts off the topsoil in which the ripened tubers are located and sends it to a special compartment. There, through vibration, the separation of crop and land occurs.

Select agricultural machinery

Техника в помощь

Equipment to help

Organization of harvesting requires careful selection of equipment.

Autonomy and functionality of the equipment

There is a passive equipment that clings to a walk-behind tractor or a mini tractor, and there is an operational-technological machine that performs several functions (planting, hilling, harvesting). All potato diggers are divided into single-row and multi-row devices. With the help of the first, each row is dug separately. With the help of multi-row devices, several rows are excavated at the same time. When choosing equipment, we take into account how much land needs to be cultivated. If the area of ​​the potato field exceeds 20-30 acres, then it is advisable to use 4 or 6-row potato diggers. It is also worth noting that large areas with an area of ​​more than 1 hectare can be cultivated with a combine or tractor.
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Availability of a harvesting compartment

Some potato diggers are equipped with a harvesting compartment some are not. If there is no such branch, then you will have to enlist the help of potato pickers who will collect the tubers manually.An alternative is a potato harvester, which you will have to do yourself. There is no such equipment on sale. The collector is a box with a trellised bottom. On one side the box is open, and has a long knife made of sheet steel, which cuts off the top layer of soil. In this layer there is a dug crop. It remains to weed out the earth. To do this, it is enough to properly shake the box. But, this device will be effective only when working with dry soil.

When to dig potatoes?
When to dig potatoes?

Features of using the technique

To not to damage the crop you need to properly configure the technique. The operating rules of any factory equipment are described in the instructions. It also indicates how to configure the purchased equipment. In some potato diggers, you can change the working width (row spacing) and digging depth. In some units, only the digging depth is adjustable.

If the working width of the equipment is not adjustable, then during the landing we adjust the row spacing to the existing equipment.

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Anna Evans

Author ✓ Farmer

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