Recommended soil temperature for planting potatoes
To get a high-quality and plentiful crop, you need to know what soil temperature is required for planting potatoes in the spring. Of course, in different regions of the country, the climate varies and setting the exact date of landing will fail. The time when potatoes can withstand cooling or warming in the spring directly depends on weather conditions, since only they affect the temperature of the soil. From year to year, the weather at the same time tends to change.
Recommended soil temperature for planting potatoes
In this case, the gardener needs to know when it is best to plant potatoes and how much the soil should warm up. If you can cope with this task, then your plantings will not freeze and form large tubers. Different soils (chernozem, loam, sandy) each warm up at their own pace. Also, the type of potato you have chosen may require compliance with certain recommendations regarding planting dates.
Why does one of the old signs prohibit planting potatoes on Palm Sunday? If this was connected with the ancient Slavic rites, it is also no coincidence. In fact, this is a warning for those who are in a hurry to land. Palm week can begin either in early April or even in late March. Of course, the weather in different regions is different, but all the same, by this time the earth still does not have time to completely warm up.
The most competent predictions are those that relate planting dates to changes in the condition of other plants. For example, you can’t plant potatoes before the leaves bloom on the birch and later than the bird cherry blossoms. You can also stand on future potato ridges with bare feet and stand. If the legs do not freeze, they are comfortable on the ground, then it is quite possible that the potato will feel good in it.
The opinion of scientists
It is clear what the desire is based to lay the tubers on the ground as soon as possible - who does not want the potatoes to grow faster. And this does not contradict the scientific point of view at all. The fact is that the sooner the potato takes root and grows, the more stable will be its natural immunity to various diseases, in particular viral.
And early potato varieties have time to fully form tubers and you can get a crop before phytophthora spreads in the gardens, which loves air temperatures of 20-25 ° C and rainy weather, which very often corresponds to the climate of many regions in Russia in the middle of summer.
Optimum soil temperature
What should be the minimum temperature of the soil in order to plant potatoes and get a plentiful harvest from it? Take a centimeter thermometer and measure the temperature of the soil. If the soil warmed up to 7-8 ° degrees, then this is already good and such indicators are considered acceptable for cultivation. Be sure to take measurements at a depth of at least 10-12 cm. Pay attention to the air temperature - if it stays steady at around 8-10 degrees, then the soil is most likely already suitable for growing your planting material.
Why should the temperature of the soil be so? Because this is the optimum temperature for planting your potatoes. At this temperature, the roots of plants begin to actively penetrate into the soil. If the earth is colder than this line, and even saturated with moisture - the seeds sown will most likely begin to rot, before they have time to gain volume, and if it does not rot, it will grow.
Even sprouted crops are unlikely to survive if you grow them in cold land. A temperature of 1 to 5 is already a risk. Sprouts are slow and reluctant, but they will develop only starting from 3 degrees, but are you sure that there will not be a sharp cooling? Therefore, for fidelity, wait for the stability of daily weather.
Soil moisture can be determined
You also need to pay attention to soil moisture. Tubers planted at 7-8 degrees, but in too moist soil, will easily become infected with ring rot and a black leg (these are bacterial diseases) or rhizoctoniosis (popularly black scab). The critical level of soil moisture in the spring that can withstand potatoes is 75%.
But how to determine if the soil is too saturated with water, without special devices? In this case, it is recommended to trust the popular experience. Take a handful of earth, squeeze into a lump and stretching out your hand, drop the lump on a solid place. If the lump has crumbled, this means that the humidity does not exceed a critical level. If a sticky lump of dirt is lying in front of you - unfortunately with planting, you have to wait, planting potatoes in such land - it's like throwing it in a swamp.
How to determine the type of soil?
- If you find in your area a wet and wet lump of dirt that does not crumble when thrown onto the soil, then the type of your garden soil is heavy. These are loam and clay soils.
- Medium soil is also loam, which differs in light and medium.
- Light soils are sandy.
Why is it important to know? Because with this method of determination, you can find out what soil is in your garden and what will be the approximate temperature of the soil for planting potatoes. The lighter the soil, the faster it warms up, but also dries out. In light soil, do not pull with planting potatoes. If you miss the right moment, then the landings will not have enough moisture for development.
There is also another method for determining the type of soil. For this, the gardener needs to pick up a handful of moist earth. Next, you need to roll the soil into a lump and try to roll out, to get something like a sausage. If the sausage is not stubbornly molded, then you have light soil. If it is easily blinded and bent into a ring, the soil is moist and flexible. If it immediately cracks, then this soil is of the middle type. Well, if a viscous strawberry is perfectly molded even in a sausage, at least in something else, then in your area there is solid clay, that is, heavy soil with high humidity. But with moist and clay soils with irrigation problems are not expected.
Preparation for landing
Potato prefers warmth in every sense of the word and does not withstand the cold in spring. There is such a saying among the people and it sounds like this: “When everyone spoke, the potato said: Plant me warm, dig me warm and eat me warm too - that’s all I want.” It is worth considering this statement and, if possible, providing warmth to your potatoes. You cannot plant seed that has just come from a damp cellar. Such tubers may not wake up for a long time.
If you have just such a potato, then there are several ways to prepare raw and cold seed material for planting.
- Spring vernalization is a pre-planting germination: in 2-3 weeks in advance, put the tubers in a room where there is scattered light and store at a temperature of 12-15 degrees, from the light and heat, the development of the kidneys will naturally accelerate.
- If you did not have time to carry out the germination procedure - it does not matter, arrange the potatoes to dry (let them spend 8-10 days in a dry place at a temperature of 14-16 degrees).
Of course, the standard germination of seed material is more profitable in terms of time - such tubers germinate after 8-14 days, and the ripening of the crop occurs 1-2 weeks earlier. Potato bushes rise higher, the tubers develop immunity against bacteria and pathogenic fungi. Follow the schedule and planting dates of your potatoes, then you will have every chance to get a plentiful and healthy crop.