Many novice gardeners are wondering about the need for watering potatoes. Some generally think that watering is not necessary for him.
In fact, potatoes are a moisture-loving crop that requires a lot of water and nutrients to grow tops and large tubers over the summer.
As a result of improper watering of the crop, low productivity, constant diseases, chopping of tubers. Therefore, watering should not be ignored. You will find information on how and when to water potatoes, how to do dry watering, by what signs you can determine that there is too much or not enough moisture - you will find in our article.
When and how much to water the potatoes outdoors?
The need for watering in potatoes varies depending on the phase of plant development..
There is no reason to water the potatoes before sprouting. If not spoiled tubers were used for planting, and the planting itself was carried out immediately after plowing the field, then the plant will have enough moisture in the spring soil and inside the tuber.
The danger of watering during this period lies in the fact that at this stage the plant forms a root system, which, in search of moisture, branches and deepens into the soil. If the plant is watered during this period, the roots will not be located deeply, which will lead to a decrease in yield.
The first watering is recommended when the first shoots appear.... For one bush, the moisture rate is about 2-3 liters. Watering from a hose or under the root is allowed
IMPORTANT! Watering the plant is not recommended during the daytime from 12:00 to 18:00. This does not lead to the desired result, since moisture evaporates in hot soil before reaching the roots, and drops falling on the tops can lead to leaf burns.
Since the future crop is laid from the moment the buds appear until the plant stops growing, it is during this period that the plant needs proper watering. When single flower stalks appear, this is the time when the crop depends on watering the plant.... Abundant watering (about 4 liters of water per plant) during this period will increase the yield by 15-30%.
In dry, sunny weather, watering should be done every 4-6 days. If the weather is not too hot, then the irrigation should be reduced to once every 10-14 days. If you see that the tops are drying and withering, this is a reason to additionally moisten the soil.
Heavy and dense soils that contain clay rock tend to hold moisture well. If there are puddles on the potato field after the rain, watering the potatoes is not needed.... It should only be done during drought periods.
It makes no sense to water a few weeks before harvesting, this will no longer affect the development of tubers, but it can lead to problems with storing potatoes.
Features for early varieties
Early maturing potato varieties are characterized by rapid development and require abundant, but frequent watering. It is recommended to add 3 liters of water per plant every 3-5 days. During the period of active flowering, the dose of water must be increased to 6 liters.
Proper watering - all the subtleties:
- Water only in the early morning or evening.
- If watering is carried out through a hose, do not direct a strong stream of water to the plant tops.
- Do not water several weeks before harvesting potatoes.
- Consider the characteristics of the soil on your site and the climate of your region. Light soils need to be watered more often, heavy soils less often. In the southern, arid regions, the soil needs more water than in the northern and rainy ones.
- It is advisable not to use ice water, but first let it settle in a container in the sun.
Read about how to get a rich harvest of early potatoes in our material.
What is the drip method?
Drip irrigation is a relatively simple and fairly budgetary method of delivering water directly to the roots of a plant, the main advantage of which is that there is no need to carry water with buckets or watering cans.
This is especially true of course for potatoes, since this is the main cultivated crop for most summer residents.
The benefits of drip irrigation:
- With this method of irrigation, plant roots develop best.
- Water does not fall on the tops of the potato, which helps to protect plants from many diseases and does not wash off insecticides from the leaves.
- High moisture savings are achieved.
- Due to the fact that the water in the barrel has time to heat up, the roots of the plant are not injured as from watering with cold water.
Installation of drip irrigation for potato irrigation is quite simple... This requires:
- a barrel or other container with a volume of 150-200 liters;
- materials for building an elevation;
- rigid hose or iron pipe with a diameter of 25 mm;
- flexible hose with a diameter of 28 mm;
- rubber compressor;
- tap with a valve;
- Drill a hole in the bottom of the barrel equal to the diameter of the tap. Before installing the valve, use rubber seals to prevent water loss.
- Place the barrel on an elevated position by making supports for it. This is necessary in order to create the necessary pressure and ensure the supply of water to the farthest landings.
- Make holes with a diameter of 2-3 mm in the plastic pipe, at a distance of about 20 cm from each other.
- Connect the tap and pipe (rigid hose) with a flexible hose. Plug the other end of the pipe with a plug.
- How to water potatoes this way? The tactics of drip irrigation of potatoes are as follows: a plastic pipe must be placed in the aisle of potato bushes, water flows through a flexible hose from a barrel of water to the roots of the plant through holes in the pipe. Having finished watering one row of potatoes, you need to close the water and move the pipe to another row.
- If you want a more convenient irrigation system that does not imply a pipe transfer, but a more automated one, then use a flexible hose to connect a tap and a rigid pipe.
- Install this pipe perpendicular to the row spacing.
- With a drill, make holes on it for the installation of fittings (special adapters).
- Connect narrow hoses through the fittings and pass them between the rows of potatoes.
- Install plugs on the ends of the hoses and the main pipe. Keep in mind that irrigation power may not be sufficient for long plantings. You may need to install another structure on the other side of the field.
- The water pressure can be adjusted by the height of the barrel rise.
- Experienced gardeners recommend taking care of installing a filter in a drip irrigation system. Not necessarily expensive, the main thing is to help avoid blockages in the system.
Signs of Wrong Actions
Attention! The crop is negatively affected by the excess and lack of moisture. In order to prevent plant death or yield deterioration, it is necessary to carefully monitor the condition of the tops.
Signs of lack of moisture:
- Leaves appear drooping and light.
- Small stems begin to die off.
- The growth of the plant stops, the buds cannot bloom.
Signs of excess moisture:
- Leaves droop, darken and become watery.
- Weeping spots form in the lower part of the stem, sometimes with a gray or white bloom.
There are no unambiguous instructions when and how much to water the potatoes, it all depends on a number of factors: the climatic conditions of a particular region, the composition and density of the soil, it was rainy or dry summer. One thing is for sure - if you carefully monitor the needs of your plants and follow simple instructions, you will enjoy an unprecedented harvest in the fall.