The method of growing potatoes using seeds rather than tubers is so unpopular that not every gardener has heard of it.
Meanwhile, this technology has many advantages. Yes, it is more time consuming compared to the usual one, but it is definitely worth the effort.
In this article, you can find out all the features of growing a vegetable from seeds, study the description of the most suitable varieties for this and see a photo of how the seedlings obtained in this way look like.
As well as the secrets of successful vegetable cultivation and common mistakes made in this case.
Advantages and disadvantages
First of all, it is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of the method.
- It happens that the tubers for planting are infected, and the harvest is not the best. Growing potatoes from seeds eliminates this problem. The seed method produces healthy plants that are resistant to unfavorable conditions.
- The cost of seeds is several times lower than the cost of tubers. Thus, this is an opportunity to save a lot.
- Many people prefer to plant tubers from last year's harvest. Choosing seeds eliminates the need to look for storage space.
- A huge selection of varieties makes it easy to choose the one that will satisfy all the conditions.
- Seedlings react sharply to any inconvenience and, in the absence of proper lighting, stretch too far.
- Without the constant use of biological products, seedlings will often hurt.
- Transplanting must be done with great care - seedlings grown from seeds are more fragile.
- Since the root system of such a potato is weak, at first the soil should be as loose as possible.
- The first tubers will be very small. A good harvest can be obtained only in the second year.
Most suitable varieties
- Assol... High-yielding potato with elongated oval tubers. Resistant to viral diseases and easily tolerates any climatic conditions.
- The empress... A fast ripening variety for table use. Differs in unpretentiousness and good keeping quality.
- Farmer... Large potatoes with excellent taste. Possesses high resistance to disease and degeneration.
- Triumph... A very productive variety, tolerates adverse conditions well. In warm climates, two harvests per year are possible.
Learn how to get a rich harvest of early potatoes here.
- Ballad... Forms medium and large sized tubers with high taste. Differs in excellent productivity regardless of weather and climatic conditions.
- Virgo... High-yielding variety, resistant to hybrid and viral diseases. It stands out for the rapid formation of tubers.
- Beauty... It is characterized by good productivity, large-fruited. Possesses high taste.
It should be noted that each vegetable variety has its own planting dates.
Seedlings are often exposed to fungal diseases. To prevent this possibility, seeds are disinfected before planting - for example, a solution of Fitosporin or any other disinfectant. The seeds are carefully laid out on a rag, poured with a solution and left for an average of half an hour. It is better to give preference to fabric over gauze so that small seeds do not get tangled.
The soil for seedlings is required as fertile as possible. You can either buy it at a special store, or make it yourself.
In order to prepare the soil mixture, you will need:
- 1/7 sand.
- 1/7 of humus.
- 2/7 garden land.
- 3/7 peat.
The resulting mixture is thoroughly mixed, and then disinfected with an antifungal drug. The soil must be loose and sifted.... Such soil absorbs moisture well, contributing to better germination of the sown seeds.
Features of sowing seedlings
Sowing is one of the most important stages of growing potato seedlings at home, you need to take into account all the nuances in order to get good healthy seedlings in one season.
When to plant?
Seeds are sown in boxes early enough for the seedlings to grow. Optimal for this planting dates for seedlings - late March or early April.
Growing seedlings is a laborious process. When the seeds are germinated, you can start sowing them. Consider how to plant a plant in open ground. So, the process should look like this:
- In wet soil, small depressions are made in the form of rows of 1-1.5 cm.The distance between them should be at least 7-10 cm.
- Seeds are laid out at a distance of 3-5 cm from each other and sprinkled with soil or sand. The optimum thickness of the top layer is 0.5 cm. It is advisable to compact it a little so as not to wash it off when watering.
- After that, the soil is moistened with a sprayer, the container is covered with foil or glass and placed in a warm place with good lighting.
Nuances of care
It is important to ensure that the seedlings do not freeze, so it is better not to put them on the windowsill. Watering is done exclusively through the pallet - water should not get on the leaves. It is also impossible to overfill, excess water can lead to the fact that the sprouts begin to rot.
Read more about watering potatoes, including drip irrigation, here.
When the seedlings form a couple of leaves, it will be possible to start picking. It will require a special soil and separate peat pots, into which the seedlings will be transplanted. The root should be shortened by no more than a quarter, otherwise the plant may die.
To make the seedlings easier and faster to take root, at the end of the pick, it is recommended to fertilize it with a solution of ammonium nitrate with the calculation of 10 g of substance per 10 liters of water (read about how and how to fertilize potatoes here).
IMPORTANT! A pick too early will stress and negatively affect the growth of the potato, and too late threatens that the grown roots will intertwine, and it will be difficult to separate them.
Look at the photo of how potato seedlings obtained from seeds look like.
Agrotechnology as a system of methods and means of plant cultivation presupposes a different method, which differs from the one discussed earlier. You can also grow a vegetable using the so-called seedless planting method. (we talked about new, unconventional methods of planting potatoes in a personal plot in this article). In this case, the seeds are planted directly into the ground.
In order to achieve a large harvest, it is necessary to study the basic cultivation technology. Seeds can be planted no earlier than May, best of all in the first half of it. Before planting on pre-prepared soil, rows are outlined at a distance of 50-70 cm from each other and filled with water. When it is completely absorbed, you can start planting seeds on the wet soil. The planting depth should be at least 0.5 cm, the intermediate distance should be at least 5-6 cm.
How to take care of it properly?
Care after landing is carried out in compliance with some rules. At first, especially in regions with a cool climate, it is recommended to cover the beds at night... When the seeds germinate, this need will disappear.
With the appearance of several leaves, the seedlings are planted at a distance of 25-30 cm from each other so that they do not interfere with each other and do not intertwine with roots.
Plants are weeded and huddled regularly for comfortable growth.
An important role is played by the fight against the Colorado potato beetle, which is a real disaster for potatoes.
Country tricks and common mistakes
Some savvy gardeners successfully apply their growing secrets in practice:
- For example, the method of planting seeds in diapers or diapers has long been proven effective.
- To make the seedlings more stable, they can be "hardened" - taken out into the fresh air, each time increasing the time.
- If you get rid of potatoes that have not yet opened buds, they will not expend extra energy on flowering.
Of course, it is not complete without errors:
- When growing seedlings, some summer residents sprinkle the seeds with soil too abundantly. In this case, most of them may simply not ascend.
- In no case should the seeds be soaked in water. A tissue that will be regularly moisturized is sufficient.
- Not everyone takes into account that the germination of potato seeds is low, because of this, the number of seedlings may be less than expected.
In practice the seed method of growing is not at all difficult, albeit troublesome. But the result justifies all the time spent - the resulting variety will be of the highest quality. If you follow all the recommendations and act correctly, the grown potatoes in a year will certainly delight you with an excellent harvest.
Video about growing potatoes from seeds: