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Planting potatoes according to the Mittlider is considered one of the most popular methods. Despite this, in each region, gardeners are inventing new options. Over time, they return to using proven techniques. Planting root crops according to the Meatlider in the garden facilitates the process of growing a vegetable crop.
The general essence of planting and growing according to Mittlider
The method is characterized by the creation of narrow beds. They take up little space and still yield 20% more than a normal potato planting. Favorable weather conditions will help to increase the number of tubers. Lighting and fertilization are also important factors.
Advantages of the method
The Mittlider method has several significant advantages:
- Growing potatoes is possible on any type of soil.
- Saving planting area and at the same time increasing yields.
- When choosing this method, loosening of the soil and hilling is not carried out.
Due to the wide aisles with narrow beds, the plant has good nutrition, a lot of heat and sunlight. Such conditions have a positive effect on the development of culture. In turn, the roots grow big and tasty. Another advantage of the technology is that it can be used in regions with any climate.
Disadvantages of the method
Planting potatoes using this technology is not suitable for use in areas located on the northern slopes. Lowland, swampy and peaty places are not suitable. All this can contribute to the appearance of stagnant water. Beds with such conditions are negatively reflected in the development of potatoes.
The Mittlider method requires the use of a large amount of fertilizer. Substances cost a lot of money, so a person should know this before starting a landing. Not all gardeners have a plot on the sunny side. If a shadow falls on the soil, the yield is automatically reduced by 4 times. The potatoes themselves are saturated with nitrates.
The advantages of narrow beds
Narrow beds are an excellent solution for gardeners with a small plot of land. They alternate with wide aisles. This provides the bushes with good lighting. Thanks to this, it actively grows and brings a large harvest. Also, a narrow bed makes it easy to apply fertilizer.
Narrow ridges on uneven terrain and bad land
Uneven land is not suitable for growing potatoes using the Mittlider method. First of all, they make caring for the bushes in the garden inconvenient. If a person ignores this rule and makes many mistakes, the yield level decreases. Bad soil is not a problem, because the method involves the use of fertilizers for the proper nutrition of potato tubers.
The Mittlider method and organic farming
People using this potato growing system often return to organic farming. One of the main features of the Mittlider is frequent watering. As a rule, problems begin at this stage. Some gardeners are limited in this regard.
Before growing potatoes according to the Mittlider, you need to fully prepare and be convinced of your own strength.
The Mittlider system makes it possible to get the crop instantly. This does not take into account the suitability of the site. If the method is abandoned, the yield is significantly reduced, and the garden bed becomes saline. You need to have a reliable water source nearby. Organic farming implies respect for the soil and is designed for several years, the Mittlider method does not.
Mittlider method and hilling
The advantage of the system is that there is no need to carry out the hilling procedure. It is very comfortable. Instead, potatoes need a lot of fertilizer. In addition to hilling, there is no need for loosening.
How to plant?
Before planting potato tubers, you need to pay attention to many points. Not only root crops need preparation, but also ridges. If necessary, the gardener plants tubers for seedlings. In addition, a land plot is formed on which the landing will be carried out.
Preparing the beds
Before preparing the beds, you need to choose a suitable plot of land for potatoes. It should be dug up so that it is even. Then remove roots from old plants and weeds. Mark up and form narrow rectangular beds. They should be located from north to south. Introduce fertilizers into the soil. Rip each bed from the sides, forming sides with a height of at least 10 cm. Thanks to this approach, moisture in the ground remains much longer.
Large root crops are chosen for planting, since small ones are not suitable in this regard. The selected vegetables must be perfectly healthy. Planting potatoes is possible in the garden beds or in boxes. In the second case, you will have to transplant them.
A person can pre-plant potatoes in boxes. Transplanting young shoots at the beginning of the growing season stimulates their growth and promotes full development. The type of planting makes it possible to dig up roots from the soil before the main harvest.
Preparing tubers before planting in the beds
Before planting, the tubers undergo a small but mandatory preparation:
- They are placed in water, the temperature of which ranges from +50 to +60 ° C. Leave in this form for 20-25 minutes.
- Then it is removed from the water and placed in a solution of copper sulfate or potassium permanganate for 7-10 minutes.
- The tubers are smoothed in one layer into shallow boxes and taken out into the sun.
In this form, potatoes can remain from a couple of days to a week or more. All the time it must be sprayed with a solution prepared by mixing superphosphate with water. As soon as eyes appear on the tubers, they are cut into pieces. Each of them must have a sprouted eye.
The bottom of the boxes is sprinkled with sawdust so that the layer is not less than 3-4 cm. From above they are poured with a solution of copper sulfate (0.2% is enough). The container is filled with vegetables right next to each other. Sprinkle on top with sawdust again, maintaining a layer thickness of 1.5 to 2 cm.
The boxes with potatoes are transferred to a room with a temperature of + 13-15 ° C. After 8-9 days, the roots will be covered with thick, but short shoots. Small roots will also appear. Before planting, about 2–2.5 hours, the tubers are watered with complex fertilizer. Potato tubers are not kept in crates for too long. If the roots grow very long, they can be damaged when transplanted into the beds.
The scheme for planting potatoes in the Mittlider beds is very simple. In this case, you must be careful and strictly follow all instructions. First of all, get acquainted with each stage and only then proceed to its implementation. Ease of care and the amount of harvest depend on this.
Before planting vegetables, it is important to choose a site and properly prepare the beds. Following simple instructions will help eliminate any mistakes on the part of the gardener and perform all the work with high quality. List of stages:
- Choose a location with direct sunlight.
- Then follow all the recommendations for the formation of potato beds, which were described above.
- The distance between them should be at least 70 cm and no more than 1 m. The length of the bed itself is 9 m, and the width is 45-50 cm.
This scheme was not chosen by chance. Thanks to the layout, each bush receives a sufficient amount of light throughout the day.
If the land plot has a slope and it will not be possible to level it, the beds are arranged in the form of steps. During the formation of such a bed, holes for potatoes are dug in a checkerboard pattern. The distance between them is only 30 cm.The recommended depth is from 7 to 12 cm.
Planting tubers under straw
Many gardeners consider it important to plant potatoes under straw. It protects not only root crops, but also the soil from bad weather conditions. Thanks to the layer, the earth keeps moisture and heat well. Weeds in the beds grow several times slower or disappear completely.
The bush itself grows without any delay and develops well at the same time. Straw has not only a protective function for potatoes, but also saturates the soil with useful organic matter. You need to lay the straw in a thick layer, not sparing it. For the first time, only 9 cm will be enough. Over time, the straw settles, and the thickness decreases, so an additional amount is placed on top.
Landing in the ground
You can proceed to the stage of planting on the beds after all the preparatory work. Before placing potatoes in the hole, it is filled with fertilizer. It is enough to pour 1 tbsp into the hole. l vermicompost. After that, you can put the root crop on top.
Ensuring that the eyes are directed upwards is a prerequisite. When filling the hole with soil, be careful not to damage the eyes or completely break them. In no case should you dig up the ground between the potato beds. The scheme can be used for many years, so next year the place is not changed when landing.
Which potato varieties are suitable?
Any type of vegetable is suitable for growing potato tubers using the Mittlider method. This does not take into account the ripening time. Depending on the desired result, choose early, mid-season or late. Gardeners who have tried the method at least once claim that it is preferable to plant zoned potato varieties. Regardless of the variety chosen, the same fertilizer is used.
The procedure helps to protect young bushes and promotes their full development. It has been observed that mulching helps the crop grow faster. For the procedure, use humus, crushed bark, compost, reeds and finely crushed grass. The prepared composition has a beneficial effect on the earth, increasing the content of organic matter in it. The layer should cover the potatoes by 5 to 10 cm.
Mulch thinns over time as a result of rainfall and regular watering. In this case, the mulching procedure is repeated.
The Mittlider System advises 2 proven feeding mixes:
- composition No. 1;
- composition No. 2.
In the first case, the fertilizer is prepared by mixing 40 g of boric acid with 5 kg of dolomite flour. On average, 1 sq. m of the plot, no more than 100 g of the mixture is consumed. To prepare another composition, take 1.5 kg of ammonium nitrate, 0.5 kg of magnesium sulfate, 5 g of molybdic acid, 0.5 kg of ammophos. 5 g of boric acid and 1 kg of potassium sulfate are also added to these components. For 1 sq. m, only 50 g of the substance is consumed.
During the first feeding of potato tubers, two fertilizers are used simultaneously. When digging up the soil, sprinkle the mixture prepared according to the first recipe. Sprinkle with fertilizer No. 2 on top. The second fertilization is carried out when the sprouts reach a height of 15 cm. The third fertilization procedure falls during the formation of flower buds on large bushes. In order not to burn the potato roots, fertilizer must be scattered in the center of the garden.
Potatoes grown according to the Mittlider method are very afraid of dry soil. So that the bushes do not need food, you need to water them every day. For this purpose, use a hose or do drip irrigation. When using the hose, the water flow is directed under the roots. Watering in the beds is carried out throughout the development of potato bushes, and stops after the flowers have faded.
After planting potatoes, the vegetable needs careful care, which includes regular feeding, constant watering, and weed removal. It is important to ensure that the soil does not dry out under the potato bushes. Each plant should receive the same amount of water and fertilizer in the garden. Top dressing is done necessarily before germination. Then another and third are carried out, while the bushes in the beds also do not need hilling.
How to harvest?
Root crops should be dug out in a timely manner, without leaving them in the soil for a long time. You cannot harvest them ahead of time, as there is a risk of collecting green roots. Late dates always bring rotten or withered potatoes. The dried tops in the garden is an indicator that speaks of the ripeness of the vegetable. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Harvested from the beds in late August and early September. These are the optimal terms by which gardeners are guided. To finally make sure of the maturity of the root crops, dig out a few tubers. The large size of the potato and the dense skin indicates that it is time to start harvesting.
Harvesting potatoes is carried out using a shovel or walk-behind tractor. The second option is suitable for people with a large plot of land. After harvesting the vegetable, the tops remain in the beds. They must be removed from the beds and burned so as not to harm the crop for the next year. Potato branches can contain fungi or other pests that provoke the development of various diseases.
It is better to dig up roots in dry and sunny weather. This is necessary so that the tubers dry out in the sun and rays and ventilate. Collected from the garden in boxes or other convenient containers, cleared of earth residues. Suitable conditions for storing potatoes are temperatures from +4 to +5 ° C.
Top mistakes in this method
Simple rules are easy to follow, but far from it. There are people who make minor mistakes in their care. At first glance, they may seem harmless. In the best case, the yield decreases, and in the worst case, the potatoes disappear completely.
Some gardeners apply fertilizer to the beds, but the yield does not increase. This is due to watering. If the tubers are watered no more than 2 times a week, the substances in the formulations do not have time to dissolve. There is an accumulation of fertilizers, which soon leads to a high concentration of substances, after which the potato bushes are burned out.
Mittlider recommends stocking up on plenty of water. If it is not possible to water the potatoes daily, as a last resort it is done every other day. The ground must always remain moist. The level of watering depends on the amount of precipitation. When a large amount of moisture falls out, they refuse to water for a while.
In no case should you loosen potato beds. The Mittlider planting places the roots close to the surface of the ground. If it is loosened, it can damage the root system, which also affects the yield. Many people forget about it and make a big mistake.
Selection of the composition for feeding
Dolomite flour should not be added to alkaline soil. Thus, you can only harm her, since the bushes die from this. When preparing a mixture according to recipe No. 1, gypsum is taken instead of this component. With acidic soil on potato beds, it is allowed to safely use chalk, dolomite flour or crushed limestone as fertilizer.
Poor mixing of fertilizers
It is important to distribute fertilizer evenly over the entire plot of land. Inexperienced gardeners scatter the mixture on the ground and simply turn it over while digging. With this approach, the substances cannot evenly mix with the soil. Fertilizers will accumulate in certain places and this affects the potato yield.
Poor bed alignment
The slope of the bed is negatively reflected not only on the growth of the bushes, but also on the future harvest. On the one hand, the earth will constantly dry out, and at the other end of the beds, stagnant moisture is observed. In this case, the uniform application of fertilizers will be disturbed. Useful substances accumulate in a certain area, which is very bad.
To level the soil, use a building level and a bar. With a strong slope, the bed is divided into several sections and only after that the angle of inclination is determined. This allows you to make the area under the potatoes even.
The use of additional elements in complex fertilizers
When preparing top dressing, mistakes are also made. Many gardeners buy the drug Mag-Bor to add magnesium sulfate to the mixture. At the same time, boron is also present in the powder. If boron was added earlier, there may be an excess of boron in the soil. Such points must be taken into account in advance before preparing fertilizer for potatoes.
With the preparation of a mixture for dressing according to recipe No. 2, you should not buy complex mineral fertilizers. They contain not only basic elements, but also iron and other trace elements. It is better to purchase each substance separately. And if this is not possible, carefully study the composition of the mixture, and do not ignore the presence of any component.
Amendments in the version for Russia
Other potato planting schemes are being developed based on the Mittlider method. The Russian version, instead of the recommended fertilizers, involves the use of a tincture of chopped herbs and water. Properly selected fertilizers help in the development of the bushes. Due to photosynthesis, it self-purifies.
This fertilized option is suitable for areas with shaded beds. Herbal tincture is an excellent solution for beds with moderate watering. Poor conditions for potatoes can result in the accumulation of nitrates in the tubers. In this case, a fertilizer based on greens will help.
Gardeners using the Mittlider method claim that potato yields have increased by 20-25%. The tubers have many large root crops. At the same time, the correct shape and the absence of curved potatoes are noted. The dense rind covers the juicy and firm pulp.
A regularity has been noticed, if a person has tried the Mittlider technique, he does not want to return to growing vegetables in the traditional way.
Mittlider stands out for the original technique of forming beds, preparing holes and potatoes. Gardeners who decide to try the method for the first time will have to try first. If done correctly, growing every year will be easy and there will be no difficulties. The good news is that you do not need to choose special potato varieties. According to Mittlider, it is equally effective to plant early, middle and late ones.