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Do you have a small vegetable garden? Learn the original method of growing potatoes in a barrel. Having learned some of the features of planting, you can get at least 30 kg harvest from 8-10 potatoes. At the same time, you will save yourself from tedious physical labor: loosening, hilling, weeding and even digging. To harvest, you just need to turn the barrel over and collect the tubers.
What it is?
Planting potatoes in a barrel is an alternative method of growing this crop. This method has proven itself well in small suburban areas. In a small area, you can grow the crop of tubers necessary for the family, and the vacated land can be used to grow other vegetable crops.
Summer residents-experimenters, when mastering new methods of planting vegetables, always evaluate their productivity. Vegetable growers give statistics:
- barrel with a capacity of 200 liters;
- 8 seed potatoes;
- adding soil 6–7 times per season;
- top dressing;
- regular watering;
- harvest 3 buckets.
Pros and cons of the method
You can talk about the advantages of the method for a long time. The first advantage over conventional planting in the ground is accelerated maturation. The harvest will ripen a month earlier than with traditional planting in holes. Ripening times are reduced due to early warming of the soil in the planting tank and the possibility of earlier planting.
The second plus is space saving. The third is the lack of traditional methods of care: weeding, hilling, loosening. The main advantage is the new free time that can be spent not on hard physical labor, but on a pleasant summer vacation. Another useful point is that the soil can be used several times, it can be restored with the help of autumn planting of green manure.
This method has a drawback - the earth dries quickly, regular watering is required. Summer residents who rarely visit the dacha find it difficult to control soil moisture, which can negatively affect the volume of the crop.
Delicious potatoes will grow if the right variety is chosen. Summer residents have tested varieties for planting in barrels:
- Zhukovsky early.
To get an early harvest, it is worth choosing early ripening, large-fruited varieties.
To prepare the container for landing, you will need tools. First of all, you need to have a drill and drill bits for metal. It is worth purchasing a drill for metal of the largest size (10-13 mm).
The necessary conditions
You need to choose the right place to place the planting container. Sunny places are not suitable. The earth will overheat and potatoes will not grow in hot soil. Many gardeners make the mistake of placing the barrel on the south side of the house.
How to build a barrel?
Good results are obtained with metal drums. If the container was in use, then only for the purpose of storing food. The optimal volume is 200 liters. The barrel must be at least 60 cm in height. Plastic barrels can also be used. Barrels made of wood are not suitable for growing potatoes.
In order for the potatoes to breathe as they grow, holes need to be made in the barrel. For this we have a drill and drill. There should be a lot of holes. It is recommended to place them at a distance of 20 cm from each other. The holes must be evenly spaced around the entire perimeter.
The bottom of the container must also be prepared. There are two options:
- knock out the bottom;
- drill many holes, leaving a distance of no more than 3 cm between them.
This procedure for preparing the bottom is important - excess moisture will flow out through the holes, which will exclude decay processes.
The planting mixture must be nutritious, so it is prepared from humus, compost and garden soil (1: 1: 1). It will be necessary to process the soil from the larvae of pests and infections. If the soil is harvested in the fall, the soil can be treated with a chemical; during spring preparation it is better to warm it up or treat it with a solution of potassium permanganate or Fitosporin.
Fertilizers will be needed:
- double superphosphate;
- ammonium nitrate.
Dolomite flour and magnesium sulfate are added to the sandy soil. All ingredients are well mixed. The amount of fertilizer in the soil of a certain amount is added exactly according to the instructions.
Step-by-step growing technology
To grow potatoes in a barrel, you need to follow the technology, going through step by step successively:
- Choosing a suitable potato variety.
- We take the tubers out of the cellar 2 weeks before planting, germinate them in a dark room.
- We process the potatoes before planting with any modern preparation that combines the properties of an insecticide and a fungicide.
- Preparing the soil.
- Pour 15 cm of soil into the container.
- We spread the tubers with sprouts up, leaving a distance of at least 20 cm between them.
- We fill the potatoes with earth in a layer of 10 cm.
- When sprouts 7–10 cm long appear, fill them with earth, repeat this procedure 6–7 times.
- When the soil level rises by 1 meter, we fertilize the potatoes.
- Further, the usual growth of tops and the active formation of tubers begins.
- At the end of the growing season, the soil is poured out of the barrel and the crop is harvested.
Nutrients are consumed actively, top dressing helps to restore soil fertility, use:
- herbal infusions;
- ash infusion;
- complex mineral fertilizers for potatoes;
- during flowering superphosphate.
Urea and ammonium nitrate should not be used as top dressing; it is enough to add them to the soil during planting. Excess nitrogen is bad for the quality of tubers. More benefit is the introduction of phosphorus-potassium fertilizers into the soil.
The main care will be watering. The soil in the container should not dry out, but the water in it should not stagnate either. Watering is required when the top layer of the soil dries out. All other work on caring for potatoes in a barrel is reduced:
- to prepare the soil mixture before planting;
- pouring it into the container as the tops grow;
- per season, potatoes need to be fed at least 3 times with balanced fertilizers.
Dry tops indicate that it is time to harvest the potatoes and all the seasonal work on their cultivation is over.
Harvesting is easy. Once the tops are dry, you can put the barrel on its side and scoop out the soil along with the tubers. The whole harvesting procedure is reduced to collecting potatoes and cleaning them from the ground. The most interesting point is the estimation of the yield of the method. Some gardeners manage to collect a whole bag of potatoes from one barrel.
Diseases and pests
You will not have to fight pests and diseases if the soil and tubers are treated from pests and diseases before planting. Even if there are prolonged rains, the potatoes are not threatened by late blight. The barrel can be protected from rain with a polyethylene cover.
Comparison with planting in bags and boxes
The principle of planting potatoes in boxes and bags is almost the same as planting them in a barrel. The soil must be prepared in the same way, you can take ordinary garden soil and treat it with Bionex.
Keep bags (boxes) with earth in a warm room, you can plant potatoes in them early. If you have a greenhouse, you can move the bags there already in April. Potatoes planted in boxes (bags) should be periodically covered with earth, or covered with a layer of mulch. The care is identical to the care for potatoes planted in a barrel. Most of the time is spent on watering.