An insidious guest from North America, the Colorado potato beetle is perhaps the main enemy of potato plantings in recent decades. The invasion of this pest can only be stopped by the total processing of potatoes with chemicals that do not always positively affect the human body and the environment. A much safer and more effective way to cope with the invasion of the striped coleoptera is to select resistant varieties of potatoes or process planting material shortly before planting.
This method has a lot of advantages:
- less labor, because plantings after it do not need numerous sprayings;
- saving time and material resources, since the amount and cost of drugs spent on the treatment of tubers is much less than the means for spraying bushes;
- lack of harm, even potential, for beneficial insects and animals.
As can be seen from the above, saving the potato field from the Colorado potato beetle can be easily, inexpensively and safely, only the operation must be started long before the tubers are planted.
Pre-treatment: how to carry out
Since the direct relationship between yield and the presence of the Colorado potato beetle on potato fields has long been proven, there is no doubt that it is better to deal with this pest by the most effective methods. One of them is the preliminary processing of tubers.
The procedure is carried out shortly before planting potatoes. There are two processing methods:
- Spraying of planting material with a solution prepared in advance and their subsequent drying.
- Immersion of tubers in a bath with a prepared solution for a certain period (from several minutes to several hours) with their subsequent drying.
Whatever method the gardener uses, it is important to remember that almost all means for pre-processing seed potatoes are very toxic, including for humans. That is why it is recommended to use a mask (respirator), rubber gloves and tight clothing when dressing tubers. But what to use is not worth it - it's garden tools (buckets, scoops, etc.), which are planned to be used for harvesting.
“Prestige”: processing potatoes (video)
How to "pickle" potatoes: chemicals
Chemical treatment of potatoes consists in impregnating the top layer of the tuber with specific substances, which later penetrate into its pulp and then into the germinating stems. Most of them are caustic compounds that repel pests by smell, or biological organisms (most often bacteria that are safe for humans and animals) that inhabit the plant and secrete special substances that repel the Colorado potato beetle.
In fact, there are plenty of tools that you can process potatoes before planting:
- Celest Top;
- Voliam Flexi;
Some of these tools (Celest Top and Cruiser) contain several components, and help to get rid of not only striped pests, but also from mushroom diseases of potatoes. The effectiveness of these funds is very high. According to studies by developers and consumer reviews, that is, summer residents, the Colorado potato beetle does not fly up to bushes treated with such insecticides for at least 4 months. Thus, plants manage to form a full-fledged land part and, as a result, large commodity tubers.
By these means it is also possible to process seeds intended for the improvement of varietal potatoes or for selection. An even greater effect occurs when spraying holes or furrows in which seeds and tubers will be laid.
Organics on the guard of potatoes: folk remedies for presowing treatment
Before the market for agricultural reagents was filled with preparations for processing potatoes from the Colorado potato beetle, summer residents fought with the pest at hand, that is, folk remedies: infusions of herbs, plant parts ground into powder. Until now, fans of organic farming use them on their site.
It is believed that the striped pest and its larvae do not tolerate harsh odors and bitter substances that are inherent in the following folk remedies:
- onion husk (it is laid in the planting holes and furrows with potatoes or sprayed with a concentrated decoction of the husk of the tubers before planting);
- spring garlic (planted in holes with potatoes);
- peel of a walnut, surely green (tubers are sprayed with strong infusion before planting);
- ash birch and coal (it pollinates tubers and holes when planting potatoes, periodically dusting the soil as the growth of potato bushes).
The effectiveness of such tools has not been scientifically evaluated, but it is reliably known that they help only in cases where the population of plantings by the beetle and its larvae is medium or low.
Colorado beetle resistant varieties
Another effective way to rid yourself of the hassle of getting rid of the Colorado potato beetle is to plant potato varieties that are resistant to it. Unlike others, they have several features that the pest obviously does not like:
- rough leaves covered with a large number of glands and villi;
- high concentration of solanine and other chemical compounds in the terrestrial part of plants;
- faster regeneration of green mass;
- increased immunity.
Truly resistant varieties of potatoes often have several features from the list. The following potato varieties are considered the most resistant to attack by the Colorado potato beetle:
Despite the positive characteristics from the producers, the taste of potato varieties resistant to the Colorado potato beetle may not appeal to everyone. It is recommended to set aside a separate plot for them, in order to select the variety that is most resistant to pest attacks, satisfying summer residents by taste and yield.
Most often, it is not possible to completely get rid of the Colorado potato beetle. However, the proper selection of varieties and preparations for presowing treatment of tubers can save most of the crop.