Late potato varieties have a growing season of more than four and a half months, and the final tuberization occurs no earlier than 110-115 days after planting the seed in open ground.
Varieties with a long growing season are able to provide a higher yield. Tubers of these varieties differ in the content of a significant amount of dry matter, starch and protein, which positively affects the taste.
Features of late varieties
Whereas early and mid-early varieties of potatoes are grown mainly in personal plots and are used to obtain early vegetable products for personal use, then on an industrial scale and by small farmers, medium-late and late varieties are most often cultivated. Depending on the climatic conditions in the cultivation region and the weather conditions, medium-late varieties can be excavated after 95-110 days. Digging late varieties begin no earlier than 110-120 days after planting.
The biological feature of late potato varieties is a strong branching at the very base of the stem of the bushes. It is the late varieties of potatoes that are well stored and more suitable for use throughout the winter period. And the taste of such tubers is higher than that of early and medium early varieties. In addition, early ripe varieties of this vegetable crop are more demanding on cultivation activities compared to mid-early and late varieties.
Despite the fact that most often such potatoes are grown in the southern regions of our country, where they manage to fully ripen and yield the most abundant crops, in recent years new late varieties have appeared that are suitable for cultivation in the northern regions as well as in areas of risky farming.
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The best late-ripening varieties
Recently, in the conditions of the Moscow Region, it has been very good at growing late potatoes. But for cultivation in the climatic zone of Siberia, such varieties of potatoes are not offered, which is due to weather conditions in the region. It should also be remembered that for the climate of the Urals and Northern Kazakhstan, only extremely early ripening potato varieties are ideal, which are drought-resistant and can easily tolerate cooling.
Dates and features of landing
The optimal planting dates for late potatoes are determined in accordance with the principles of cultivation technology, which will be used when planting material is embedded in the soil.
It is customary to plant seed potatoes when the temperature indicators of the soil at a depth of about 10 cm are about 7-8 ° C. As a rule, in the southern regions of Russia, the landing period begins in the first ten days of April.
To correctly determine the depth of planting of seed potatoes, should be guided by the following rules and recommendations:
- on hills, as well as in the presence of soil with average indicators of mechanical and qualitative composition, the landing depth is about 6-10 cm;
- when planting in areas that consist of light and well-drained soils, the depth of planting potatoes should be 10-12 cm.
As a rule, when cultivating potatoes of medium and late varieties, the planting density should be approximately 5-6 bushes per square meter of planting area. The distance between the rows cannot be less than 0.7 m. The standard gap between the planting holes or seed in the trenches should be at least 25-30 cm.
Activities for the care of late varieties of potatoes are the same as for potatoes of early varieties:
- removal of weeds, as well as loosening in the aisles, should be carried out before the appearance of the first seedlings, which is especially important on heavy soil;
- after the potato seedlings have reached a height of 15-20 cm, the first hilling is carried out, and after a week the second hilling is carried out (they must be carried out after precipitation and watering);
- against late blight and macrosporiosis for the entire growing season, about three treatments are carried out using such means as "Abiga-Peak", "Khom" and "Ordan";
- the first watering is carried out at the budding phase, and the next two with an interval of a week or 10 days, which depends on the type of soil and moisture indicators.
In later potato varieties, the nutrient intake is quite extended and almost uniform throughout the entire growing season. Such potatoes respond well both to organic matter and to the application of mineral fertilizers. As the main fertilizer, which is able to fully meet the needs of late potatoes in the main nutrients, it is recommended to use manure. When cultivating late-growing potatoes on acidic soils, it is allowed to use phosphorite flour and thermophosphates, as well as phosphate slags for top dressing.
Harvesting and storage
For the ability to carry out long-term storage of late potatoes, not only proper, but also timely harvesting is very important. The first sign of potato readiness for harvest is yellowing and withering of the tops, but there are some varieties whose tops will remain green even at the stage of full maturity of the tubers. About ten days before harvesting potatoes, be sure to mow all the tops at a height of 10 cm and remove all weeds.
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After harvesting potatoes, tubers must be sorted by removing diseased or damaged ones, and then air-dried well. The best conditions for storing late potatoes are represented by a dry, cool and dark room, with a temperature of + 2-3 ° C and an air humidity of 85-90%. Before storing vegetables for storage, such a room must be thoroughly dried, cleaned of garbage and, if possible, whitened with milk of lime. During storage, potato tubers should be periodically inspected and temperature and humidity parameters should be monitored.