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Potatoes have long been not only one of the staple foods for humans, but also valuable raw materials for starch, glucose, alcohol, and lactic acid. The weeding of this, perhaps the most common garden crop grown in garden plots and household plots of Russians, is an important agricultural technique, the implementation of which guarantees a high and high-quality crop.
Dates and rules for weeding potatoes
Along with many garden crops, potatoes are characterized by a long pre-emergence period, which, depending on weather and soil-climatic factors, can be 20-25 or more days. Much earlier than potato seedlings, a large number of weeds appear on the field, and further yield indicators will depend on the timely removal of these plants.
Carrying out weeding of potato plantings, gardeners pursue such goals as the destruction of weeds and hilling, that is, loosening the soil around the bushes. As a result, moisture evaporation from the soil decreases and, on the whole, more favorable conditions are created for the formation and development of potato tubers. In addition, the removal of weeds is also a measure of the prevention of damage to potatoes by diseases and pests.
The potato is very responsive to timely weeding. The first weeding must be carried out two weeks after planting, at which time the first weeds appear. The timing of subsequent weeding is determined individually and depends on weather conditions and soil quality. Too often, weeding is not necessary, but weeds must not be allowed to drown crops.
Potato: weeding and harrowing
Finished products: characteristics and features of operation
For mechanical weeding, various devices are used, which can be both simple and complex. If potato plantings occupy a small area, then you can limit yourself to manual processing and use ordinary garden rakes and hoes when weeding. Large fields are advisable to process through mechanized devices, including hedgehogs and a cultivator.
|Characteristics of equipment or tools||Operational Features|
|Rotary hedgehogs||Used with any type of walk-behind tractor. Functional purpose: weeding, soil fluffing and hilling of landings|
|Cone hedgehogs||They are used to remove weeds at the pre-emergence stage.|
|Walk-behind tractor with rotary cutters||The cutter is driven from the power take-off shaft and weeds the aisle|
|Motorblock with lancet paws||Paws loosen the soil to a depth of 4 cm, but if the soil is trampled or flooded, you can increase the processing depth to 7 cm|
For work on household plots, the simplest, most affordable and at the same time quite reliable devices for weeding potatoes are in demand.
|Name of weeding device||Device characteristic||Fixture Features|
|Sapa or chopper||Hybrid shovels and picks - the main tool for the destruction of weeds||The working part is made of high-quality metal and has a rectangular, triangular or trapezoidal shape with sharp edges. The handle is plastic or wooden.|
|Combined hoe or hoe||Performs the functions of tools such as hoe and rake||It consists of a straight steel blade and has a sharp or blunt edge on one side and a pair of teeth on the other side.|
|Root Cultivator||Special tooth geometry handles any kind of weed easily||The workflow is carried out in accordance with the instructions supplied with the product.|
|V-shaped root eliminator||In the manufacture of used strong stainless steel||Weeds with well-developed fibrous roots can be weeded quickly.|
|Weeding fork||Helps remove deep root weeds||Using a curved metal nozzle, you can increase the pressure.|
The most successful and easy weed control is possible with the integrated use of tools.
Particularly popular with Russian gardeners are the Fokin, "Swift" and "Stork" plane cutters, as well as little-known so far Maznev plane cutter, or model "PM-4". Such tools easily prune the roots of weeds at a depth of 3-5 cm.
Today, there are many ways to deal with weeds, including chemical, mechanical and biological. In addition, Russian self-made kulibins have long been independently designing and making with their own hands very interesting devices and devices that are not inferior in effectiveness to modern agricultural tools, and sometimes even surpass them. In addition, a home-made weeding installation costs the owner of the personal plot an order of magnitude cheaper than the factory equipment.
To make homemade hedgehogs, you need a hollow tube, on which you need to weld the teeth from metal rods or fittings. The resulting structure must be fixed on a metal frame and equipped with a wooden handle. The principle of operation of such a tool is quite simple and consists in pressing and simultaneously moving the device forward and down.
There are also relatively sophisticated, but also more productive, as well as the most convenient home-made devices in operation. These include the universal semi-bicycle device, which consists of a frame, a bicycle wheel and various interchangeable devices that facilitate the destruction of weeds. As interchangeable equipment, cutting wide and narrow staples are used, as well as a bracket for processing hard soil.
An interesting solution for removing weeds from potato plantings is a string hoe - a device in the form of a grip with steel wire stretched over the horns with a diameter of 1-2 mm. The quality of weeding and productivity of the device is very high on chernozems.
An alternative method of growing potatoes without weeding
Several years ago, in the Siberian region, a technique was developed for cultivating potatoes without the need for hilling and weeding. The method is based on the use of organic farming and green manure plants.
To grow potatoes without weeding, you need to prepare ridges whose width does not exceed 0.8 m, and make the row spacings the same size. Passages must be thoroughly mulched with hay or straw, and the mulch layer must be replaced with a fresh weekly. In the last month of summer, green manure is sown on stripes under the mulch. As sidereal plants, it is desirable to use mustard, radish or oats, which increase soil fertility in the area under the potatoes.
Equally popular is an alternative method of growing potatoes in vertical containers, which can be used in almost any bulk containers, including garbage cans and bags, garden barrels and relatively high homemade structures.
It is possible to refuse large-scale weeding measures if the aisle is blacked out with black agrofibre. In this case, between the potato bushes in the row, single weeds will be removed at the seedling stage manually.
How to make a manual cultivator with your own hands
Regardless of the chosen method of cultivation, most potato cultivation technologies involve a whole range of activities, among which weeding plays an important role. If on large sown areas the walk-behind tractor with a rotary or mesh harrow and a cultivator with paws and weeding grass are most often used, then compact garden plots are still weeded manually or using home-made devices. Therefore, even today, the main tools of the gardener are the root-checked by time, the Dutch and direct choppers, as well as the garden fork.