Rules for hilling potatoes with a walk-behind tractor and manually

Hilling is an important stage in the traditional agricultural technique of growing potatoes, without which you can lose 20-30% of the yield. In addition, the better the soil is loosened, the more crumbly and tastier the ripe tubers will be. But inept hilling can harm the bush, so it is very important to follow the correct technology.

The advantages of hilling potatoes:

  • loosening the soil facilitates the access of air and moisture to the root system, as a result, the potato bush develops faster and gets sick less;
  • the yield increases due to the sprinkling of stolons (underground shoots on which tubers are formed) with an additional layer of soil, the number of potatoes on one bush increases;
  • well-formed tall bushes are better illuminated without shading each other;
  • hilling protects plants from frost and overheating (potatoes stop growing if the soil temperature is above 26 ° C);
  • tubers sprinkled with earth do not turn green in the sun;
  • the number of weeds in the aisles is reduced.

Technology Features:

1. The number of hilling. In classical agricultural technology, 2-3 hilling is used per season. The first is performed when the bushes have grown by 5-20 cm. The wide range is explained by different climatic conditions. If frost is expected, it is better to completely sprinkle the low shoots, protecting them from low temperatures. In the hot season, it makes no sense to completely sprinkle young plants, as this slows down their growth.

The second hilling of potatoes is done during the formation of tubers 15-20 days after the first. Third – when the bushes reach a height of 20-25 cm, they are not completely covered, it is important to sprinkle only the base. The fourth hilling is used very rarely, it is advisable if the nests of the bushes are not formed along the ridge, but grow in breadth, or the roots look out of the ground.

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After the beginning of flowering, it is not recommended to weed and huddle the potatoes, so as not to damage the tying tubers.

2. Hilling time. Ideal – after rain (watering) in cloudy weather. In the hot season, the procedure is performed early in the morning or late in the evening after sunset. With any hilling, the root system of the bush is slightly disturbed, high solar activity can lead to the potato withering.

3. Hilling methods. Among summer residents, the most popular method is manual with the help of a glanders (hoes, hoes). You can rake the soil to the bush from all sides (preferable) or push the stems apart in different directions, filling the earth in the middle of the bush. The mounds should be both wide and high so that the soil volume is enough for the root system. More details in the video.

The chopper is a proven tool

Manual hilling of potatoes has a significant drawback – high labor intensity, it is long and difficult to process a large plantation.

The second method is to use a manual hiller. Designs are different (both homemade and store-bought), ranging from processing a hoe and ending with plows designed for two people. The soil is processed only between rows, which greatly simplifies the process. One of the best homemade designs for one summer resident is shown in the video.

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The third method is hilling potatoes with a walk-behind tractor. The most technologically advanced way. When growing potatoes, the walk-behind tractor is used all season from the moment of loosening (plowing) the soil and until harvesting. The disadvantage is that the cost of this mechanized device is quite high, moreover, it needs to be filled with fuel, and with inept processing, the risk of damaging the bushes will increase several times.

photo of hilling potatoes with a walk-behind tractorMotoblock – fast but expensive

The technology of hilling with a walk-behind tractor depends on the design of the device, in this case it is difficult to give general recommendations. It is better to read the instructions for the existing model. The main thing is that the distance between the rows is the same. To do this, when planting, the soil is marked with a special marker.

photo of a homemade marker for planting potatoesFor hilling with a walk-behind tractor, potatoes must be planted under a marker

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Anna Evans

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