5 reasons why I no longer plant potatoes
At the end of autumn, when the garden season ends, it is customary to take stock and make decisions: something was successful, but something was not; the weather affected one, and the other did not grow due to our own mistakes. If you do a “debriefing” honestly and not biased, it turns out that many of the things that we grow in the plots can be completely abandoned. I am not going to agitate anyone and call for a review of the assortment of my plants in the garden, let everyone decide for himself. But here are my thoughts on why I decided to abandon the cultivation of potatoes, I will express.
To begin with, let's ask ourselves - why do we plant this same potato from year to year on our site? As a rule, the answers come down to the fact that we want to have our own, guaranteed environmentally friendly, natural product and, most importantly, tasty.
True, there is a part of gardeners who will say: the ancestors planted, and we will. I was guided by approximately the same principles. If there is land, and 30 acres, then God himself ordered the cultivation of potatoes. Which he did, however, without much success - he planted two buckets, collected three, and so on from year to year.
It turned out that the unpretentiousness of potatoes is a myth, and to get really good harvests you need to work hard and spend a lot of money.
For myself, I determined at least 5 reasons why growing potatoes is not worth it. So.
1. Potato - an expensive culture both in work and in money
Firstly, to get a good harvest, you need to choose the right variety. If you just dig in the tubers remaining in the basement from the winter, then the result will definitely not please you. Every year it is necessary to select tubers for planting only from the most productive and healthy bushes, or to acquire elite material of a good variety with high productivity and good taste.
Secondly, potatoes are very fond of fertile land. Therefore, the area reserved for potatoes needs to be improved, either by acquiring specially fertile land, or by abundantly fertilizing it with rotted manure or at least compost. Such a site needs to be prepared every year, digging it with a shovel, which is not easy.
Everyone knows that in the process of growth, potatoes require regular watering in a drought and at least twice hilling, plus weeding of weeds. And, of course, the final chord is a digging of the crop.
In my opinion, from ordinary garden crops, potatoes have no equal in labor costs. And the money you spend on buying a good planting material should be considered.
2. Potato beds take up a lot of space
The fact is that in order to get a good harvest, it is recommended to plant potatoes every year in a new place. But potatoes cannot be planted after many other crops (tomatoes, eggplant). Therefore, if you decide to grow potatoes, you should have a supply of land not occupied by perennial plants, as if keeping it “for the future”.
Well, if there is a lot of land, and if only 6 acres, and in addition to its "tasty and healthy" potatoes, you want to have a fruit garden and ornamental plants? But under the potatoes it is necessary to allocate completely open sunny places. Choosing them in favor of potatoes, you "cut" other crops. The expenditure of energy, time and money on creating a new garden every year has already been said.
By the way, about the "tasty and healthy" ...
3. Potato is a culture that constantly requires protection from diseases and pests
Many have seen and know what damage the Colorado potato beetle is capable of completely eating all the foliage, leaving bare branches near the potato bush. You can deal with it in an "environmentally friendly" way - twice a day manually collecting and destroying. True, this method cannot be called highly effective. If you miss a moment - and forget about the crop, a plant without leaves will not produce a crop.
And what can we say about late blight, scab, rot ... So you have to use far from harmless drugs, and use them regularly. There are, of course, harmless folk recipes for fighting, but, in my opinion, they are also harmless to pathogens.
What do we have as a result? Not at all an ecologically clean crop, plus the cost of money for drugs, plus again the labor costs of processing. It is worth taking into account the use of mineral fertilizers. After all, not everyone can bring a car of humus or chernozem and dig it under the bed, so they use light (by weight and convenience) mineral fertilizers.
4. Potatoes need to be stored properly
If optimal storage conditions are not ensured, then half of the hard-to-harvest crop will inevitably deteriorate and rot over the winter. In addition, when laying potatoes for storage, it is necessary to carefully inspect for diseases, because one diseased tuber can destroy the entire crop.
5. Low market price of potatoes
On the Internet you can find many calculations and justifications that your potato is much more expensive (about 5 times!) Than bought in a store or on the market. Why? Because when growing potatoes on an industrial scale, they plant and harvest them using machines, they don’t buy chemicals and fertilizers at retail prices, and the whole process is controlled by experts with experience in maximizing yields at minimal cost.
And so, inspecting and sorting through the harvest of this year, I asked myself the following questions:
- Am I an expert in intensive, highly efficient potato growing?
- Is my product so harmless and healthy?
- Isn't it cheaper to buy your favorite tubers in a store or on the market, choosing them from a variety of varieties?
- Is my potato worth the physical effort that I spent?
- But can I plant roses or grapes on this place?
For me, the answer is already obvious. This was the last year I grew potatoes.
By the way, the potato itself is a source of infection for other favorite vegetable crops. Have you noticed that when potatoes are dug, all Colorado beetles move to eggplant? And the risk of late blight on tomatoes and peppers is higher if the same potato is nearby.
I repeat, everyone draws conclusions and decides for himself. This article is just an excuse to think not biased about what we really need on the site and what not. Perhaps someone will have questions about other vegetables that require unjustified expenditure of energy, time and money.
And yet - good harvests for you!