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Fertilize potatoes - how to do it right

Fertilize potatoes - how to do it right

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Whether early or late potatoes, floury or hard-boiling - all types of potatoes also have to be fertilized. Here's how to do it right.

Potatoes need a lot of nutrients

With potatoes from the supermarket, you never really know exactly how they were grown and whether no plant protection products were used. On the other hand, you are always on the safe side if you grow potatoes yourself. But to really get the most out of the tuber, you should give it the right nutrition, in the form of fertilizer.

In itself, fertilizing all types of potatoes is not that difficult, but only if you do a lot of preparatory work and fertilize the soil in the previous year. The following explains in detail how to properly fertilize potatoes or the soil before cultivation in order to achieve a really good harvest.

Fertilize the soil before growing potatoes

»Spread horse manure:

You laid the foundation for the cultivation of potatoes the year before. Potatoes need a lot of nutrients, so you should prepare the soil optimally last year. The best way to do this is to incorporate mature compost or animal manure. It is best to cover the beds with horse manure during the winter. In the following spring, simply rake off the layer with the horse manure and work the rest of it into the ground.

»Apply green manure:

It is also an advantage if you do a green manure before growing the potatoes, because this means that there is sufficient nitrogen in the soil afterwards. In addition, the subsoil is loosened and nutrients are transported upwards from deeper layers. Beans, peas, clover, sweet peas and lupines are well suited for green manuring. The plants do not survive winter, of course, but you can simply work them into the earth in spring. So you have created the perfect base for growing potatoes.

Fertilize potatoes during the growing phase

»Use organic / synthetic fertilizer:

After planting the potatoes, it is all about the right fertilization during the growth phase. Even if the tubers are heavy feeders and need a lot of nutrients, you should not overdo it with fertilizing. Once you have properly prepared the soil for cultivation, you don't need to do as much later.

»Use organic fertilizer:

We generally recommend the use of an organic product for fertilization. Horn chips or manure are ideal for this, for example. The yields will not be as great as if you were using a synthetic fertilizer, but the aroma of the potatoes is much better.

But: organic fertilizer is unfortunately not completely available to the vegetables. Microorganisms only gradually unlock this. However, organic fertilizers should always be preferred to artificial fertilizers.

»Use synthetic fertilizer:

Of course, you can also use a synthetic fertilizer. However, when using an artificial fertilizer, it can happen very quickly that you fertilize the soil. This not only means that the potatoes can be stored for less, the aroma can also suffer and diseases also have an easier time.

So you have to make absolutely sure that all nutrients (nitrogen, sulfur, magnesium, potassium, phosphate) are available in ideal quantities. And that, in turn, is not so easy to do. You have to carry out a soil analysis beforehand to find out the optimal mixing ratio of the nutrients. However, this should be done by a specialist, because only they can then put together the perfect fertilizer from the nutrients mentioned above.

»Change crops every 3 to 4 years:

Since the potatoes leach out the soil very much, you should definitely move the bed to a different location in the garden every three to four years. That is also part of fertilization. In addition, it makes sense if you plant these beds in the meantime and sow clover, sweet peas or lupines, for example.