To increase the yield: when and how to hill potatoes correctly

Alina MilsentNews
Potatoes in the garden. Source: Created with the help of AI

The active period for gardeners has begun - you should have time to properly hill potatoes and actively fight pests and weeds. For effective hilling, it's not enough to just sprinkle a little soil on the bushes: you also need to determine the time of day when the process will be most useful and safe.

When hilling, it is important not to damage young shoots and roots - this can negatively affect the development of the plant and increase the risk of bush death. OBOZ.UA tells you how and when to hill potatoes properly.

When to start hilling

There is no consensus on the timing of hilling among farmers. You need to focus primarily on the height of the shoots. The first hilling can begin when the shoots have grown 6-9 cm in height.

The first hilling

If a severe cold snap is expected, it is perfectly acceptable to start hilling a few weeks after planting. If the weather is favorable, then there is no need to completely cover the bushes, as this can slow down the development of plants.

For the first hilling, which can be done when the shoots grow 6-9 cm in height, it will be enough to raise the soil by just a few centimeters. Hilling can be done with a walk-behind tractor or manually.

The second hilling

Experienced gardeners recommend hilling potatoes 3-4 times a season. It is advisable to do this for the second time at the stage of tuber formation - usually 15-18 days after the first hilling.

The basic rule is to be in time before flowering begins. During the second hilling, you should try to ensure that the height of the ridge near each bush is 15-17 cm. The point is that the tubers may end up on the surface, and then, under the influence of sunlight, solanine poison will accumulate in them.

Third and subsequent hilling

The third hilling can begin when the height of the potato shoots reaches 23-26 cm. You should not cover most of the plant, you should simply throw some soil on the bushes so that the potatoes begin to grow in width. The height of the ridge should be 17-19 cm. The third hilling will help increase yields.

What time of day is the best for hilling

Hilling should not be carried out in the midday hours and during the period of active heat. In the hottest hours of the day, plants are especially sensitive to any type of work with them. On top of that, the soil heated by the sun will fall on the bushes, which sometimes leads to a sharp loss of moisture.

It is best to hill potatoes in the morning or evening hours. You can stop work at 10-11 am and continue in the evening.

Experts also point out that hilling after rain will be most effective - the soil is well moistened at this time and does not crumble after hilling, which will further save you time and effort.

If you still have no choice and have to hill potatoes in the heat, you should first water the bed to cool the topsoil.

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