The life of summer residents and gardeners has become much easier after the invention of motoblocks. It helps to quickly and effortlessly dig up and weed the beds, to harvest.
This technique is also used for planting potatoes. To save time and effort, you need to know how to plant potatoes with a walk-behind tractor.
- How to prepare a bed for planting potatoes
- What walk-behind tractors can be used for planting potatoes
- Unit preparation
- Technology of planting potatoes with a walk-behind tractor
- Treatment of beds in the process of growing crops
- Harvesting with a walk-behind tractor
How to prepare a bed for planting potatoes
For a good potato crop, you need to choose the right planting site and use the right soil.
Potatoes prefer well-lit places. In the shade, its leaves turn yellow, the stems are elongated. Flowering is minimal or absent at all. Tubers grow small. It is worth giving preference to the hills over the lowlands so that water does not accumulate.
Potatoes do not tolerate acidic and alkaline soil. Loose loam and sandy loam are more suitable for cultivation. As a last resort, sand is also suitable. If weeds grow on the site, such as wheatgrass or dandelion, then the potatoes will take root there.
Too wet soil attracts parasites, potatoes in it get sick and rot. But with high-quality processing and timely fertilization, you can get a good harvest in any soil.
Preparing the beds
It is advisable not to plant potatoes for two years in a row in the same place. The land under it is depleting, the harvest is getting worse every year. If it is not possible to plant potatoes in another place, the soil should be thoroughly fertilized.
In the fall, the beds are dug up with fresh manure to attract worms. Large lumps do not break, they will crumble themselves under the influence of weather conditions. For these purposes, a walk-behind tractor with a plow is used.
In the spring, after the soil warms up, the soil is loosened 10-12 cm deep, weeds are removed and fertilized. The presence of an aggregate with a cutter facilitates this process.
Mineral fertilizers are suitable for feeding, as well as humus, peat and compost. Fresh manure is not used before planting. It spoils the taste of potatoes and also creates a favorable environment for the development of diseases.
After fertilization, the soil should be disinfected. Ash, bleach or synthetic chemicals are suitable for this.
It is useful to plant a dense shrub on the north side of the bed. It will protect fresh sprouts from cold winds.
What units can be used for planting potatoes
After preparing the beds, you need to decide on the choice. It will depend on the type of soil and the area to be cultivated.
For processing loose light soil, a walk-behind tractor weighing up to 70 kg and a capacity of up to 7 liters is suitable. from. Heavy equipment from 95 kg can handle clay soil.
On a plot of up to 15 acres, you can get by with a unit with a capacity of up to 4 liters. and a working width of 1 m. For 20-30 acres, you will need a power of 4.5-5 liters. with., working width 80 cm. cultivation of 50 acres requires equipment with a working width of 90 cm and a capacity of 6-7 liters. from.
For a hectare or more, a unit up to 10 liters is suitable. sec., width of capture is not less than a meter.
The complete set of a walk-behind tractor for planting potatoes includes the following elements:
- hitch (nozzles are installed on it);
- lug wheels;
- rubber wheels;
- wheel extensions;
- hillers (for processing one or two furrows at the same time);
- net harrow (for removing weeds between rows);
- staples (for loosening and harrowing);
- potato diggers (for harvesting).
A potato planter will be a useful addition.
It consists of:
- containers for tubers;
- a potato stacker;
- dispenser for feeding tubers;
- hiller for backfilling rows.
The most popular models of motoblocks for planting potatoes are:
The heavy weight of the device makes the operator's work easier. The wheels grip the soil better and the machine can move almost independently. The modern gearbox provides multiple forward and reverse speeds.
Belarusian model with engines of famous foreign brands. They are distinguished by maneuverability and a roomy gas tank.
Easy to use. Handles even heavy, moist soil. Works on Japanese, Chinese and American engines.
The manufacturer does not use Chinese engines. The case is reliable, protects the internal mechanisms from dust and damage. It is possible to use a wide range of attachments.
Preparing the walk-behind tractor
In order for the unit to be used for planting potatoes, it is necessary to remove the cutters and put the lug wheels in their place. A hitch is installed instead of a central stop.
A hiller is inserted into the hitch, metal pins are stuck into it. On the hiller, set a width of 60-65 cm. This will be the distance between the potato rows.
Instead of a hiller, you can use a plow and potato planter.
Technology of planting potatoes with a walk-behind tractor
Regardless of the method of planting, a number of rules must be observed:
- The row spacing should be the same along the entire length and be 60-65 cm.
- The furrows are made as even as possible.
- It is necessary to maintain a distance between the tubers of 25-30 cm.
- Potatoes are planted to a depth of 10-12 cm.
How to plant potatoes with a walk-behind tractor under a plow?
First of all, lug wheels and a plow are installed on the unit, which is introduced into the soil to the depth of a shovel bayonet. When passing to one side, the apparatus leaves behind itself in a furrow into which tubers are placed.
On the way back, he creates a new row, at the same time covering the laid out planting material with earth.
Planting potatoes with a walk-behind tractor under a hiller
Depending on the brand of the walk-behind tractor, the blades should be shifted and the grip of the wings should be increased or the wings and the main stop should be removed. How to deal with a specific model, you can read in the instructions. Rows are formed with the help of a hiller and lug wheels. Then the tubers are laid out by hand.
After sowing, the metal wheels are changed to rubber ones so as not to damage the potatoes, and again walk along the rows, observing a distance of 60-65 cm. The apparatus will fill the tubers with earth and tamp it.
Planting potatoes with a potato planter
A planter is installed on the unit. Tubers are placed in it. It is important that they are of the correct size and pass freely through the distributor.
During the movement of the walk-behind tractor, a row is formed. The tubers immediately fall into it and at the same time are filled with a plow. Tuber feed rate can be manually adjusted. There are additional containers with which fertilizer is simultaneously placed in the soil.
This method speeds up the process of planting potatoes, but is the most expensive.
Treatment of beds in the process of growing crops
A week after planting, the land must be loosened. The soil becomes covered with a crust, which creates a barrier for potato germination and blocks the access of oxygen to the soil. For loosening with a walk-behind tractor, special staples are used.
Weeding is done weekly so that the weeds do not interfere with the germination of the future harvest. The weeds between the rows are removed with a harrow. You will have to weed by hand between the bushes.
When shoots appear, there is a need for regular hilling. To do this, a hiller with one, two or three rows is installed on the walk-behind tractor. It is better to huddle in the morning or evening, when the heat subsides. It is advisable to do this after rain with slightly dry soil.
Damp, loose soil stimulates potato growth, making it easier to get rid of weeds. In addition, wet soil does not crumble.
If you install a special nozzle on the walk-behind tractor, fertilizer can be applied simultaneously with hilling.
Harvesting with a walk-behind tractor
In August and early September, it is time to dig out the potatoes. And here the unit comes to the rescue. For convenience, a hinged plow (potato digger) is installed on it.
The digger is placed vertically and the depth is adjusted. It should be slightly more than the depth at which the tubers were planted.
To properly set up the walk-behind tractor, you will have to walk several meters with it, and then inspect the dug potatoes. If cut tubers are encountered, the plow depth is increased. Then, with the help of a shovel, they check if there are any unexploded potatoes left in the row.
Correct adjustment of the walk-behind tractor will help to quickly harvest the crop and not damage it.
After one row has been dug, it is recommended to skip the next one and go to the third in turn. This is done in order not to damage the tubers that have fallen between the rows. In addition, in this case, the device will not fall on its side due to the difference in the height and density of the soil.
Thus, the odd rows are first dug up and the crop is harvested. Then go to even.
If there is no desire or opportunity to spend money on a potato digger, you can get by with a single-row hiller. It will flip the topsoil and the tubers will be on the surface. All that remains is to collect them by hand.
Motoblocks significantly save time and effort when planting potatoes and harvesting. They also make it easier to care for your garden beds.
The units are easy to assemble and use, and the results are well worth the investment. With walk-behind tractors, gardening work becomes a sheer pleasure.
Let's watch a video on how to use a walk-behind tractor for planting and harvesting potatoes: