Increasing your personal potatoes can be a rewarding endeavor that’s also fun for kids as they dig up the tubers. As a result of the numerous varieties now available, potatoes can be grown in just about any climate as long as they have a sunny place with loose, healthful soil. Although it can be tempting to use the same garden bed annually for potatoes, the tubers and a lot of different crops should not be planted in those beds for at least one or even two decades.
A garden bed used for potatoes one year should not be used the following year for another harvest of potatoes. One issue with growing potatoes in precisely the same bed year after year is that potatoes are heavy feeders. Increasing another harvest of potatoes in the former year’s potato bed depletes the soil of nutrients, leading to low yields or reliance on fertilizer. Another problem is infection. If the very first crop of potatoes develops a disorder, then the next year’s harvest in precisely the same bed often has a much worse case of the disease. Repeated usage of land for potatoes was one of the main causes of the spread of blight that resulted in the Irish potato famine. Like illness, potato-destroying pests in the soil abound in the event that you severely plant their preferred food at precisely the same soil.
Solanaceae Family Members
Potatoes are part of the Solanaceae familymembers. This family also includes crops such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. Because of their close family ties, those plants are all susceptible to the same diseases and pests. Even if your potatoes did not show signs of infection, the soil in which they grew still could harbor specific fungi that can make a mess of the roots of tomatoes the following growing season. All these family members have also comparable mineral needs, and pepper crops grown in the same soil that was used for potato plants that the former year might suffer from mineral deficiencies or have a low yield.
Although other root crops might have different nutrient needs and are not closely linked to potatoes, planting them following potatoes might be asking for trouble. Potatoes have a tendency to attract grubs and other underground pests that nibble on and invade the tubers. If you plant root crops such as beets, carrots or turnips after potatoes, then the pests will enjoy them just as much as they enjoyed your potatoes. Because the pests have had time to proliferate in the soil, the issue might be worse than it had been along with your potato crop.
Crop rotation might appear complex, but it’s only a few basic rules. First, do not plant a comparable plant just two years in a row. This means not putting other root crops or other members of the Solanaceae family following potatoes. Second, remember this rhyme for alternating the crops in your garden beds: beans, roots, greens, fruits. It’s a simplified form of crop rotation that works for most home gardens. Beans include peas and green beans that add nitrogen to soil. Roots include potatoes, turnips and beets. Greens can be any harvest harvested because of its leaves, ranging from cabbages to lettuce. Fruits include tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers and corn. Keeping crops within this rotation can help to reduce nutrient depletion soil and reduces the chance of pests and diseases running rampant. So, following your potatoes, then place that garden bed aside for something leafy.