What green manures are suitable for potatoes, all the pros and cons

When growing potatoes for the needs of one family, gardeners are forced to plant potatoes on the same area for years. To avoid soil depletion, both when planting potatoes after potatoes, and when alternating crops, you can plant special crops on the site - siderates for potatoes.


  • What are siderates and what are they for?
  • Siderata for potatoes
  • Features of growing green manure for potatoes

What are siderates and what are they for?

With regular cultivation of the same plants in the garden, you need to regularly take care of maintaining the fertility of the earth. You can save land suitable for growing a decent harvest if:

  • regularly apply organic fertilizers and mineral mixtures
  • observe crop rotation
  • sow crops - green manure

Siderata are plants, most often cultivated or semi-cultivated, which are grown not for harvesting, but for improving the soil. It is customary to grow green manure for:

  • improving the mechanical structure of the soil
  • enriching it with organic matter and minerals
  • increasing the activity of beneficial microorganisms
  • preventing erosion of agricultural land
  • increasing the tolerance of subsequent crops to various diseases
  • repelling insect pests
  • attracting beneficial insects
  • changes in acid-base balance indicators

About four hundred different plants can be used as green manure. All of them can be divided into three main groups. It:

  • plants from the Cabbage family (Cruciferous), such as rape, rapeseed, gray mustard and white mustard
  • crops from the Cereal family, primarily oats and barley, as well as ryegrass, paisa, gray wheatgrass, timothy
  • members of the legume family, especially peas, lupines, soybeans, lentils
  • How green manures can also be sown crops from other families, such as amaranth, buckwheat, mallow

However, green manure can harm garden crops. This most often occurs when plants from the same family as the crop grown after them are used as green manure. In addition, among some gardeners there is an opinion that the benefits of green manure are exaggerated, and the acquisition of seed leads to material costs.

Siderata for potatoes

To achieve good potato yields, you need to organize the process so that before and after the potato, plants useful for it grow on the site. After all, sometimes this vegetable has been planted in one place for decades. Due to the small area, gardeners do not always have the opportunity to grow potatoes on the same area once every three to four years.

Siderata for potatoes must also be selected taking into account the fact that this crop is from the Solanaceae family and many of them need, first of all, available nitrogen. In addition, in order for a sufficient number of tubers to form, the soil must be loose, water and air permeable.

Siderates will also be of great importance, as they can scare off potato pests and prevent the development of pathogenic microorganisms. Based on these requirements, we can conclude that it is optimal to use not one, but two or even three crops that will perform the listed tasks.

In order for the potatoes to get the nitrogen available to them, peas or beans can be used as green manure crops. To improve the soil and get rid of such a pest as a wireworm, any culture from the cruciferous family, such as mustard or rape, is suitable.

So that the potato field is not empty in autumn or early spring, you can sow rye or oats. Thus, it is possible to sow and grow green manures before planting potatoes, after harvesting, and even simultaneously with it. We will try to figure out how you can make the green manure bring maximum benefit.

Features of growing green manure for potatoes

The basis of the potato harvest should be laid already in the fall, immediately after harvesting. It is most convenient to sow rye at this time. This is due to the fact that this culture gives powerful shoots, clogs all the weeds, relieves the earth of the wireworm. In addition, sowing rye in the spring helps to get snow off the site, which contributes to the rapid heating of the soil. Rye is sown in the grooves in the fall and covered with soil.

In the spring, the ground parts of the rye are cut off, they do it either with a simple hoe or a flat cutter. You can use a mechanized method and mow crops with a trimmer. More efficiency is achieved if rye seeds and ranks are mixed.

After mowing the ground part, you need to prune the roots and leave them in the ground. This work can also be done with a flat cutter. It is important to carry out all activities 10 - 14 days before planting potatoes. Sowing rye breaks the potato-after-potato cycle. It turns out that rye, sown in autumn as green manure, plays the role of the best precursor for potatoes.

If it was not possible to sow siderates in the fall, then in the spring, as soon as the ground thaws by 3 - 5 cm, you can sow any kind of mustard. This is due to the fact that the plant quickly emerges even at low temperatures, and the seedlings can easily withstand a cold snap to -5.

  • to fusarium rot
  • to scab tubers
  • to late blight

To obtain a positive effect, it is enough to sow 200.0 - 250.0 g of mustard per one hundred square meters. The seeding depth is about 2 cm. Three to four days after sowing, the mustard sprouts. After 21 - 25 days, you can cut it off with a flat cutter or cultivator and start planting potatoes. If the mustard is grown and embedded in the soil in the fall, this will disrupt the wintering conditions of the wireworm and significantly reduce its amount on the site.

Many vegetable growers sow legumes at the same time as potatoes; such joint cultivation also improves the soil and eliminates the need to apply mineral fertilizers. If you still have doubts about the benefits of green manure for potatoes, then make a test sowing of crops and compare the result with growing potatoes without green manure.

Video about siderates for potatoes and their benefits:

Watch the video: Best4Soil: Green Manures u0026 Cover Crops Practical Information (December 2021).