Planting potatoes, rate of sowing and distance between plants
We start with shopping for potato seeds. It is necessary to buy authentic disease-free potato seeds only from legitimate vendors. About 2 days before planting the seed, we open the bag and examine the tuber. Rotten-throat tubers should be removed immediately. Most potato seeded tubers have a diameter of 45–60 mm. They may need to be cut into small pieces (often called “sets”). Tubes of 28–35 mm do not normally require pruning and can be planted in full.
A controversial method is to cut the seeded potatoes into small pieces. Its supporters claim that if you take precautions in cleanliness, you can get triple production of potatoes. We can cut a large tuber into 3 smaller pieces (each containing at least one seed), and each piece will normally produce one plant. If we did not cut this big tuber and put it full instead, only one plant will emerge from this tuber. Therefore, cutting seeded potatoes definitely increases the yield. But, under this method, if a tuber is infected, the disease spreads rapidly in all the tubers with the knife or scissors used to cut the potatoes. Therefore, from time to time in some countries (when it is proven that a consignment of potato seeds can become infected), agricultural experts and potato seed companies recommend not to cut potatoes and plant whole potatoes instead. Huh. In all cases, before cutting each tuber we must dip our knife or blade into an effective disinfectant solution (consult a licensed agricultural specialist).
It is advisable to sow 2 to 2.5 tons of potatoes per hectare for tubers with a diameter of 45-60 mm. Please keep in mind that 1 ton = 1000 kg = 2.200 pounds, and 1 hectare = 2.47 acres = 10.000 m2. For tubers with a size of 28–35 mm, it is recommended to sow 1.5 to 1.8 tons of potatoes per hectare. Potato seeds are sown using automatic potato sowing machines which are attached to tractors. These machines have many functionalities. They plow the field and at the same time plant the seeds at the suggested depths, leaving proper space between the rows and between the potato seeds. The suggested interval inside the row is 10–15 inches (25–38 cm), while the distance between the rows may be 28 to 36 inches (70–90 cm). Under this scheme, we get 25.000 to 60,000 saplings per hectare. The suggested number of plants is usually higher for delayed release seeds.
We can add the number of plants in our row spacing to get the desired number of plants using the following equation:
100.000 / PP * RW = SS,
Where PP = number of plants (in thousands of plants per hectare)
RW = line width in cm
SS = spacing of seeds in a row in cm (Source: University of Cambridge)
Suppose we want 55,000 plants per hectare and our row width is 90 cm. In this case, our equation would be SS = 100.000 / 55 * 90 = 20.2 cm. Therefore, we need to plant seeds at a distance of 20.2 cm inside the line to get 55,000 plants per hectare.
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Planting potatoes rate of sowing