It will be useful to know that potatoes are very sensitive to agrometeorological and growing conditions. Tt is therefore best to choose varieties from the list of the plant varieties most suitable for Lithuanian conditions (49). They have been tested at four plant variety research stations and selected as the most suitable of the many other varieties tested in the economic value tests. All varieties are productive, and almost each of them has specific quality characteristics. So, when choosing you need to know well what variety you need, in other words, know your requirements for the variety. You would choose one variety for heavier soil and another for lighter soil. You would choose one variety to sell in supermarkets or farmer markets as early potatoes, and another variety to sell in late winter or spring (long dormancy). One variety is for supermarkets for the production of salads (low cooking qualities), another variety for the production of French fries. There are different varieties for the production of starch or chips and special varieties suitable for preparing and selling washed potatoes. There are also differences in the general tuber look, tuber color, tuber shape, eyehole depth, flesh color, etc.
Once you decide, look for seed farms that have the varieties that meet your requirements, as well as the ones that best suit your other possibilities. Especially since the varieties adapt even better to our conditions when the variety seeds are grown in Lithuania.
Agronomist of the Lithuanian Centre for State Research of Plant Varieties:
SOIL. Potatoes like lighter, well- moistened soil with low humus content, without manure and compost. Potatoes in such a field should be grown no more than once every 4 years.
SEED. Only specially grown and certified potato seeds should be planted. Seeds grown on your farm from ware potatoes can reduce yields by as much as 50% and lead to the loss of crop quality.
SEED PREPARATION. Seeds of very early potato varieties, such as Catania, Anuschka, Red Sonia, should be germinated at a temperature of 10 - 20°C in daylight until dark green seedlings grow 1 - 2 cm high. It takes 5 - 7 weeks. It is recommended to stimulate growth with temperature for 2 - 4 days (at 20 - 25°C). The optimal length of seedlings for planting is 1 - 2 mm. The minimum soil temperature is 8°C for planting.
PLANTING. It is very important to keep the distance between the tubers in a row (30 - 35 cm) and between the rows (65 - 85 cm) correctly. Potatoes should be planted in dry warm soil.
The required conditions:
- a layer of loose soil under the tuber;
- the widest possible furrow;
- correct distances between tubers.
FERTILIZATION. Balanced fertilization with sufficient nitrogen before or during planting is of special importance. Potatoes react quickly to too little or too much nitrogen, which affects not only the quantity and quality of the yield, but also low storage qualities. Manure or compost should be used before planting or not used at all. Manure not only brings weed seeds and pathogens into the soil, it is also difficult to predict its mineralization terms. During this process, the excess nitrogen in the form of nitrates in the tubers accumulate harmful substances, reduces starch content, deteriorates the cooking qualities (darkens the flesh) and taste. In addition, too much nitrogen slows down the maturation of the tubers, reduces their appearance and storage qualities.
It is advised to balance the fertilizer content: N: P: K + Mg -12: 12: 17 + 2.
CARE. There are no insignificant measures in crop protection. Potato late blight becomes quite a challenge in rainy years. Proper soil selection, crop density, furrow aeration, fertilization (avoid manure), soil testing (nematodes - objects of quarantine) are important. Potatoes should be sprayed with contact and systemic fungicides to prevent the late blight.
Prevent the spread of the late blight in time. Remove potato haulms 3 weeks before harvest.
HARVEST. Harvest when the skin is fully hardened at 15 - 20°C. It is advised to dry the tubers in the sun for 1 - 2 hours, avoid mechanical damage, keep in ventilated dryers. Do not store potatoes in plastic bags, as the tubers will get wet and rot due to moisture condensation.
We believe in your success with our potato varieties.