Planting potatoes, gardeners, naturally, are counting on a good and healthy harvest. And how else, because the hassle associated with planting, hilling, watering and treatments against pests is already enough to count on the fact that the efforts will not be wasted. But already with the onset of persistently warm weather, constant enemies of any cultivated plant go into battle - weeds. Unlike their cultural counterparts, they settle for very little, and develop quickly - that is why they quickly take the lead and drown out timid potato shoots. In addition, they contribute to the spread of many pests and spores of fungal diseases of potatoes, so it is undesirable to allow their rapid development - in this case, the crop can not be seen at all.
If you have a relatively small area of potatoes, then you can try to cope with the invasion of weeds on your own or using mechanical means of processing. But in large spaces, herbicides are commonly used. Of course, these chemicals destroy the plants, but if you use them wisely and in exactly the time allotted for this, then there is a chance that the weeds will be struck completely and the potatoes will ripen tasty and healthy.
What are herbicides for potatoes
There are several classifications of weed herbicides for potatoes. So, by the way they affect the weeds, there are two groups of herbicides:
- Contact - according to the name, affect only the leaves or stems of plants, where they directly fall. They are not able to move to the roots of plants, therefore, as a rule, only the aboveground part of the weeds perishes. Usually they are used against annual and biennial plants, such as woodlice, shepherd's bag, and convolvulus.
- System - have the ability to penetrate into the vascular system of plants and move freely through it. As a result, both the aboveground and underground parts of plants perish, that is, they are able to cope with powerful perennials, such as wheatgrass, thistle and others.
There are also the following two groups of herbicides according to the method of their use:
- Soil or pre-emergence - as the name implies, are applied before germination or before planting potatoes. Usually they are granules that are applied to the soil to a depth of about 5-10 cm. These drugs are toxic to weed seeds and do not allow them to germinate. The active substances do not move freely in the soil, and therefore do not pose a danger to potato tubers. But they are able to provide long-term protection against weeds.
- Leafy, they are also called post-emergence. These herbicides are applied to the plants by spraying and affect the leaves and stems of the plants. They are usually used after germination, precisely in the period when the young potato plants are still hard to resist the rapid development of weeds. Most often they are selective actions. Later, when the potato bushes grow and get stronger, they themselves are able to stand up for themselves and may well suppress most of the weeds.
Finally, there is a classification of herbicides according to the purpose of their action:
- Of continuous action - it is clear that these drugs kill everything around. It is clear that they are very dangerous for cultivated plants, including potatoes, so the terms of their use are limited either in early spring before planting, or in autumn after harvesting.
- Selective action - these herbicides can be dangerous only for a certain family of weeds, for example, for dicotyledons or for cereals. Most of the herbicides of selective action can easily turn into drugs of continuous action, if you increase the concentration of the prepared solution.
Examples of the most popular drugs
If we talk about potatoes, the time interval when weeds are able to bring him the greatest harm is the period from the appearance of the first shoots to reaching a height of 20-30 cm, after which the potato root system is strengthened so that few what weeds can harm it. On the other hand, it is desirable to carry out the treatment by many preparations of continuous action in the absence of seedlings of cultivated plants in order to maximally protect them from the harmful effects of herbicides.
In this regard, all herbicides for potatoes are divided into two main classes:
- Pre-emergence, which are used before planting tubers or before the emergence of potato shoots.
- Post-emergence, used at the stage of the first shoots of potatoes until they reach a height of 20-25 cm.
Preparations used before sprouting potatoes
Roundup - the active substance is glyphosate. It is considered a low toxic drug of continuous action. Destroys both aboveground and underground parts of any weeds. The results of its impact appear already after 5-6 days after treatment. It is best to treat them with weeds in the stage of active vegetation.Attention! Weed seeds are not affected by Roundup.
It is advisable to treat with Roundup in autumn or spring, no later than 12-14 days before planting potatoes. The drug has properties not to accumulate in the soil. If you guarantee its correct use, it is safe for potato tubers.
Zenkor - is a drug of continuous action with the main active ingredient - metribuzin. Especially well copes with a dandelion, an ambrosia, a quinoa and goritsich. The drug has no adverse effect on subsequent planting. The form of Zenkara is granules, which dissolve well in water. It can have an impact not only on plants, but also on the ground, preventing the weeds from germinating. Small rains will be favorable for its action, but heavy rains are able to wash the drug from the soil. It is desirable to treat Zenkor 7-12 days before the emergence of shoots, but at the moment when the weeds have already appeared above the ground surface.Important! Separate early and mid-season potato varieties may be hypersensitive to metribuzin.
The Boxer is a newly developed soil herbicide that is effective against annual grasses and most dicotyledonous weeds. Particularly effective in the destruction of the nightshade and the bedstraw.
Titus - one of the most popular herbicides on potatoes, used after germination. In its composition the main active ingredient is rimsulfuron. Successfully destroys all annuals and curly perennials. It does not pose any danger to sprouting potatoes, if you strictly follow the instructions for use, it is therefore recommended to treat the potato field when the seedlings reach a height of 5 to 18 cm. The procedure is preferably carried out in dry weather.
Lapis lazuli - refers to herbicides of selective action. It works especially well on all annual weeds. It is usually used once per season, but if it is rainy, it is possible to re-process it after 30 days.
Features of the use of herbicides on potatoes
Reflecting on which herbicide to use for your site, you must take into account the basic rules for the use of such drugs for planting potatoes.
When to refrain from using herbicides
If potato tubers are weakened by diseases or pests, then the use of chemicals will only exacerbate the situation, so herbicides are contraindicated in this case. It is also not recommended to use the treatment with herbicides after frost.Tip! If you planted potatoes by shallow technology, harmful substances can get into the tubers - in this case, mechanical or manual cultivation of the soil from weeds should be preferred.
In addition, there are certain varieties of potatoes that are hypersensitive to chemicals. These are such varieties as: Prolisok, Svitanok Kiev, Bagryana, Poran, Lugovskoy, Slav, Call, Yavir, Virinea, Lileya, Fantasia and others. Before growing a particular variety, one should ask how it relates to chemical treatment. When a negative reaction is better to refrain from the use of herbicides.
Herbicide Treatment Rules
Usually for cultivation of solutions use plastic or glassware (metal containers can not be used). The solutions themselves are prepared immediately before use, because during prolonged storage (more than a few days) they can lose their properties.
Before processing it is necessary to carefully study the instructions for use. The fact is that it indicates the minimum and maximum concentration of a substance. If the cultivated area is characterized by heavy clay soils, then the maximum concentration can be used. The lighter the soil, the smaller the amount of herbicide needed for processing. The content of humus in the soil also matters. If the soil is sandy and contains a very small amount of humus, the concentration of the active substance for spraying can be further reduced by 25% of the minimum amount.
The most suitable temperature conditions for the procedure of treatment with herbicides is the range from + 15 ° С to + 25 ° С. With hotter or colder weather, the effectiveness of drugs may decrease. Although there are drugs resistant to rain, for most of them it is desirable that the rains do not pass earlier than 8 hours after treatment. The soil should be slightly wet. It is desirable to carry out watering on the treated area no earlier than 5 days after the procedure.
Repeated procedure, if necessary, can be carried out not earlier than the expiration date of the drug specified in the instructions.Tip! If after treatment there remains unused liquid, then it cannot be poured into the sewage system. It is better to drain it on a wasteland.
In order to eliminate the addiction of weeds to one of the herbicides, the drugs must be changed regularly.
Coming to a decision on the use of herbicides on your potato plot, carefully weigh the pros and cons. And choose chemical treatment only if all other methods are completely ineffective.