It is difficult to find a garden plot in Russia that does not grow potatoes. This vegetable has long and firmly taken pride of place in our diet. However, for some reason, most gardeners believe that tubers can simply be thrown into the ground in the spring and forgotten about them for several months. At the same time, there are many diseases and pests that are quite capable of destroying the entire future potato crop, if nothing is done. Breeders have learned to protect the culture from some viruses, fungi and bacteria, but with very rare exceptions, nothing can be done with harmful insects. Therefore, you need to be able to recognize in time the alarming symptoms that indicate the appearance of a particular pest, and know how to deal with it.
You need to start fighting for the future harvest as soon as the first shoots of potatoes appear. Plants are regularly examined for the presence of characteristic symptoms, and appropriate measures are taken at the first suspicious signs.
From the moment the first shoots appear, the potato beds should be regularly carefully examined for suspicious symptoms.
A mandatory procedure is weeding the beds. Many weeds are "home" for most insects. Mulching the row spacing with freshly cut grass, straw, peat chips, humus will help save time on weeding. You should not use sawdust for this purpose - they strongly acidify the soil, which potatoes do not like very much.
In the fall, the garden bed must be cleaned of all plant debris and dug deeply. This will help kill eggs and insect larvae.
The only pest from which the breeders managed to protect the potatoes is the golden nematode. The varieties Zhukovsky early, Zavorovsky, Rozhdestvensky, Pushkinets, Latona, Santa, Symphony, Fresco are resistant to it.
An almost universal folk remedy is sifted wood ash. Tubers (and especially their parts) are powdered with it when planting, as well as adult plants. Ideally, this should be done every time it rains. Colloidal sulfur has a similar effect, but it is used less often, about once a month.
Sifted wood ash is a proven pest repellant and a source of potassium and phosphorus
When using insecticides, it should be remembered that the use of drugs of biological origin is stopped 5-7 days before the expected harvest. Chemicals - in 20-25 days. The latter is highly undesirable to use during flowering. Solutions are prepared in strict accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. The approximate consumption rate is 8-10 l / m². The smaller the droplets, the more evenly they cover the plant. Therefore, it is advisable to use special sprayers.
A reasonable balance should be struck when choosing a pest control agent on a case-by-case basis. It is unlikely that the folk "old-fashioned" methods will help with a massive invasion of the pest. But “heavy artillery” should not be rolled out, having found several insects.
Potatoes attack many pests. Both the aerial part of the plant and the tubers suffer from them. Most often, the following are found in garden plots.
Adults of the potato flea beetle, resembling small (2-3 mm long) bugs, feed on potato tops, and the larvae gnaw at the roots. Most often, their appearance can be observed in hot dry summers, especially if the tubers were planted late enough. Small depressed areas of brown-beige color appear on the leaves and shoots.
Especially often potatoes suffer from attacks of a potato flea, if you are late with planting
For prevention, you can use pieces of thick cardboard greased with honey or jam, as well as a special sticky tape for catching flies. Traps are changed about once every 10–12 days. Those who do not trust folk remedies use Tabu or Phosphamide (0.2% solution). They are sprayed with potatoes every 10-15 days from the moment of emergence. If there are few bugs or the area is small, an infusion of chamomile flowers or dusting the leaves with a mixture of sifted wood ash and powdered dry tobacco leaves (1: 1) helps.
The potato scoop looks like a moth. Small grayish-brown moths themselves do not cause much harm to potato plantings. But with their larvae you will have to wage a serious struggle. The pest is unpretentious, but prefers shade and high humidity. The eggs of the moths hibernate in the plant debris in the garden bed, in the spring the larvae penetrate the stems of young plants, gnawing them from the inside. Not only potatoes, but also any plants from the Solanaceae family can suffer from them.
Often, the attacks of the potato scoop are provoked by the gardener himself, choosing the wrong place for the garden - the potato prefers open sunny areas
A good prevention of the appearance of the potato scoop is special pheromone traps for adults. Also, do not forget about regular weeding of the beds and cleaning it from dried tops, weeds, and other debris in the fall. Insecticides are used against the larvae (Inta-Vir, Aktara, Calypso), as well as infusions of marigolds, calendula, wormwood. Plants are sprayed with chemicals once every 15–20 days, with folk remedies - every 5–7 days, or even more often if it rains constantly.
Nematoda is practically the only pest from which breeders have learned to protect potatoes. But so far not all varieties can boast of having immunity against it. It is almost impossible to see small, almost threadlike worms with the naked eye. To be sure of the presence of a nematode, you will have to dig out the entire bush. Spherical thickenings with a diameter of 1–3 mm will be clearly visible on the roots.
It seems that a bush affected by a potato nematode withers and dries for no reason.
Alarming signs that you need to pay attention to are yellowing leaves (starting from the bottom), a slowdown in the growth of a bush, a general decrease in its tone, poor flowering. Tubers on such plants form very small or do not form at all. In the presence of potatoes, the pest passes on to them - the skin becomes covered with grayish dents, cracks, the pulp in these places softens and turns brown.
Tubers infected with potato nematode should not be eaten
Nematode eggs remain viable for 8-10 years, gradually accumulating in the soil. Therefore, the best prevention is observance of crop rotation. In one and the same place, potatoes can be grown for a maximum of 3-4 years, then you need to look for another bed for him, on which his "relatives" from the Solanovy family did not grow before. They suffer from the same diseases and pests.
It is useful to pre-sow the selected area with green manure plants. They not only improve the quality of the soil and saturate it with useful macronutrients. Flax, clover, lupine, mustard leaves repel nematodes. In the spring, special preparations of a similar action - Nematicid, Nemabakt - can be added to the garden 15–20 days before planting the potatoes. Tubers for planting for the next season are carefully selected and washed in running water, the skin is cleaned with a brush. The latter also applies to the planting material purchased in the store.
In case of mass destruction by nematodes last season, the soil is deeply dug up in the fall and sprayed with insecticides - Carbation, Heterofos, Tiazon. In the spring, the soil is loosened, the treatment is repeated, distributing the preparations in a dry form over the surface of the beds 25-30 days before the expected planting of potatoes.
An adult potato moth is difficult for a layman to distinguish from the potato scoop described above. The similarity also lies in the fact that caterpillars mainly harm the landings. At the same time, they destroy foliage, stems and potato tubers not only in summer. Caterpillars are quite capable of surviving at temperatures of 10–12 ° C. Therefore, if the tubers are stored incorrectly, they can deprive the grower of most of the harvest during the winter. They contaminate the pulp of potatoes with excrement, it is no longer possible to eat it.
Potato moth can destroy crops not only in the garden, but also during storage.
To prevent the appearance of potato moths, care must be taken to ensure that the storage conditions for potatoes are optimal or close to them. The room temperature should not exceed 3–5 ° С, low air humidity and good ventilation are required. In the spring, all potatoes intended for planting are carefully examined, those on which the slightest suspicious traces are visible are immediately discarded.
To combat adults, the drugs Lepidocid, Bitoxibacillin are used. They are sprayed with emerging seedlings from late May to late July with an interval of 7-12 days. Self-made traps - shallow containers filled with something sweet (sugar syrup, diluted honey, jam) - also give a good effect.
Caterpillars are destroyed by digging up the soil in spring and autumn, deeply loosening the aisles every time after rain. High hilling is carried out 2-3 times during the season. Experienced gardeners recommend cutting the potato tops 1.5–2 weeks before the expected harvest. In the event of a mass invasion of a pest, any wide-spectrum insecticides are used to spray the leaves - Inta-Vir, Tanrek, Fury, Mospilan, Aktellik. "Heavy artillery" - 10% solution of Karbofos.
Medvedka is a large insect that lives in the soil. It moves along independently dug passages and in the process of movement it may well gnaw through the roots or damage the potato tubers.
Medvedka does not eat potatoes, however, you also need to fight it
Good prevention is special preparations of biological origin (Medvetox, Thunder, Prestige). The granules are distributed around the perimeter of the bed or introduced into the aisles, then the soil is watered abundantly. Their validity period is 20-25 days. Some gardeners advise to surround the potato garden with onions or garlic, the pungent smell of which supposedly scares off the bear, but this method does not always work.
If there are few insects, holes dug in the ground, filled with bait - fermented yeast, beer, millet, corn or barley porridge with the addition of any vegetable oil and 2-3% Metaphos solution (25 ml / l) - help well. It is best to do everything you need to do 3-5 days before planting the potatoes. Then you can repeat when the first shoots appear, spreading the porridge in the aisles. Boiling water or the same vegetable oil is poured into the holes found.
Cases of a mass invasion of the bear are quite rare. This is where Karbofos can help. The plants are watered with a 10% solution at the root, spending 60–80 liters per hundred square meters. In the fall, several holes are dug in the garden bed, filling them with fresh manure. When it gets colder, it is scattered around the site, destroying those gathered to spend the winter in the warmth of the bear.
Cicadas are very small insects, almost invisible to the naked eye, resembling aphids or fleas. They settle on the leaves and feed on the sap of the plant. The leaves affected by their invasion are covered with small pale green or beige dots, gradually dry out and die off. Cicadca is dangerous not only in itself, but also as a carrier of pathogenic viruses. And through the "punctures" left by it in the outer shell of the leaf, spores of fungi and bacteria penetrate inside.
Leafhoppers most often settle on a plant in whole colonies.
To prevent the appearance of leafhoppers, tubers are sprayed 3-5 days before planting with a solution of Tabu, Karate, Cruiser preparations. The treatment is repeated when the first shoots appear and immediately after flowering. You need to pay attention not only to the potato garden, but also to the neighboring ones. The leafhopper does not disdain eggplants, peppers, pumpkins, zucchini.
The Colorado potato beetle is a familiar pest "imported" to Europe from the United States after the First World War. He is able, if not to fight him, to destroy almost all potato leaves, leaving only the stems and veins. At the same time, the yield falls by 50% or more. Adults are yellowish with longitudinal black stripes on the shell, the larvae have a reddish-brick tint and black dots.
The most common way to combat it is to pick up the larvae from the bushes by hand. At the same time, you cannot simply shake them off to the ground. But there are also less time consuming, more efficient methods.
Hand picking the Colorado potato beetle is a procedure that requires patience and care from the gardener
Biological preparations recommended for use:
Fitoverm is one of the most popular drugs of biological origin, safe for humans and pets
If time has already been lost, and the pest has multiplied en masse, powerful chemicals are used. There are quite a few of them, most often they use Aktar, Confidor, Regent, Mospilan, Tsimbush. The scheme of application is about the same, but you must first read the instructions. A warm, clear, windless day is chosen for processing. The best time for the procedure is before 10 am or after 6 pm. The leaves must be dry. Do not forget about yourself - take care of gloves, respirator, goggles. Usually 3-4 treatments are sufficient at intervals of 10-14 days. It is advisable to change drugs, the Colorado potato beetle has the ability to quickly develop immunity to many poisons.
There are many alternative pest control methods that do not involve the use of chemicals. The easiest way is to build traps by bursting deep containers into the ground on the garden bed so that their upper edge is level with the ground surface.They are filled with bait - slices of cut potatoes soaked in a 10% carbamide solution for 3-5 hours. The bait should be changed every 2-3 days.
Other popular folk remedies against the Colorado potato beetle:
The wireworm (officially - the larva of the click beetle) is a thin "worm" pest of bright yellow-orange color 2-3 cm long, which is quite difficult to crush. The larvae gnaw through passages in the potato tubers, which become "gates" for all kinds of infections. It also has a very negative effect on the keeping quality of tubers.
Potato tubers damaged by wireworm are not suitable for long-term storage
To avoid the appearance of a wireworm, the potato bed must be weeded, paying special attention to the fight against wheatgrass. You should not abuse rotted (and even more fresh) manure - it has the property of acidifying the soil.
Weeds on a potato bed must be weeded out, paying special attention to wheatgrass
To prevent the appearance of a wireworm, several granules of superphosphate, pre-treated with the following insecticide solution (Karate, Actellik or Decis) - 15 ml, acetone - 200 ml, water - 80-100 ml, are placed in each hole when planting potatoes, or onion husks, dry mustard , hot pepper. You can also disinfect the wells by spilling them with a bright pink solution of potassium permanganate (about 0.5 liters each).
Nitrogen-containing fertilizers - carbamide, ammonium sulfate, ammonium nitrate - are effective in the fight against wireworm. A solution (15–25 g per 10 l of water) is watered with potato seedlings. But they can be used only before flowering - they stimulate plants to intensively build up green mass to the detriment of tuber formation.
Urea and other nitrogen-containing fertilizers are useful in combating wireworms, but it is important not to overdo it.
You can also prepare traps, the same as for the Colorado potato beetle. Only beets, carrots, rotted straw are used as bait in this case. Once every 2-3 days, the bait is changed, the collected larvae are destroyed (they are destroyed, and not thrown away somewhere in the far corner of the site).
Experienced gardeners note that ordinary table salt is very effective in combating the pest of the wireworm. But you can process the surface of the garden with it no more than once every 7 years.
Other folk remedies:
In especially severe cases, only potent chemicals can help - Bazudin, Metarizin, Kapkan, Diazinon, Provotox. They are toxic to humans, therefore, precautions must be taken when processing.
Metarizine is an effective remedy against wireworm
Not all insects are created equal. Ground beetles (small black beetles with a golden-bronze tint) bring undoubted benefits to the garden plot, being natural enemies of many common pests. The only exception to the rule is the bread beetle, which can be distinguished by its shorter legs and an almost dull black shell. Despite the name, it does not disdain other plants either, eating out tubers from the inside and "milling" potato stalks.
Ground beetle is a useful insect that destroys many pests; even attempts are made to breed it "in captivity" and release it in gardens
To combat it, the drugs Volaton, Bazudin, Nurell-D are used. They are used 8-10 days after the end of flowering, cultivating the soil. For prevention, you can spray the solution and tubers before planting.
Bread ground beetle is the only member of the family capable of causing significant harm to the potato crop
As practice shows, the neighborhood of plants in a garden plot can be successful or unsuccessful. Certain flowers and herbs, most often with a pungent, strong odor, have the ability to repel some pests. Therefore, they are surrounded by potato beds, they are planted in aisles, the leaves are sprayed with infusions and decoctions.
Calendula, marigolds and chicory will help in the fight against a nematode. Also, for some reason, it is believed that this insect does not tolerate the aroma of parsley, but this is not always confirmed by practice.
The pungent smell of marigold leaves is not pleasant to many pests, including nematodes.
Wormwood, tansy, elderberry scare away many flying insects, as if disorienting them. They will be useful in the fight against potato moths, scoops, leafhoppers.
In order to avoid the appearance of the Colorado potato beetle, onions and garlic are planted in the aisles and along the perimeter of the potato garden. A little bit of husk can be added directly to the hole along with the tuber. Or, periodically dig in the cloves and cut heads into the garden bed during the summer. This pest also does not like nasturtium, tansy, marigolds, coriander, thyme, horseradish, peppermint. Phacelia is also useful in the fight against it, at the same time attracting many bees to the site.
Garlic planted along the perimeter of a potato bed will scare off the Colorado potato beetle, an infusion from it and cloves buried in the ground have a similar effect
Wireworms are most effectively scared away by beans, beans, peas, and other plants from the legume family, especially if they are planted in the garden regularly. Also, for some reason, he does not tolerate the scent of dahlias. The latter are also useful in that they inhibit the wheatgrass growing nearby.
Beans, like other legumes, not only scare away the wireworm, but also saturate the soil with nitrogen.
It helps well in the fight against the larvae of the click beetle and mustard leaf. Greens cut and embedded in the soil during digging release specific essential oils with a pungent aroma. It can be planted twice a year.
Mustard leaf is one of the most popular green manure plants
The first time mustard is sown in late summer or autumn, immediately after harvest. Before frost, it will have time to grow up to 50–70 cm. By spring, the leaves and stems will turn into straw. Without removing it from the garden, potatoes are planted. After the second hilling, the aisles are sown with mustard again. It will not interfere with potatoes, but it will take the place that weeds usually occupy.
The grown mustard is mowed, the green mass is embedded in the soil or simply left on the surface of the garden
An alternative option is sowing mustard on a potato bed in March or April. When the time comes to plant potatoes, the greens are cut and planted in the garden. The second time the green manure is planted in the aisles towards the end of summer.
Potatoes planted in the garden are threatened by many pests that can leave the gardener without a crop at all or without most of it. To avoid this, you need to regularly devote time to simple preventive measures. When the first suspicious signs are found, pest control begins immediately. The use of both folk remedies and modern chemicals has its advantages. The specific method is determined by each gardener individually, depending on the situation.
In nature, there are about 12 thousand species of the click beetle, which got its name from the characteristic click sound when turning over. Adults (adults) do not harm plantings, they lead a hidden lifestyle. Depending on the species, the sizes vary from 10 to 30 mm, the color is brown, black-gray, purple, brown (see photos).
There may be spots on the back and elytra, and a characteristic process on the chest. Females are larger than males; in late spring and early summer they lay eggs (5-10 eggs per clutch). Caterpillars hatched from eggs - nutcracker larvae that live in the soil - pose a danger to vegetables.
On a note! The life cycle of a clicker is five years. Of these, the pest is in the larval stage for three years, the next year in the pupal stage, and in the fifth year it forms in the imago.
During the season, female nutcrackers lay 150-180 eggs. The larvae appear in three or four weeks, are about 1.5 mm in size, and do not differ in mobility. But already in the second year, the length of the caterpillars increases to 2-2.5 mm, the body color changes from whitish to brown, yellow-orange or brown. From above, they are covered with a strong, tough, hard chitinous cover, thanks to which they got this name.
The larvae become mobile, live in the upper horizons of the soil, going to depths with the onset of cold weather.
The most dangerous varieties of the clicker:
Almost all of the listed species are omnivorous, affecting the roots and roots of agricultural crops. Some of them prefer cereals, others prefer potatoes, carrots, beets.
Birch tar has a very specific aroma, it is thanks to the smell that it repels most insects. The annoying, gluttonous Colorado potato beetle is also afraid of this. To get rid of it, dissolve half a bar of laundry soap in 10 liters of water, and then add 2 teaspoons of tar to the soap solution. With this solution, you need to moisten the potato leaves, as well as the soil between the rows. You can also treat potatoes with tar before planting: just dip the potatoes in a container with a solution of tar (1 tbsp. Spoon for 10 liters of water). The same solution can be poured over the wells to protect the tubers from the wireworm.
Cabbage fly This parasite is familiar to every gardener. Despite the name, cabbage fly harms not only cabbage, but also other crops: radish, turnip, radish, horseradish and others. The larvae of this insect are a real attack for these vegetables. But tar will help here too. To protect the plants from the parasite and prevent it from laying eggs, cover the soil in the cabbage bed with sawdust dipped in a tar solution (1 tablespoon per 10 liters of water). The procedure must be carried out in the spring, and then repeated at the beginning of August. Cabbage fly, cabbage butterflies and cruciferous fleas will not annoy cabbage if you pour it with a solution of tar. Watering must be repeated several times.
Perhaps the most voracious creature that gardeners have ever encountered. Any weather is good for her, all gardeners know how quickly she turns healthy shoots into something completely ugly. But this glutton has one weak point - she hates the smell of tar. To get rid of aphids, you can use tar itself or tar soap. Grind 50 g of tar soap, pour a liter of boiling water over the shavings, stirring the liquid. After the flakes are completely dissolved, add 5 ml of tar. Dissolve the resulting mixture in 20 liters of water. Mix the mass, pour it into a spray bottle. Treat the leaves, branches and trunks of trees and bushes with it. Carry out the treatment twice with a break a month. The solution is suitable for trees and bushes of cucumbers, raspberries and cabbage.
Ants in a summer cottage are an unpleasant phenomenon. To discourage them from settling on your site, wrap tree trunks and bushes bases with rags soaked in clean tar. The ants that live in the garden can be gotten rid of by dripping a few drops of tar directly onto the anthill. They cannot stand this smell, so they will soon leave the site.
Another gardener's nightmare. The fruit moth destroys crops and spoils the beautiful juicy fruits. Birch tar treatment will help save apples from adversity! To protect your plantings, you can spray the trees with an odorous solution. It is prepared from 10 liters of water, 2 teaspoons of tar and 1/3 of a bar of laundry soap. Processing should be carried out when the tree is budding and immediately after flowering. You can also hang containers with tar solution in the crown of trees shortly before flowering. For this solution, mix 1 teaspoon of tar in 5 liters of water. Thus, you can protect your harvest, and not only apple trees, but also other fruit trees.
All these methods have long been tested by many gardeners. Tar has proven to be effective in pest control and is used universally. Thanks to such a simple tool, you can get rid of annoying parasites and get a great harvest without the addition of chemicals.
Tubers for a wireworm are a real treat, but they do not hesitate to eat the entire root system and even the tops. It is not so easy to spot a pest on crops. But there are signs that allow you to determine the presence of a worm and quickly take action to eliminate it.
The following methods will help to get rid of the listed pests on potatoes using various means: chemicals, manually and folk remedies.
Mechanical methods of control involve manual collection of pests from the surface of the potato. For example, gardeners collect the Colorado potato beetle or potato spanker. This is, in a way, an effective technique that requires a lot of effort and time. The collection can be done with large specimens that will not fly away from the presence of a person. The same cannot be done with earth-moving insects.
The latter can be destroyed with the help of autumn and spring deep digging. Knowing at what depth the larvae and eggs of insects are located, people use various types of plowing of the garden. At the same time, eggs and pupae turn out to the surface, and under the influence of frost they die.
In addition, in the fall, weeds must be removed from the site where pests may be laying eggs.
For the same purposes, vegetable stores are processed, into which eggs can get along with the potato crop. For warm regions, where May beetles fly en masse, they are caught, for which they turn on the light and at night they are caught using various devices, such as nets made of fine cloth. By nature, beetles flock to the light, which makes it easier to catch them.
In the fight against pest rodents, homemade traps and traps are used. Ultrasonic scarers are installed along the perimeter of potato plantings, which act effectively. Smoke, sulfur bombs are used, which are lowered into burrows. And ultimately, cats and dogs are attracted.
The use of chemicals to destroy pests is the most effective method of control, especially in case of mass infestation of potato plantings. The most effective are:
Usually, the listed insecticides have a wide spectrum of action, that is, they destroy a group of pests. If in the proposed list the remedy is presented for the Colorado potato beetle, it can be used to treat other pests on potatoes. All actions must be coordinated with the attached instructions: dose, amount for different types of crops, type of insects, method of preparation and hazard class.
Chemistry is not always good. Many fighters for a healthy lifestyle will use all available and studied improvised means that are no less fruitful:
Preventing the spread of pests will help keep your plants healthy. First of all, for this you need to carry out deep plowing of the soil in the fall. This will help destroy the larvae left in the soil.
In the process of cultivation, it is recommended to carry out hilling several times and remove weeds. Such plants can contain adults and larvae. Hilling allows you to loosen the soil to a greater depth, which also helps to eliminate young insects. In addition, before planting, you can treat the tubers with special prophylactic agents, and use insecticides already during the cultivation process.
There are effective folk remedies that will help prevent pest infestations. However, they are labor intensive and do not have the effectiveness of chemicals. At the same time, in small areas, the use of folk remedies for prevention can be very effective.
During planting, you can throw some wood ash into the hole. It will scare away insects and prevent the larvae from developing. In addition, plants with a pronounced smell (for example, calendula, basil, or dill) can be planted next to potatoes.
An effective means of protecting tubers is considered to be the treatment of planting material with a solution of potassium permanganate. The ash solution has the same effect. The ash is simply dissolved in a bucket and the potatoes are dipped into the liquid. Such processing helps to protect the planting material from diseases and pests.
Chemicals are considered a more effective means of protecting against pests. The most popular drug for prevention is Prestige, and its domestic counterpart Tabu.
The finished solution of the drug can simply be poured into the hole when planting or sprayed on the tubers a few days before planting. After processing, the potatoes must be dried.
The author of the video will tell you how to properly deal with potato pests.