In potato cultivation, a number of plant processes play a crucial role in the final yield and grades. The main processes are: chitting, rooting, tuber formation, tubers retention, starch production and tuber bulking. Growers can positively influence these processes by applying the right fertilisers and biostimulants.

Select a stage for more information

Stage 1 Planting/ridging
Stage 1

Planting/ridging

Immediately after planting/ridging, the eyes of the seed potato will sprout, and root development will start. The eyes grow into longer sprouts of the plant and so form the basis of the size of the plant. The more eyes sprout, the larger and stronger the plant. Well-developed roots in turn provide a proper uptake of minerals and moisture and as such form the foundation of a good harvest.

A very important mineral during this stage is phosphate. A potato plant requires phosphate for root development but also to produce various enzymes and plant hormones which regulate all processes in the plant. Phosphate, however, is not readily available in the relatively cold spring soil.

The availability of phosphate in the soil can be positively influenced by applying humic acid, which can contribute to good root development in this stage.

Boron is also important for good crop development and numerous other processes. Optima Soil Humi-B* is a pure humic acid with 2.3% boron.

Advice in this stage:

If you have NOT applied Optima Soil Humi-B* or Liquid Humus during the soil preparation phase.

Soil application - Liquid Humus*: 25 litres/hectare

OR

Soil application - Optima Soil Humi-B*: 30 litres/hectare

* Unfortunately, only available in The Netherlands.

Stage 2 Emergence of the foliage
Stage 2

Emergence of the foliage

Soiltech does not have specific products for this stage.

Stage 3 Tuber formation
Stage 3

Tuber formation

This stage is decisive in potato development. We want as many ‘hooks’ which are attached to the roots to actually swell and grow into tubers. Tuber formation is a process that proceeds more smoothly if certain natural substances are available.

Because the potato plant is still growing in this stage, developing leaves and forming tubers at the same time, some additional support is welcome.

Advice in this stage:

Foliar application 3 times Optima Leaf-NPK+: 2 litres/ha (every 15 days)

Foliar application (stress period) - Optima Leaf-Amino: 1,5 litres/ha

Foliar application (optimal photosynthesis) 5 times - Optima Leaf-MnZn+: 1 litre/ha (every 15 days)

Foliar application (nutrient deficiency) - Optima Leaf-range: 0.5 - 2.0 litres/ha (every 15 days)

Relevant products

Stage 4 Tuber bulking and starch production.
Stage 4

Tuber bulking and starch production.

To enable good tuber bulking, it is important that the potato plant can uptake sufficient minerals to sustain starch production. Practical experience has taught that the mineral uptake during this period is not always optimal because of, for example, too wet, too warm or too dry conditions. When soil conditions are too dry, it is impossible for crops to uptake minerals from the soil, as plants can only absorb minerals in a soluble form. And when the weather is too cold, the plant also will absorb less water (and therefore fewer minerals that have dissolved in moisture) because the crop evaporates less moisture.

In all situations, foliar fertiliser is a good way to offer the extra minerals and trace elements a plant needs for starch production.

Besides minerals and trace elements, potassium is an important element for tuber bulking. Potassium plays an important role in the production and transport of sugars and the accumulation of starch in the tuber. Applying potassium greatly benefits the potato plant in this period.

Advice in this stage:

Foliar application 3 times - Optima Leaf-NPK+: 2 litres/ha

Foliar application 3 times - Optima Leaf-K: 5 litres/ha (every 15 days)

Foliar application (stress period) - Optima Leaf-Amino: 1,5 litres/ha

Foliar application (optimal photosynthesis) 5 times - Optima Leaf-MnZn+: 1 litre/ha (every 15 days)

Foliar application - Optima Sugar+: 3 x 3 L/ha, every 2 weeks

Foliar application (nutrient deficiency) - Optima Leaf-range: 0.5 - 2.0 litres/ha (every 15 days)

Relevant products

Stage 5 Further maturing
Stage 5

Further maturing

Soiltech does not have specific products for this stage.

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