It is difficult to imagine that there was a time when in Europe potatoes were grown only as an ornamental and potted plant. Then they began to feed the pigs, and only thanks to people like Antoine Auguste Parmentier and Andrei Timofeevich Bolotov, potatoes became for Europeans not only the second bread, but also a cure for the most severe vitamin deficiency - scurvy.
The potatoes planted in the gardens of Paris during the French Revolution helped survive the siege, and after several lean years saved hundreds of thousands of French people from starvation.
Today even many townspeople try to have at least a small vegetable garden where potatoes will grow. In the fall, it's not a problem to manually dig up potatoes from two or three acres. However, in large areas, it is more convenient to harvest potatoes with a walk-behind tractor.
- Why you need to harvest potatoes in a certain short time
- The advantage of the mechanized method of harvesting potatoes with walk-behind tractors of different power
- How to harvest potatoes with different types of potato diggers
Why you need to harvest potatoes in a certain short time
All villagers and most of the townspeople know the process of manual harvesting of potatoes. In private backyards, as a rule, plant residues were first removed from the site. Then they dug in the ground in those places where potato bushes grew.
They did it with a shovel or a pitchfork. One person was digging up the earth, while others followed him with buckets and collected tubers in them. During the manual harvesting process, many tubers were cut with a shovel or punctured with a pitchfork.
The process of manual harvesting of tubers is quite laborious, especially when you need to dig out potatoes over a large area in a short time.
If you are late in harvesting and do not have time to do it in dry weather, prolonged autumn rains can begin until cold weather. Potatoes dug out of damp soil later than the term or caught under early frost are poorly stored, early begins to deteriorate and rot.
The taste of the tubers also deteriorates. The advantage of manual cleaning is that it practically requires only physical effort and does not require an expensive walk-behind tractor and the cost of fuel and special attachments. Its main disadvantage is low productivity, limited by the physical capabilities of the human body.
The advantage of the mechanized method of harvesting potatoes with walk-behind tractors of different power
When choosing a walk-behind tractor for a personal garden, you need to give preference to those models that provide for the operation of the mechanism with a variety of attachments:
- milling cutter
- potato digger
The latter will definitely be required in the event that a vegetable grower plans to harvest using a walk-behind tractor. When choosing both a walk-behind tractor and a potato digger, it is imperative to take into account not only the characteristics of the mechanism, but also the features of the soil and relief on the site, as well as their area.
In addition to functionality, when choosing a walk-behind tractor, which will not only cultivate the soil, but also dig potatoes, the power of the unit and the method of controlling it should be taken into account.
For harvesting potatoes from a large area, walk-behind tractors with a capacity of more than 5 liters are suitable. from. This technique weighs more than 60 kg and is quite expensive. These walk-behind tractors are professional mechanisms and are suitable for harvesting potatoes from large areas.
Do not overpay if you need to remove potatoes from several acres. For such areas, light motoblocks are suitable, their weight is from 10 to 30 kg and a power is from 1.5 to 2.5 liters. If the volumes of potatoes are quite significant and the budget allows you to purchase not the cheapest model, then the choice can be stopped on motoblocks with a capacity of 3.0 to 5.0 hp.
These motoblocks weigh from 40 to 60 kg. It should also be foreseen that it is possible to remove potatoes from a small area with a walk-behind tractor of medium and high power, but it is rather difficult to do this with a low-power unit from a large area.
All potato diggers can be divided into two types:
- simple, they look like a blade of a shovel with teeth on top
- vibrating or screening type
Depending on the type of potato digger for the walk-behind tractor, the method of digging in tubers also depends.
How to harvest potatoes with different types of potato diggers
Harvesting tubers with such a mechanism does not differ much from harvesting with a conventional shovel. The sharp part of the device is buried in the ground. Lifting it along with the tubers, it sends them to the teeth.
Excess soil crumbles, and tubers remain on the surface. People follow and collect potatoes. The use of such a potato digger increases the speed of digging in tubers, but does not affect the speed of the pickers.
It is convenient to use such a potato digger in cases when one person digs in and collects potatoes. Such potato diggers are produced for different types of soil.
Harvesting potatoes using a walk-behind tractor with a vibrating potato digger
Such a potato digger has not only a ploughshare, which lifts the ground along with tubers, but also a grate - a rumble. The grill is placed on a kind of cart with wheels.
While moving along the row of potatoes, the ploughshare cuts the soil and lifts it along with the tubers. With the plowshares, the ground falls on the grate. Excess soil is separated and mechanically sieved. The tubers remain on the surface. Some models are equipped with a conveyor belt that improves the separation of the soil from the tubers.
Important! If you plan to harvest with a walk-behind tractor, you need to make the potato rows as straight as possible. Most mechanisms provide for the processing of rows about 40 cm wide.Tubers are removed from a depth of 20 cm.
The area from which you can harvest potatoes in one hour depends on the power of the mechanism and the type of soil. With ordinary motoblocks of medium power, you can dig up tubers in an area of up to 20 acres per hour.
Video on how to plant potatoes with a walk-behind tractor: