We continue to advance in our range of controlled crops, on this occasion irrigation with probes in potatoes, a type of tuber consumed worldwide.
Potato production in Spain with sensor-controlled irrigation
In Spain, due to the climate, we have several phases of potato production, but in most of them they need a supply of irrigation water. We have already installed humidity sensors in Horcajo, with excellent quality and quantity results.
Times of the year to produce potatoes:
- Very early production: in the Canary Islands and part of Andalusia, the easternmost.
- Early: they are produced in the Mediterranean area and some warm areas of the north, to be harvested from April to June.
- Late: cultivated throughout central and northern Spain. They are collected in summer in the Center and early fall in the north. In warm areas of Galicia they can be grown for harvesting in summer. The ones that need the most water supply.
- Very late: those grown in western Andalusia. They are collected in autumn and early winter. They also need irrigation water.
Probe irrigation in potatoes
Of all the phases involved in growing potatoes, after tilling and fertilizing the land, and removing weeds, the most important is undoubtedly irrigation.
Puede ser por surcos, como muestra la imagen, por aspersión o por goteo. En donde se aprovecha más cantidad de agua es en el riego por goteo superficial.
But irrigation controlled by probes is very important, so that the production is good in quality and also produces a significant quantity.
En esta ocasión en Aznalcázar, cerca de Sevilla, instalamos parejas de sensores a dos profundidades, para valorar la humedad del suelo y la conductividad. También humedad relativa y temperatura de ambiente con la estación meteorológica, para medir la integral térmica.
What are tubers?
Tubers are plants that have a thickened underground stem or an enlarged root, in which nutrients are accumulated that the plant uses as a reserve or for its reproduction and that are edible, with a good source of minerals and vitamins.
Types of tubers
There are basically two types of tubers:
- Those with stems, such as potatoes.
- Root such as sweet potatoes, beets, carrots and others to which we will dedicate another article due to the difference in their root system.
Fertilizers for potatoes
We must prepare the land in furrows that we must previously stock with organic fertilizers. The best compost, slurry or animal manure.
In addition, mineral contributions are convenient, depending on the structure of the soil that we must previously analyze by taking a sample and taking it to the laboratory.
- Nitrogen: influences the growth of the plant and the development of the tubers.
- Phosphorus: benefits root development and therefore the formation of the potato.
- Potassium: helps the formation of sugars and prevents diseases.
- Calcium: favors the absorption of other nutrients.
Once prepared and fertilized, we can introduce a small whole or split potato into the furrow. We simply have to observe that the piece has an eyelet that indicates that a bud will come out.
Lastly, pass a rake that makes the soil cover the fertilizer and the potato.
Cuando está enterrada comienza a brotar produciendo los tallos aéreos que forman las ramas. Una vez desarrollados florecen.
Other shoots are produced in the buried stems called rhizomes and from which the tubers emerge, which form the potato as a thickening of water and nutrients.
If water control is not adequate, the plant will not be able to accumulate in its tubers the necessary reserves for production to be of quality and quantity.
The root system is made up of fine, shallow roots.
Flowering indicates the time of greatest need for water. This is when the water stress seriously harms the formation of the tubers and their growth. Stress occurs when the water you need is not being provided.
Irrigation is therefore the most important factor for potato production, even in the north of Spain it is convenient to add it in the summer.
Un exceso de agua tampoco le beneficia porque vuelve a la patata más acuosa y con menos sabor. Hay que evitar suelos encharcados. Las raíces tan finas pueden pudrirse y perjudicar la cosecha.
The type of terrain is also another factor to consider. It influences the shape of the bulb and therefore the need for the roots to seek water and nutrients.
Finally, highlight the importance of irrigation water that we must analyze to control salinity and pH.
The plant tells us when the tubers are formed because the leaves begin to dry.
Now we can collect our tasty potatoes!
CLASSIC POTATO OMELETTE
- Peel and slice the potato.
- Cut the onion as thin as possible.
- Poach everything together over low heat with a cup of extra virgin olive oil and season with salt.
- Drain the potato and the poached onion, so that it does not come out too oily.
- We beat the eggs.
- We mix everything.
- In a non-stick frying pan, greased with a little oil and very hot, pour the mixture.
- Let it cook on one side over low heat.
- We turn it over with the help of a plate and wait for it to set on the other side.
- Sometimes it is necessary to go around one more time, until we see it at its point.
POTATO OMELETTE WITHOUT ONION
- Peel and slice the potato.
- We put the potato to fry with high heat with a cup of oil, until they look golden.
- Drain the oil completely and leave them in the pan.
- We separate the yolks from the whites.
- Beat the egg whites until stiff and on the other hand beat the yolks.
- Add the egg mixture on top of the potatoes.
- We turn it over when we see that it is already browning on the bottom.
- On a plate we put slices of loaf bread.
- Pour the tortilla on top of the bread.