Sunday, June 28, 2009

Potato patch experiment


A few weeks ago I wrote about planting potato eyes in my experimental potato patch. I am trying to grow potatoes vertically, using an aproximately 4x4 foot patch ringed with strawbales as my garden plot. From the reading I have done on this, I should be able to grow upto 100 lbs of potatoes in this tiny patch! The idea is to continuously hill the plants as they grow, so that they send out new roots with more potato nodes on them. Today I hilled my plants for the first time. Even though they are in a fairly shady part of the yard, they seem to be doing well. The recent heat, humidity and rain has helped them to shoot up quickly.

A guest staying with us recently mentioned the idea of growing potatoes in 5 gallon pails. He said a member of his community garden is growing a series of potatoes in these 5 gallon pails, which are compact, easy to "hill" (just keep adding soil), and can be carried home. At the end of the season you could even simply pull out the plant, reach under to harvest a few potatoes as needed, and store the rest in a cool basement or garage in the pail of soil over winter.

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