Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Potatoes in a Garbage Can

So this year we decided to try growing potatoes in containers. I know that when you think about container gardening, potatoes are usually not on your list of things to grow, but it really can be done, and quite successfully too! We have two varieties this year..Nora Red and Yukon Gold. Both good varieties for storage. Russets are not that great for storage. We are growing both varieties each in a tall plastic garbage can and a shorter, but wider plastic tote. As the plants grow, we add new dirt around them, not covering completely, but to the top, forcing them to grow even taller. By growing them this way, you get more potatoes per plant. Plus, when it come time to dig them up, there is no digging! You simply dump the containers out and collect your reward. Not to mention if there is a late frost, is easy to just put the lids on at night to protect the plants. (We also used the lids to save them from hail two weeks ago). If you chose this method, it is important to remember to drill holes in the bottom and along the sides of the containers to allow drainage. Also, make sure you use fresh soil every year. If you re-use the same soil it encourages pests and disease. You could rotate your spent soil into a bed for growing greens, or peas or even beans. (Don't use the soil for tomatoes, peppers, or eggplants as they are in the same family as potatoes).

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