Tuesday, April 5, 2011

spuds

One of the projects recently in the works was a potato box for the garden. This will be our first go at growing potatoes, but when I saw this idea promising 100 lbs. of potatoes from 4 square feet of space, I thought we'd give it a try.

We purchased two varieties of certified seed potatoes, yukon golds and reds. Most of the tubers had already chitted (which means they were growing strong sprouts from the eyes) We cut the potatoes into chunks so that each piece had two or three eyes and left them to dry for a few days.



Matt built the box following the instructions from the link above, though we did notice an error in the measurements there; you'll want your 2-by-2 cut into four lengths of 36" each, not 33. Building the inital frame was easily done. Once we were ready to plant, we cleared the sod and turned the soil where the box will sit.

The box was filled with a mix of organic planting soil and leaf mulch.


We buried the potatoes in the dirt, sprouts up.



Topped off with more soil and leaf mulch, our spuds are ready to grow.


As the plants grow, so will the box. Potatoes are produced above the original tuber, so the more vertical space the plant has to grow, the more potatoes it will produce. When the foliage grows above the sides of the box, we'll add on more 2-by-6 boards to increase the height of the walls and throw on some more soil to bury the plants, giving them another layer in which to set out more potatoes. And when we're ready to harvest, we can remove the bottom boards to take out the older potatoes, leaving the rest of the plants to continue producing.

If this works as well as promised, the only question that remains is what exactly will we do with 100 lbs. of potatoes?

3 comments:

PinkCatJo said...

What a great idea to grow them in a planter that grows with them. I'm not quite sure what you're going to do with that many potatoes but I'm sure you'll have lots of friends wanting to take them off your hands. Home grown tatties are the best! x

Spencer said...

100 pounds of French Fries?

Amanda Greco Holmes said...

great idea, spencer, as long as you're willing to do all the peeling and cutting of potatoes required. oh, and we'll need quite a few burgers to go with them. i'm sensing the need for a barbeque come harvest time.