Monday, August 5, 2013

Potatoes in a Pail

This potato plant and its handsome green leaves prompts the question from people: what is that plant?
Yep, folks, potatoes are growing in a five gallon pail on our patio.
When the greenery turns yellow it is time to gently dig out the potatoes.
I posted about this a while back and how it makes me feel like a peasant woman when I harvest potatoes, and very connected to the earth.
I did not plant this batch but apparently I left a potato behind when I harvested last year.
For me planting in a pail has several advantages: the soil has excellent drainage and no gophers dine on them!
I also have a small potato plant growing in our garden in the soil, also a volunteer from an overlooked potato from the previous harvest. However, the pail plant is much more vigorous.
Just put holes in the bottom of a big container, I use a 5 gallon pail, and put in 5 inches of potting soil and a few (maybe 5 to8) potato starts. I bought organic Yukon Gold starts two years ago. Then cover with 3 inches of soil and when the leaves push through, add three more inches of soil, and keep doing this till the pail is full. The top layer should be about 5 inches of soil.
The blue potatoes interest me now. Maybe next season I will buy some.
I like with gardening that you can never know it all, and the choices of things to plant are limitless.
In answer to two questions: best planting time is spring or early summer, and in temperate climates with little or no freezes like where I live, you can plant in midsummer for a fall harvest. 
From 4 little potato sprouts in a pail you may get 20 medium to large potatoes, and some smaller ones too. One potato start can yield 20 or 30 potatoes, I plant extra starts to be sure some will succeed. If you plant lots of potato starts out in your garden you can see how you can harvest hundreds of potatoes.

35 comments:

Librarian said...

My Dad grows potatoes on the allotment, too, and it is wonderful to be able to have an entire meal on homegrown produce!

June said...

This is so cool...I did not know this and I'm going to try this!!!
I enjoyed your list of fave movies Terra, so many of them are mine too!
hugs...

It's Just Dottie said...

I would like to do this. When do you plant them.
Smiles. Dottie

Happyone said...

What a great idea.

Terra said...

Hi "It's Just Dottie", you asked when to plant and I suggest spring and where I live it is temperate (little to no frost) so maybe for a fall crop you could plant even now. If your local plant companies are selling the starter potatoes that is a good sign.
Of course people use store bought potatoes that have "eyes" starting, cut them up and plant those, but I have not done that.

Terra said...

Hi "It's Just Dottie", you asked when to plant and I suggest spring and where I live it is temperate (little to no frost) so maybe for a fall crop you could plant even now. If your local plant companies are selling the starter potatoes that is a good sign.
Of course people use store bought potatoes that have "eyes" starting, cut them up and plant those, but I have not done that.

Laurie said...

What a great idea, I'm going to do this next spring. So much easier on my back!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

That is so cool. Do you get just one potato or several from each plant?

GRACE PETERSON said...

Thank you Terra for commenting on my blog about family secrets.

My daughter was watering the neighbors' plants while they vacationed. She felt terrible because the "tomato" plant she was caring for turned yellow and died. When the neighbors returned, the wife informed my daughter that it wasn't a tomato but a potato and was supposed to die. Whew. That sure made my guilt-ridden daughter feel better.

Shelly said...

How very satisfying. We've never grown potatoes, but it's something I certainly want to try, especially now after reading your piece~

Dorothy Borders said...

I have considered growing potatoes in a container but have never actually tried it. After reading of your experience, perhaps I will.

Dee said...

Potatoes in a pail....that is new to me and blue potatoes? Good and fun idea.

Blackberry Lane said...

What a great idea. I bet my WITTY husband would like to try this!!!!
I am familiar with the gold potatoes but not the blue.
Have a nice evening.

Michelle said...

This is such a great idea!

Lynda said...

I tried container gardening with tomatoes a few years ago but did not have time to adequately take care of them so didn't get good results. Perhaps now that I am retired, I should try again next summer.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I have thought about growing them but so far all I have done is plant a sweet potato vine in my flower boxes. Yes, I always get a potato, but what I like is the lovely, decorative leaves.

Delvalina said...

Ahh so cool and very helping information. Anyway we have a small yard beside my house. and planning to plants some fruits and vegetables there maybe I can use this idea.

Thanks for sharing.

delvalinatuanger.blogspot.com

donna baker said...

I am into container gardening this year; I even used an old childs swimming pool for my pumpkins. So far, so good only I learned that they really have too large a root system for the pool as they have to be watered daily in my area.

Denise said...

Very interesting.

Karen said...

This is such a neat idea!!

Inger said...

And there's nothing better than fresh potatoes.

The Polka Dot Closet said...

OMG, who knew, I thought you needed a farm and a field, even us city folk could grow potatoes..Thank you!

Carol

koralee said...

Now that is a great idea...I have never heard of doing that! May just need to try this. xox Hope your summer is going well.

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

This so neat Terra. I would love to try this. Since I live alone pot gardening is economical for me.
I finally was able to add your name and picture to my Blogazine Guest page at the top of my site.
Blogger has not been a fried of mine this summer and I have had so much trouble trying to change things on my site but finally today I managed to update it.
Thanks again for being a Blogazine Guest of mine. I truly appreciate you.
Love
Maggie

Tessa said...

What a great new-to-me idea! Thank you for sharing.

And thank you so much, for stopping by my blog, and commenting.

Tessa~

Introverted Art said...

I am so jealous of people who can grow things...I managed to kill a cactus :(

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

Terra, Thank you for visiting me today and for your kind words. I hope your day is a great one full of giving people!

Dawna said...

I've grown potatoes once so far.. will do again, love it. will try grown in pots after reading this.. lovely.

Unknown said...

Sounds so simple. Definitely something I would like to try!

Angel said...

I had no idea this was possible. I thought I had to have a bigger garden to grow potatoes. Thanks for the tip, and happy gardening! :)

Katherine Jenkins said...

I don't have much of a green thumb, but would love to start a huge vegetable garden someday. Thanks for your lovely post!

Pom Pom said...

Hi Terra! I might have to plant potatoes next year. In a pot!
I like that about gardening, too. It's full of surprises!
Thank you for visiting my blog!

Porch Days said...

This is a great idea. I grew potatoes once and you are right about the feeling of being connected to the earth that tomatoes and squash don't engender.

Gattina said...

I have seen potatoes growing in a plastic bag in England, had never seen this before !

Neesie said...

I love growing potatoes as so far I've never been disappointed with their yield.
The last crop I planted was when I was in Australia and I planted them into large growbags/sacks.
It was perfect!
I've now moved back to the UK so am keen to get planting. Maybe I might even get a crop of tatties (as they call them here) for our Christmas Dinner! ;D
Happy planting!