Monday, August 5, 2013
Potatoes in a Pail
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.