Growing potatoes in a pot - more lesson for an old dog

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by DKR, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    In the past, I've used part of my main garden to grow spuds. They keep well, I can pit them in-situ and at least here in AK, blast isn't a problem. I've had good production, but have decided to go with growing in pots.

    Last summer I tried something different. I used an old 30 gal trash can as a potato pot. Long story short - it was a disaster - zip. A learning experience, but no spuds.

    This summer, I used smaller pots. I got a few large spuds, but still less than I had hoped for. In looking on line for how others fine tune their spud pots, I ran across an interesting site (Allotment Diary) After looking at several of this guys videos, I have a better idea of setting up my pots and soil prep. I may even try growing spuds in a plastic bag inside of a gunny sack....

    I'm starting to grow in pots to reduce my knee time (mine are both shot), reduce water/fertilizer use and to make 'harvest' easier. The G-kiddos are the biggest reason for this - they ran a smaller garden this year - too much 'school stuff' So I'm trying things that reduce work time and increase harvest, this as a demo for them.
    On the plus side, the school has a green house and garden allotments for each classroom.

    Take a look - the success this fellow has is beyond argument - I am envious.

  2. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I tried the potatoes in a pot and it was a fail also. My purple potatoes were as big as gum drops. It was so disappointing. I had read article after article on how to have success and it failed. Thanks for these videos @DKR
  3. Mountain mama

    Mountain mama Monkey++

    I havent had much luck in pots. Lots of vine, only teeny tiny taters.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  4. natshare

    natshare Monkey+++

    Not much of a tater eater, myself, but the ones I've seen, for container growing, rely on adding soil, as the plant grows, which then turns the buried portion into the root area of the plant, which is where the spuds grow. The ones I've seen, with trash cans, also had a section cut out of 2 cans, with one nested inside the other, that you turn, as the plant grows, to expose less of the height, and allow more of it to be filled with dirt (think of an iris, closing). Harder to explain, than show, I guess....and, of course, now when I look for a site, or picture, to better explain it, I can't find it! LOL

    Plenty of stuff out there, though, showing how to use a laundry basket, or even a set up similar to that you'd use, to build a composting bin, where you build up the walls, slowly, as you bury the plant.

    Two things, for sure, that you'll need, though, are some good quality soil (so it won't compact, and limit the size of your spuds), and the ability to water, but NOT over-water. Meaning, if you use a non-permeable barrier, like a plastic trash can, drill a lot of drain holes in the bottom of it.

    This year, I've done 3 sweet potato plants, in grow bags, and am looking forward to seeing the results of the experiment. Just waiting for our first freeze, that will kill off the plant, so I can see what my harvest looks like. (y)
    One thing I learned, rather quickly, is that even a sweet potato plant, in a 3" pot, will quickly overflow a 20 gallon grow bag, with a 24"+ diameter! So for next year, I picked up a grow bag, from Amazon, that's 48" in diameter, and 12" deep!! :D
    Motomom34 likes this.
  5. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    If you do a search for 'potato tower' I think you'll find more failures than success stories on the UToob. This also applies to using old tyres as a type of bed container.
    My goal is to get better than 10 kilos to a pot that's 75Cm wide. (In the US, that's ~2.5 feet wide. ) Starting the plants earlier is a no brainer.

    I think my problem is with the depth of my pot. I'll keep using the same pots but after the first time I mound (hill) the plant, I'll pop in a second seed spud. I think that will put me over the 10 kilo goal....I hope. Definitely changing the soil used and how I apply fertilizer and intervals for the fertilizer. I'm also going to have to start working up a way top produce compost tea.

    Potatoes are easy enough to grow, and in a pot require little care or weeding. A bonus is that the spuds are fun for the kiddos to harvest. Here in AK we normally don't suffer from common problems like blight or blast.

    Spuds are a high density / high yield crop (kilos/meter2) and can provide a wide variety in your diet.
  6. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    For people with just 'lawn space" this guy in OZ has a nice video on 'no bury' spuds.

    some newspapers (6 layers), couple of bags of old manure and mounds of old straw, this should found as old straw in many areas is considered as waste.

    Bottom line - Massive return for little or no effort....
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