Potatoes in a barrel

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by CATO, Jan 19, 2012.


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  1. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

  2. Yoldering

    Yoldering Monkey+

    Great find! I never thought of that before. Thanks a lot!
     
  3. weegrannymush

    weegrannymush Monkey+

    Due to my continued advancing old age and poor mobility, I have been experimenting with container gardening on our wrap-around deck and I intend to get really seriously working on it this year (if the Good Lord spares me till summer, lol). I had read about growing potatoes in barrels etc., but have never tried it...maybe this is the year to start! I will be waiting to see if anyone writes in about their experiences. Those potatoes in the pics look a bit small?? Or maybe it's just the pic. I wonder if there are any particular varieties which would do better than others in this method of growing them.

    Blizzarding outside right now....can't wait for spring. Well at least I have my seed catalogues!
     
    alaskachick likes this.
  4. TheEconomist

    TheEconomist Creighton Bluejay Site Supporter+

    WOW, this is a fantastic idea. I have a .12 acre lot and not much space for my garden so this will be a definate come spring. Are there any other suggestions you might have for space saving garden growing?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  5. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    I have a bunch of these whiskey barrels and usually put tomatoes and cucumbers in them. Tomatoes go up, cucs over the side (you could do squash too...those are just the things I like to eat.).

    You can use 5 gallon buckets though (actually, about any container...even old tires) and you can even use perilite in place of soil. Check out Walter Reeves site. He's local here and I try to catch his radio show and public broadcasting show on the weekends.

    http://www.walterreeves.com/uploads/pdf/potatoperlite.pdf
    Irish Potato – Planting in Tires | Walter Reeves: The Georgia Gardener
     
    TheEconomist likes this.
  6. TheEconomist

    TheEconomist Creighton Bluejay Site Supporter+

    How about cold weather food stuffs? Is there anything that you would suggest/know of that gorws in colder weather. Pittsburgh can get pretty darn cold in the winter as well as some of the months in fall and spring.
     
  7. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    Parsnips (root vegetables turnips/beets/rutabegas)? Cabbage? F-f-f-f-f-fava beans? A beard [dunno]

    Build small green house?

    I prefer canning for winter.
     
    tulianr likes this.
  8. TheEconomist

    TheEconomist Creighton Bluejay Site Supporter+


    Haha gothca! Time to do some research on my own I suppose. Thanks again for all the advice.
     
  9. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    A friend lived where there was more rock than dirt. He had great results using plastic trash cans and square foot gardening. We had a 130x30 garden and we were amazed at the quantities and the quality of his crop.

    Grow Potatoes in a Trash Can | Backyard Gardening Blog
     
    DKR and tulianr like this.
  10. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    I highly recommend Square Foot Gardening (book by Mel Bartholomew). Practical information. It really works!
     
  11. DKR

    DKR Interesting ideas, interesting stories

    Well, thery these


    kale, cabbage and broccoli

    If you have some cold frames
    beets, onions, lettuce and carrots, spinach, (Swiss) Chard

    *Jerusalem Artichokes Parsnips Leeks may work in your cold area, check with a local Ag agent or University extension service. DOuble glazed cold frames may work.





     
  12. Dovey

    Dovey Monkey+

    Try sweet potatoes too. Last year I put a few slips in a big flower pot on the patio just to see if it would work. I had beautiful vines all summer long and some nice potatoes in the fall.
     
    Motomom34 likes this.
  13. weegrannymush

    weegrannymush Monkey+

    First off, Economist, let me say that obviously you will not get huge yields from a deck of container plants. However, that said, you can certainly grow enough for summer and fall use. I am in Canada and have a short growing season and I see you are in PA which will not be that much longer than my season, I think. So far my successes have been:

    - Tomatoes (one plant to a 5-gal pail) "eating/sandwich" type; plum tomatoes, same thing. The Cherry and Grape Tomatoes didn't do as well, which surprised me as in the garden they are usually so prolific.

    - Bell Peppers and Chili Peppers.....really good yields! I did some one plant to a 2 gal pail and some in deck planters, 6 to a planter. The one- plant pails gave better yields, not surprisingly. I had enough Peppers to freeze for pizzas etc. during the winter.

    - Green Beans. These are my favourite (so far) for growing in planters, they yield so well, make me feel like a success, lol! I just used ordinary 30" long deck planters, each planter got two rows of about 5/6 seeds. Wow, do they do well! Last year, because of the illness and death of my daughter during the summer, the Beans were the only thing I grew - I did three planters and got over 3 lbs of Beans.

    The previous year was my first year of container planting and my failures were: cucumbers and onions.

    You can grow the plants in just about anything: the key is to find out what kind of growing pattern the plant has and choose the container accordingly. Is it shallow or deep rooted? Does it spread its roots widely or not? For shallow rooted plants you don't need very deep containers. The most important thing, as far as I was concerned, was the watering. The containers had to be watered every day and in very hot weather, sometimes even twice a day. I have rainwater from the roof in plastic garbage bins which makes watering much easier for me. I do not have an outside tap at the back of the house where I am gardening so I can just scoop water out of the bins and take it to each plant. Helps me to be up close and personal with each plant and makes me examine each one on a regular basis so I can see any disease or insect problems.

    Since we in Ontario are experiencing the same bee problems as everyone else and pollination on a deck can be a bit dicey, I am ordering two Mason Bee "hives" to see if this will help. Will report on how this works later in the season.

    I am going to try herbs this year and a small range of salad fixings and I will be trying the Potatoes, as well as Tomatoes, Peppers, Beans and as many other veggies as I can fit on the sunny side of the deck.

    Regarding "normal" gardening, dang it, but I simply cannot, after years of trying, get Leeks to grow for me. I think the problem is the soil (sandy at one side of the acre and clay at the other)....I think Leeks need muck soil and alas, I have none. I take my hat off to the growers who produce these things. They are so expensive here ($4 for three leeks!!!) that I would love to be able to grow them but so far all I have accomplished have been beautiful, healthy, but pencil-sized plants. My solution has been to buy at harvest time when they are at their lowest price (but still expensive) and dehydrate them for my soups.

    Sorry to have written such a long post (the apology is for those of you who have had the patience or interest to read this far, lol). Hope the info was of use to somebody. I have not listed the Varieties I have used so far but if anyone is interested, I will look them up and list them in another posting.
     
    Sapper John likes this.
  14. overbore

    overbore Monkey++

    Sun

    allowing the plants' leaves to get adequate sunshine is most important as if the "container" is too tall the sides will block sunshine giving low to nil yields. Rainwater is better than the chemical crap from tap water.

    Laus Deo
    overbore
     
  15. weegrannymush

    weegrannymush Monkey+

    I should have mentioned, re growing veggies in containers, that it is important to make sure containers don't stand in each other's shadow, it retards growth. I found this out for myself the hard way (which is how I seem to do everything, lol). Actually, that is one of the advantages of container growing....you really do see how your plants grow and respond to various conditions and the knowledge can be transferred to the plants you are growing in the veg garden.
     
  16. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

  17. vonslob

    vonslob Monkey++

    I have seen this in action. One of my tribe members tried it using tires and it worked well. The following year (this year) he made potato cages out of hardware fabric, chickwire, and landscape fabric and it worked like a charm. Mel Bartholomew changed the way i look at gardening, best gardening book ever.
     
    chelloveck likes this.
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