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Monday, April 16, 2012


You may wonder why  anyone would want to grow potatoes in a  garbage can. Well let me tell you, potatoes grow deep, and digging them out is no picnic. Potatoes are also love soft, well prepared soil where they can easily take root. And, they hog space, using up precious planting space in the garden. Last, but not least, potatoes should never be planted in the same place year after year because they infect their own soil and cause next year’s crops to get blight !

Potatoes are your friend - unlike a lot of other crops, potatoes can be eaten at any phase of development.

 I bought some organic potatoes at the grocery store...

 If you have seed potatoes that are quite large, they should be cut into smaller pieces.

The biggest thing to remember when cutting the seed potatoes is each piece needs to have at least two eyes. One eye per piece is the bare minimum, but two or more is better. Remember, if the piece doesn’t have at least one eye, it will not sprout a new potato plant.
Just let the potato pieces rest with the cut side exposed over night. The exposed cut area will form a skin-like seal over the cut area.

Now that the seed potatoes are ready for planting....

 Mine will be in a recycled garbage can this year .

This was an old can I found in the garbage....

I gave it a new paint job....

Drill some  holes in the bottom of your container to  get good drainage. 
Once your container is ready to go, fill the bottom with gravel... I used large gravel because it was free, but any rock will do. After the rock layer, add about 6 inches of good top soil. 
On top of the soil I added some wood mulch about 2 inches or so , which again was free at the brush pile...I know, I'm so cheap!

Now your ready to arrange your potatoes on top of the compost with the shoots pointing upwards.
Just cover the potatoes with some more mulch,so you can still see about the top 1/3 of the potato.
 After a few days when the potatoes start to grow leaves above the mulch, cover them again with further mulch.
Continue this process until the mulch and the leaves reach the top of the garbage can, then allow the leaves to grow on as normal.

You will get ALOT more potatoes than if you simply filled the  trash can up with soil/mulch and planted the potatoes without going through the ‘earthing up’ process.

Wait to harvest after the green plants have dried up or died back. Dump the can over (onto a tarp) and pick out your potatoes. Potatoes have this fantastic tendency to put nitrogen back into soil. So the dirt that you get out of your can is perfect for adding to you flower bed or vegetable garden and giving it a natural growing boost!The soil can be added to a flower or herb garden or put into yard waste. You don’t want to plant potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, or eggplant in the “used” potato soil because it likely to contain insects or disease from this season’s crop.