Thursday, April 16, 2009

Growing Potatoes in a bucket

There seems to be alot of interest in growing potatoes in a bucket. I can only talk about my ongoing success, because my work with potatoes is in a progressive state. From what I have gathered so far, the most important thing to do is acquire very good seed potatoes. A lot of literature states that you can use store bought potatoes that have the shoots on them, but they are not recommended. I personally used the advice of those that suggest purchasing the seed potatoes because they have a better success rate. I must admit getting these potatoes to grow has made me feel like a pro, only because I have grown something and it was green. Nevertheless, the seed potatoes are easy to grow in a bucket if you follow a few simple steps. What I did was add a layer of enriched compost and highly organic soil at the base of the bucket. As the shoots start to grow up ward towards the sun, all you need to do is add soil to until the highest leaf is just barely covered and continue until the shoots have reached out of the bucket. I have two experimental buckets; One that I planted in one bucket and the Second, I added an additional bucket around the top of the leaves to see if I can cultivate potatoes on a second level. As per instructions, the potatoes are done growing when the leaves have died back. You can harvest earlier but that would mean smaller potatoes. Its going to be interesting to see how these guys look in the fall. As for now I am relishing in all the green that is shooting from out of the buckets

13 comments:

ChristyACB said...

I'll post pics of mine this weekend on the update so you can see. I have only been piling dirt around the stem, not the leaves, and they are freaking huge so I knew I must be doing something wrong..lol. Good seed potatoes are a must though so you can be sure they are disease free. Yours are looking nice and tall.

I think I might do that double decker thing too. More height for more potatoes sounds good to me!

ATW said...

Christy- Its amazing how those guys just shoot up, they are like monsters. My two level bucket has really been good. I thought I killed all of the other vines by covering them. For awhile I just had the one vine in the upper level and today I noticed that the other vines from all the way down at the bottom of the bucket have caught up. So it doesn't matter if you cover the whole damn thing, those jokers are going to shoot out. Can't wait to see how yours are doing

Sue said...

Its interesting watching your progress in this. I can't do the bucket thing because of the quantity I need, but I am really fascinated by this. Can't wait to see the harvest! :)

CarBasics said...

Cool bucket idea, my mom actually grew hers in really sturdy black refuse sacks instead of a bucket.

This is a good idea as you can get the really big ones and start with them rolled down and as they grow, you roll out some more bag and fill it with soil.

Lots of potatoes.. great ....

You can also grow them in mini greenhouses, I think there is an article here ;

www.minigreenhouse.org.uk

ATW said...

Sue- Thanks... This is our first year doing all of this and it has been exciting thus far, with the exception of the hail storm. But we will keep on posting pics and updating along the way. Hopefully the outcome is great.

Car basics- I likt the idea of using the sack. I have to read up on that. It makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the comment

Melissa ~ Wife to 1, Mom to 5 said...

My yukon golds that were planted on St Patrick's day are UP! Finally poking out of the ground just 4 weeks after planting. I do usually dig around them and pull the small "new" potatoes out and leave plenty of room for the others to keep on growing.

ATW said...

Melissa- Im still new to all of this. If I understand you correctly, you can get an early harvest from potatoes? My wife and I love small potatoes. I would rather harvest small ones than large ones.

Kenneth Moore said...

I bought some potatoes a few months ago and forgot about them in my refrigerator. Sometime in March I decided to cut one up and stick it in my planter. Nothing special, I just dug in a semi-bare place a few inches and chucked a wedge of the potato in.

It's poking up and about to get some leaves now. :-D

Potatoes are AWESOME and they are one of my favourite ornamentals. The leaves are beautiful, and when they flower, they're even more so.

Melissa ~ Wife to 1, Mom to 5 said...

ATW ~ Yes, that's exactly what I mean. If you are careful and dig with your hands, you can just pull off the small potatoes and leave others to grow to full size. I do this with nearly all our plants as we've got enough composted stuff in our garden that the digging is easy.

ATW said...

Kenneth- its amazing how fast potatoes grow and how strong the vines get. Mine seem to have greek blood in them they are herculian. Its going to be fun watching them progress.

Melissa-- this is my first time growing potatoes. They are starting to produce buds and I so want to see what they have produced. I just don't know much about them because I am still learning. I just have to give it a go and see what they have produced I will do it in about 2 weeks.

Terra said...

I googled "grow potatoes in a bucket" and found this post. I am planting potatoes in a 5 gallon pail today and enjoyed your post here. I bought organic heirloom yellow Finn seed potatoes.

ATW said...

Terra-- good stuff!! growing potatoes in a bucket is so cool. I hope this season your garden does excellent. GoodLuck:)

Topic Simple said...

We've had so much fun growing Potatoes in a Bucket that we made a musical animation out of it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXuYR-96gQc

Enjoy!