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October 15, 2008

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Hiya, I grow potatoes like this and also in black rubbish bags. I find that a good layer of well rotted manure in the bottom of the container really helps. Also I grow potaoes during the winter in the greenhouse using this method. If they are started early enough (september ish) you get new potatoes for Xmas. If you plant around xmas and keep the haulms frost free you often can get new potatoes by easter. I'm in the UK by the way.

Regards Babs

the idea sounds great to me
im new to the total idea of growing more than just lettuce in the garden, but i love that u could use it year around.
also good for someone wanting to get start but who has no beds to get started in yet
i think we will give this a go this week. some potatos is better than no potatos and missing out on the season altogether.

Here is a drainage idea for you:

1. put a few inchs of gravel in the base of the bin.
2. put a 3" pvc pipe from the bottom to the top in the center with holes drilled along the length of the pipe.
3. fill with your better draining soil

Now the pipe will supply air to the center of the bin which will greatly reduce dampness as well as provide a method of watering the center of the bin. I have read about people having problems getting the center of the bins wet in the warm season.

I also have been fallowing Sinfonian's blog and he found out there are specific potato varieties that will grow potatoes along the whole stem. I don't recall the kinds but if you check out his link above and drop him a line I am sure he could fill you in.

Anonymous

Well I am actually interested in seeing how this worked for others. We also tried this method this year...and same as you...got fewer potatoes that we would have expected. I was soooo excited to get them...then there wasnt much to talk about. I remember hearing something about the nutrients that need to be added. Will have to look into it.
Lisa

I did the raised wood boxes around my potatoes this year, I haven't harvested them yet so I don't know how they did.

Dani

I've tried this before with similar success to you. I'm fairly sure soil quality was my issue. I've rotated my potatoes to a half wine barrel this time but aim to try the garbage bin again taking some of the tips from the comments here. It's sucha compact way of doing things, I'm determined to make it work.

I have grown potatoes in a garbage can (black dustbin here in the UK!) They usually grow quite well, but it is difficult to water as much as they need. The water tends to run down the inside and out the bottom. Otherwise it's a great way to grow maincrop potatoes in a small space.

Last year I grew potatoes in bins made of chicken wire and filled with straw (starting with a thin layer of straw and topsoil, and adding more straw as the plants grew). We had a bountiful harvest. This year with the dry weather, they barely grew at all. A couple of months ago, in desperation, I pulled some of the plants out and put them in the ground and now they're fine (haven't harvested yet). I think the problem was mostly due to the drought. I couldn't keep the straw wet enough this year.

I did sweet potato in a cattle panel that had been cut in half length ways and then wired into a hoop. I filled with straw and compost. Our results were outstanding but I feel that the advantage with this system is in the harvesting. I only had to flip the hoop over and pull the tubers out. We had the wettest spring/summer on record here. I don't think this would work as well if our weather had been drier.

vbxfaI have grown mine in potato sacks the ones that come with the spuds in them to the grocery stores. Works a treat.

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