Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Great Potato Debate

I'm lucky enough to live in a temperate climate.  That means, along with other things, I can grow potatoes three times a year.  Including in January and February!


I'm just about to roll up my sleeves and get chitting but I figured I'd better review the results of my last potato planting.  In August, between pounds of tomatoes and peppers, I debated getting my winter garden on.  I had ordered potatoes but not figured out where I'd put them.  All my allotted garden space was occupied - with tomatoes, summer squash, winter squash.  What was a potato to do?

My dreams of chic burlap sacked potato towers were dashed by this post.  So, instead, I gathered containers from through out the yard - large terra cotta pots left by the previous owner, 15 gallon black nursery pots from a few of the fruit trees I had planted in the spring, and a bushel basket that had been destined to corral books instead of apples or potatoes.  I also requisitioned some chicken wire and stakes.  I promptly prepped my potatoes - fingerlings because they are so good, expensive to buy and hard to find.  Planted, covered with compost, and more compost, and more compost. (Seems like an awful lot of compost!  What do you use to cover your taters?)


Several months later, I harvested.

The chicken wired potatoes fared the best.  Followed by the black plastic pots, with terra cotta and bushel baskets (which truthfully weren't watered as much) bringing up the rear.  Oddly enough, only my La Ratte fingerlings grew.  The Ruby Crescent not so well!

This time, I've opted for La Ratte and a French fingerling.  Fortunately, Mr. Green Bean gave me the second best Christmas gift ever - a potato condo.  I'm hoping to hit the potato gold mine between the condo and using the chicken wired tower method again.  Wish me luck!

potato condo

* I'm linking to Homestead Barn Hop for this post.
* Join the Facebook page to debate edible gardening, urban homesteading and whatnot all season long.

11 comments:

Eco Yogini said...

ouuuu! how weird to be planting and harvesting "winter" vegetables in the sun and green! :) I adore fingerling potatoes, and it's very nice to see potted potatoes be successful (at least some of them).

Kendra at New Life On A Homestead said...

I keep saying I'm going to try them in trash cans. I've done a post hole method, and a no-dig method. Maybe this year I'll get around to containers, lol!! Thanks for linking up and sharing what worked for you!

Robj98168 said...

I built a tater condo a couple of years ago, although my rhubarb has since moved in! I am using potato grow bags now.

Leigh said...

I'm impressed you can grow that many potatoes! Mine did well my first summer, lousy last. I should try some of your ideas.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

I want my husband to make me that potato condo too. We started too late last year.

Green Bean said...

@EcoYogini - Yes, I think we have very different climates, no?

@Kendra - Ha ha, I would have tried those others but I'm pretty much out of room. :)

@Rob - Potato grow bags? Do tell!!! And really, the rhubarb is in the condo? I'm planting rhubarb this week. Enquiring minds want to know. . .

@Leigh - Well, I wouldn't say it was a ton ;-) but those taters definitely multiplied and they'll last us about 3 months.

@Kathy - Then this is the year!! Good luck.

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

Good luck! I think I'm not going to grow potatoes anymore (never say never). I grew them in potato grow bags last year and the harvest was pitiful. I only had luck the very first time I grew potatoes in a raised bed about 5 years ago. I figured it was less expensive to buy organic potatoes than try to grow them. Although I love being able to dig something deep out of the dirt that's so tasty...so we'll see if I hold to my "never":)

Robj98168 said...

Yes Potato Grow Bags!

Green Bean said...

@Manuela - Thanks for the input. I'll hope for better luck but know that if it doesn't work out, I'll follow Rob's lead and plant rhubarb in my condo. ;-)

@Rob - Sweet! Thank you.

SharleneT said...

Can I borrow your husband? Potato grow bags? I don't know if I would plant my rhubarb in a condo. It's a perennial, like chard, and could give you quite a lovely bed on the shady side of your yard. I had one chard plant that almost took over one end of my container garden that was 36 inches wide and at least 30 inches tall. The leaves were so big that I have to cut them in quarters for meals. It's fun to watch what a plant will do when given the space. Come visit when you can.

Green Bean said...

@Sharlene - I had a chard like that once too. Oh, I miss it. I keep trying to get another one to grow as well but hasn't happened yet. As for my rhubarb, I put that little baby under our plum tree. Thanks for the suggestion Sharlene.

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