Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Potatoes in a bucket

So following the failed potato crop at the garden, I was hesitant to try again. I had started plants in large rice bags at the same time and they've sat up on the ledge above my planter boxes here at home since April 1st.
 All green and lush and unmolested, I couldn't bring myself to plant them only to have those grubby grubs munch them down to nothing. 

I did some research on container potatoes and saw all sort of ideas, huge heaps of straw 4 by 12 feet, overrunning compost buckets, bags, tires, towers, and pots.
So I asked my husband to make me buckets to get those lovely potatoes going. Using a 3/8" drill bit he put in four to five holes along the bottom edge of the buckets

to allow for good drainage. Then added about 2 inches of gravel, which was then washed until the water ran clear. Then two to three inches of rough compost was layered in the bottom, the best compost has cracked egg shells and coffee grounds...

apparently potatoes love it! Popped the plants in and covered all but one inch of the leaves with a blend of perlite, organic mulch and clean soil.

As the plant grows I'll add soil for every five inches of plant above the soil line, leaving all but one inch exposed. Once the soil reaches the top of the bucket, I'll just let the plant grow over the edge. Regularly watering until the flowers fall off, and then watering once every fourth day. Once the leaves turn pale yellow and wilt I can harvest potatoes.

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