Today’s goal is to develop a plan to grow somewhere around 60 – 80 pounds of potatoes in a staged or staggered harvest.
The idea is to start three or four groups of potatoes with a week or two between each, so that they have a chance to mature in sequence and we don’t get a too-large harvest all at one time. Since the spuds can take a lot of space, I won’t be planting them in the prepared beds, but rather in some sort of potato tower or (new) trash barrel container.
At this time, I’m thinking that I’ll be doing three or four stages of growing, so I’ll need at least the same amount of barrels or towers.
There are a couple of different methods that I’ve seen to grow potatoes in these methods. The first (linked above) grows many potato plants in horizontal layers in the tower. The second is better suited to a vertical container (barrel) and consists of soil in the bottom of the barrel with hay piled on every time the plant grows upwards, in about 6 inch increments.
Home Depot has an inexpensive trash can that I wouldn’t feel bad about altering, and Lowe’s has some wire fencing that I could turn into potato towers. I just wish I didn’t have to buy it in 50-foot increments. I suspect that I’ll be directed to get the trash cans strictly for price reasons, at least for this year. However, now that I think about it, the cheap trash cans are about $10 each. I’ll need want at least four of them, the price gets to be the same as for the wire fencing: Roughly $40.00
I’m leaning towards splitting my growing method between the two, so that I can try both. The soil should probably be compost-rich, especially since I have read that potatoes are heavy feeders.
I have ordered four different variety of potatoes to grow:
Kristen has not had good luck finding a purple potato that she likes, so I am taking a chance with the Peruvians, which is why I didn’t buy as many of those as I did the other three varieties. She gave me the stink eye when I told her, because we had just talked about that. I’m hoping that they have good flavor, and not a waxy texture.
Ok, I think the planning is done. Now, on to the execution! (right…)
Images (c) http://www.potatogarden.com