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Old 07-14-2010, 10:01 PM
 
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I have heard that this is possible so am trying an experiment to see if I can grow them in containers since this is the first time I have ever attempted potatoes. Previously I have grown tomatoes, peppers, squash, cabbage, califlower, and herbs in containers so I am not a complete novcie. I built wire cages from 4 foot wide fencing, might be rabbit wire, about 3 feet across. Anyway I laid a base of straw in and formed a ring with the straw to hold the dirt in. Laid the potato 'seeds' in and covered with more dirt. They are sprouting! I have lots of little green leaves poking through the dirt. I know they need more dirt mounded on them, but am not sure when to do this. How high do the leaves need to be before I mound more dirt on top? Do I actually cover the leaves or just bring the dirt up to them?

I have heard that once the plants get to a certain point, it is possible the use compost, dried leaves, or straw in place of the dirt. The leaves will continue growing upwards, leaving the potatoes growing in whatever medium one chooses. Supposedly this will make harvesting the potatoes much easier. How large do the plants need to be before one can switch from dirt to another growing medium? I would like to use straw since that is what I have readily available.

Any advice from those who have experience with this type of gardening would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:00 AM
 
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I'm not sure how high they have to be but I would think you would just pile it around the stems and leave (no pun intended) the leaves sticking out the top. I've also read about using straw or hay to fill the wire cages the rest of the way up....that way, when you harvest, there is no dirt on the potatoes!

I've always wanted to try this myself, but I'm so busy with flower gardening I've never had time to do any vegetable gardening.
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:35 AM
 
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Well, luvvy, I guess I am experimenting for both of us! lol
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Old 07-16-2010, 09:05 AM
 
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So, are you going to fill it up with dirt or straw? Let us know how it goes!
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Old 07-16-2010, 03:11 PM
 
Location: The mountians of Northern California.
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We usually cover all the leaves one time. After that we cultivate the dirt up and around the bottom of the plant. We have had good luck growing in containers.
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Old 07-17-2010, 11:35 PM
 
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Default Growing Potatoes

Quote:
Originally Posted by MICoastieMom View Post
I have heard that this is possible so am trying an experiment to see if I can grow them in containers since this is the first time I have ever attempted potatoes. Previously I have grown tomatoes, peppers, squash, cabbage, califlower, and herbs in containers so I am not a complete novcie. I built wire cages from 4 foot wide fencing, might be rabbit wire, about 3 feet across. Anyway I laid a base of straw in and formed a ring with the straw to hold the dirt in. Laid the potato 'seeds' in and covered with more dirt. They are sprouting! I have lots of little green leaves poking through the dirt. I know they need more dirt mounded on them, but am not sure when to do this. How high do the leaves need to be before I mound more dirt on top? Do I actually cover the leaves or just bring the dirt up to them?

I have heard that once the plants get to a certain point, it is possible the use compost, dried leaves, or straw in place of the dirt. The leaves will continue growing upwards, leaving the potatoes growing in whatever medium one chooses. Supposedly this will make harvesting the potatoes much easier. How large do the plants need to be before one can switch from dirt to another growing medium? I would like to use straw since that is what I have readily available.

Any advice from those who have experience with this type of gardening would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
I am a first time potato grower with good sucess planting in ground. I assume it would be the same as container gardening. One plants are 4 to 6 inches tall mound up dirt or mulch half the height of plant and continue for duration of life cycle as plant progresses in growth. Once leaves start to turn brown you can dig down and check to see what treasures have grown.
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Old 07-24-2010, 09:21 AM
 
2,790 posts, read 5,574,897 times
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Update: We started with several inches of straw in the bottom of the cages, which we tamped down. Then formed a rim of straw around the perimeter of the cage to make a nest of sorts, which we filled with dirt. Placed the potatoes in and covered with more dirt. Several days later little green shoots began to appear. After the sprouts were up about 4" to 6", we laid more straw around the egde of the cage and filled with more dirt, up the leaves. After they grew some more, began covering with straw. Once again, little green leaves are starting to poke through. I am so excited!!!!!

Now you might think I am seeing little chicks where there are only eggs at this point, but I am counting this as a success. Since they were planted so late, my harvest won't be large, but that wasn't the point. I have limited garden space, so I need to be inventive with trellises and container gardening to supplement the space I do have. But I also have limited storage space, so using 30 gallon trash cans wasn't really an option. I needed something I could store flat against the wall in the garage for the winter. Besides, I could not see investing all that money in garbage cans and then cut the bottoms out......

So far my experiment is working...... they even survived 70 mph winds and severe thunderstorms yesterday. There were tornadoes spotted not far from our house and the sirens did go off so it was pretty intense in the backyard all afternoon. Corn did not fare so well....... All in all I am pretty pleased with myself..... wonder if I can do sweet potates this way next year?

Thanks for all words of encouragement and advice. I will keep you posted on the outcome.
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Old 07-24-2010, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Little Rock AR USA
2,457 posts, read 6,088,918 times
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I have never tried this particular method, but in the past when we were living in the country, we would prepare the soil, lay the potato "eyes' directly on the ground, cover with old hay and add as needed for a couple of feet. When the potatoes were ready to be "grabbeled" we would only lift the hay and get the spuds. So, your idea sounds great to me.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:00 AM
 
Location: playing in the colorful Colorado dirt
4,486 posts, read 4,331,625 times
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Sounds good. I've had good luck with cinderblock 'boxes'. I make a square with 8 of them then I drive in re-bar at each corner,adding more as needed during the growing cycle.Then I just take my 'tater towers' apart to harvest. Sphagnum moss is a good medium to plant in as well.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:43 PM
 
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Good luck for your potatoes....it souds good....
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