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Garbage Can Potatoes

November 11, 2010

Using vague instructions from The New Self-Sufficient Gardener by John Seymour (see page 134), two old garbage bins [well-scrubbed] and seed potatoes from Westcoast Seeds we attempted to grow our own baked potatoes this year.

We were cautioned, via instructions that came with the seed potatoes, to limit irrigation BEFORE we had growth, and I think that ultimately made us overly cautious with watering at all [to the point that we covered the seed potatoes when it rained].  So while we had lots of greenery and we built the soil up every six inches until the plants were about eight inches over the top of the bins, this was our entire haul out of one garbage bin:

The book had prepared [and excited] us for a potentially “heavy crop”. Now, true enough, we had an odd season here – a cold/wet spring followed suddenly by a hot/dry summer, so perhaps that was the limiting factor. We also weren’t too pleased with the new soil we brought in and will probably be investing in more sea soil next year, but, seeing as potatoes can grow in straw, I believe, ultimately, we didn’t water enough early on and then it was too late to reverse the lack of tuber growth.

Mind you, these potatoes tossed in a little olive oil and sea salt, roasted for 30 minutes in a 425°F oven and served with generous application of butter and sour cream were DELICIOUS!

We will be planting more garbage cans next year!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 19, 2014 4:46 PM

    I’m trying again this year too! I’m not using a garbage can, but am using a tall wood planter I made last year, but same idea. I hope we both have more success this year. (Hell, even one potato in this planter would be an improvement for me…) Good luck!

    • June 19, 2014 11:07 PM

      I now have tall, very green plants sticking about four inches above the top of the garbage can this year. I’ve hilled them with soil twice. But have no idea if this will work for at least another month or more. We always get a bunch of small ones that are super tasty, but the hilling never seems to do anything.

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