We like potatoes and we go through quite a bit of them so, naturally, they were high on my “grow it yourself” list. I did a lot of research last year as to the easiest way to grow them and settled on Potato Buckets. I figured I’d give it a try, take lots of pictures, and then share it with you if it turned out to be a success….and seeing as you are reading this post you can go ahead and assume it was successful.
For starters, you need seed potatoes. Take a few organic potatoes and let them hang out in a brown paper bag the counter until the “eyes” (seriously, why do we call them that? its creepy) start to grow little sprouts. Then, cut them into pieces, making sure that 2 or 3 sprouts are on each chunk.
Once your potatoes are all sprouty, go ahead and get some 5 gallon buckets. Take a few minutes to drill a couple holes in the bottom for drainage. Potatoes will rot if they get too wet so drainage is the key to success. The other key to success is compost, because compost makes plants happy. Go ahead and throw a couple scoops of compost in the bottom of each bucket. Scatter a few seed potatoes in each bucket, make sure to give them some space and point those eyes to the sky. Cover them up with an inch or two of dirt, find a sunny spot, water them when the soil looks dry and soon enough you’ll have little potato plants popping up.
Let the plants grow until they are 3-4 inches tall. Once they have reached that height its time to hill them. This encourages the plant to send out more roots, making more potatoes. Toss some soil in to cover up all but the top inch or so of the plant. Keep doing this every time they grow to 4 inches.
After somewhere around 70 days go ahead and stop watering for a week or so to dry out the soil (this will make it much easier to harvest). Tip your buckets upside down and start potato hunting…that’s all there is to it! Tilly loved helping me harvest the potatoes so if you happen to have a 2 year old hanging around let them dig in the dirt for a bit, it’s good for them.
*Have you grown potatoes? I’d love to hear your tips