Friday, August 14, 2009

Verdict on the Sack'o Potatoes

Earlier this year, I read about the ability to grow potatoes in relatively smallish containers. There were special ones that could be bought for this in Britain, but I decided to try and make one of my own. I made it out of landscape fabic in about 15 minutes via sewing machine.

This was my first attempt at growing potatoes. I selected a variety that went with this year's garden theme of weird veggies. The purple potato. Planting was nothing fancy. Four little purple potatoes seedlings planted in potting soil and a bit of straw. As summer progressed, and the potato vines grew I added more dirt to the container and slowly unrolled the sides to their full height. The container after that was essentially maintenance free. No water demands to speak of other than the rain. (Though we did have a very wet spring/summer).

My initial plan was to cut slits in the side of the sack and plant annuals in it to make the whole thing more attractive. I never got around to it, but it wasn't needed. The plant for this variety of potato was quite pretty and lush enough to cover the bag almost completely until last week. Last week, half the plant died without ever blooming.

I decided to empty it all out today to see what I got. Potatoes! Not a ton of them but considering what a small space they grew in, I'd say not too bad. They look kind of weird here because I just washed them and they are still half wet. We're going to grill them tomorrow.

My verdict on this experiment? A success! Pretty plant, small space, no cost, no maintenance and a meal of potatoes once foliage dies. Yep, I'll take it. Plus there was not one bit of bug damage to a single spud despite a big family of little ants that moved in.

The live portion of the plant still had a bunch of baby spuds on them so I replanted it to see if I can get a few more out of it. I'll do this again next year. I'm tempted to see what happens with one of the highly productive varieties, but the kids love the purple ones so much, we'll see.


Helen said...

Great idea. I'll have to remember that one for the Microgarden next year.

Anonymous said...

I have to ditto Helen, it is an awesome idea.

I saw a lot of people using trashcans and whatnot, but this would've been a good way for me to do it since I already had tons of this fabric available.

Sylvana said...

What a great idea! I've been wanting to plant potatoes and I know how to sew. I think I will be trying this next year. Did you find that the roots tried to grow through the sides of the fabric? I like the fabric idea over the garbage bags and such. I think it looks better and seems that it would be healthier for the potatoes as plastic can make tubers mushy.