No dig potatoes in baskets Add your hints

goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))April 29, 2009

Someone asked about my method of potatoes in bushel baskets.You can also use Large buckets or other comtainers provided you add plenty of drainage.I prefer farmer's bushel baskets as they are natural with ready made drainage.

Start by filling 1/4 of the basket with compost or soil(not manure)

Set sprouted poatatoes about 3 inches apart.( I use potatoes that accidentally sprouted in my pantry but you can buy seed potates.

Cut so each piece has a sprout and allow to dry a day or two.)

Cover with a little more compost and then i add leaves or straw.when the greenery is about 6 inches above the leaves or straw add more leaving about 4 inches of greenery out at all times.

Adding occasionally- as it compacts and at the seasons end when foliage begins to yellow you will have potatoes filling the basket. Each potato and growing zone means they will ripen different. At the end of the season you can dump them out or just reach in and grab your spuds,NO DIGGING!

If you want a really large harvest you can do this with chicken wire say 3 or 4 ft.tall and make a circle about as round as a bushel basket. Keep adding and they will keep growing taller and filling with spuds.

There are many other methods similar to mine just google growing potatoes in baskets and you will see. P Allen does his with all compost but then P Allen is loaded$$$$

Please help us all and add ideas using your recycled items in the veggie/fruit garden to this post


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This is what I've done. Here we use old tires. As the new shoots rise above a tire, you add another tire on top then add more straw. And away you go - up to 4 tires if you're having a good season.
I think this method would make it easier to get your potoatoes cuz then all you have to do is take the tires off each other - that's really 'no dig'! And you can paint each tire a bold color so it fits in more with the 'garden junk' theme.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 5:57AM
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tennesseetrash(7 east tenn)

I have dug potatoes years ago when my late MIL & FIL grew them every year. Ugh, lots of work! Love the easy harvest of these other methods! I like the idea of the bushel baskets, as that is natural and drains well. The tires placed on the ground would drain well too.

As far as growing in containers goes, think outside the box when it comes to containers. That's the main reason I go to yard sales, looking for cool items that could be converted to potting containers cheaply, and still look appealing. My hubby drills holes in the bottom as needed, even ceramic & clay pots. The main difference in growing successfully in potting containers versus the ground is DRAINAGE, no matter what kind of veggie you're growing.

I have found that it's usually best not to use saucers under any vegetable plant in a potting container, so that the draining process can begin as soon as you water. I don't know of any veggies (so far) that like wet feet. I keep my pots elevated on something that doesn't let them sit in direct contact with the deck floor or ground either. I have used everything from cola plastic flat crates turned upside down, to trivets, to wire plant stands with wheels. Usually I find stuff that will work without spending much money at yard sales. Just think of how an item can be repurposed. ~tenderlee

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 9:00AM
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Marlene Kindred I have a question for clarification...since I'm a country girl whose only ever grown potatoes in the ground. Am I understanding you ladies right when you say that you add straw as the potato's greenery grows and it will actually sprout more potatoes "upward" as the greens grow up? Hmmmm...never seen anything like that...I'd like to give it a try since I don't plant a big garden anymore.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 9:11AM
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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))

This is from a site called GARDEN RAKE(in case you can't believe us)
The one thing I like about square foot gardening is that you can always add a garden later in the season if you find you have more plants to plant or want to add an additional mini garden. This season a have a small curved straw bale garden, tiered straw bale garden and a straw bale square garden, which is perfect for heavy feeding crops.

But one question I am asked a lot is about roots crops. Normally you do not plant root crops in straw bales. But I do have a straw planting technique for potatoes that is perfect for me. It saves space, time and the backache from digging up potatoes. I love gardening  but I do not like digging root crops!
Planting Potatoes in Straw.

Get your potatoes seeds ready. I cut the potatoes, leaving several eyes on each piece and let them dry for about two days before I plant them. During this time find some decent soil, and a container. I often use a bushel basket for my first crop.

Note: your container can be as large as you want. I usually go for a bushel basket or smaller garbage can. I have used old wood crates (check for stains that could be toxic). Also make sure the container has drainage holes.

Once you have your container place it in the spot you plan to leave it during the growing season. The location you choose should get six to eight hours of sun. Add 6 inches of dirt to the bottom of the container; place the potato seeds in the soil and cover. Water well and go plant more of your garden.

In about a week you will see new growth coming out of the ground. When the growth is about 6 inches tall, cover with straw. Repeat this process during the summer.

The potatoes will set out new roots in the straw and in turn will produce more potatoes. I save time, space and digging using this method. There are two other added benefits. Since the potatoes grow in straw they are dirt free and very clean. The other benefit is that I donÂt get potato bugs using this method.

The only problem I had was one year I grow them in the garden with no container and used hay. It was a big mistake. The hay attracted mice looking for seeds and I lost most of the crop.

One other plus to growing potatoes using straw and a container, you always have small potatoes to use and they are very easy to harvest, just pull the straw back and pick them. I also grow a new crop of potatoes mid summer.

Try growing potatoes in straw. I think you will enjoy it. This growing process really saves space and makes growing potatoes fun.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 9:22AM
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I watched a gardening show where the homeowners planted part of their veg garden on their garage roof using straw piles. They grew their watermelons in the straw. There was hardly any soil, mostly straw, and their watermelons were big! I don't remember how they were able to accomplish that feat, but they did. It was amazing.

And, yes, Marlene, the spuds will grow upwards giving you layers of potatoes.

But it's too cold here now for those veg. We had frost last night and the leaves on my zucchinis are toast!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 11:24AM
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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))

Yes I have heard of growing in bales of straw also. Not on my roof though.
#1 a fire hazard and number two it would not pass Hurricane CODE!
You see the entire world does not have great soil. In Florida where I am the soil is worthless sand. I am constantly amending,composting etc. and it is continuous.
So I try all sorts of things and am even contemplating aquaponics.(Raise the fish,use the dirty water to grow the plants hydroponically). That is cool too except I already have a pondful of fish. Junk is more fun though!
Anyway,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, more ideas????????????????

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 11:51AM
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Barbara Kelly

wow, I like this idea, never have grown potato's but this sounds easy. I think I will find a bushel basket or two, and start with some garden soil. Am I reading correctly that I can use leaves and maybe some garden soil when they grow abit. I would have to buy straw, and that defeats the purpose. lol I have plenty of nearly decomposed leaves in my compost garden. Should be fun

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 5:25PM
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I'm like Marlene...only grown potatoes in good ol' Iowa dirt! But, I also hate "digging" ... so I usually only do a couple hills now. I'm going to also try this bushel basket method...but I would have to buy "straw", do "leaves" work?

Trying to incorporate more veggies in with flower I tend to "weed more" in the flower gardens & leave the veggies go...and I grow a fairly small veggie garden now & more flower gardens! Plus I use "Preen" in my flower gardens but NO chemicals in the veggies or rhubarb & raspberry patches.

so this season I am planting some green & yellow peppers in my old cast iron bathtub (instead of alot of flowers)'s located at the garden shed garden & will get morning til mid-afternoon sun...I've got good drainage in the bottom as I put lots of peagravel & broken pots some years ago...I just added some "fresh dirt" on top today & am trying 5 plants in going to grow something trailing over the edges...we shall see what happens. I have so much trouble with those cute little "bunnies" eating everything & I hate to "fence!" So unless it rains a whole lot at one time or a bunny does a high "bunny hop," I'm hoping it will work!

Also love strawberry patches but gave up taking care of that some years now I grow enough to just "eat" in a half whiskey barrel. It's worked out pretty good for about 4 or 5 yrs. now ... sometimes they trail down and root on the I leave a few growing. I used sandy soil & it drains good.

Thanks for starting this post, golden & everyone else for your ideas! Jeanne S.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 8:08PM
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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))

I am using oak leaves .I bought straw for my duck bedding and it was two for $27.50 OWCH!Thats alot of $$$$ for them to crap on it.
I should trade some of my sand for ya'lls soil! And rocks for sea shells!!!
I love hearing about everyone's gardens.Thanks

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 8:33PM
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Marlene Kindred

Thanks for the explanation! I'm going to give it a try...need to get cracking though...potatoes need to be in the ground already here in VA!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 9:17AM
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