Now that summer is fading nicely into fall, I decided to post a garden update about our potato growing adventure this past season! This was the first time we have grown potatoes in our garden plot, and it turned out to be a super fun project.
I bought Chris some potato growing bags as a Christmas gift last year, and we also scored a giant tub that was up for grabs in the garden at the beginning of the spring season. We ordered a bunch of German Butterball seed potatoes and set to work planting them! We filled each of our growing buckets with about 6 inches of soil and added our seed potatoes (cut into chunks to separate the main eyes (sprouts) of the new plants). From there, we covered the potato chunks, watered them, and waited for them to start sprouting!
As the potato plants started to grow and emerge throughout the season, we would allow the plants to grow up to about 8-12 inches in height, and then added more soil to re-bury them, allowing about 4 more inches of the plant to remain above the new soil line. Throughout the growing season, we would allow the plants to grow up and occasionally re-bury them, until the whole bucket and growing bags were filled to the brim with soil. Once we reached the top, we let the plants continue to grow, flower, and die out.
Using this method forces the potato plant to create more roots, and therefore fills the entire bucket with new potatoes! Every time the plant is buried, the buried section re-roots, and eventually creates more potatoes. If we had simply filled the buckets to the top and planted the potatoes on the top layer, the roots would only have gone down to about 1 foot or so into the buckets, allowing some potatoes to form, but definitely not the maximum amount the plant could make. By forcing root growth through the entire depth of the bucket, you get new potatoes all the way down to the bottom! Our big bucket was about 3 feet tall, so all of that space was filled with new potatoes over time.
This was the first time I have tried this method, and I have to say, I was very impressed with the results! This method worked much better for us in the big bucket compared to the little growing bags that we had, but we did manage to get a nice handful of potatoes out of our little bags. Throughout the growing season, the plants in the big bucket were always taller and healthier, so I would recommend getting the biggest tub you can find to try this method out!
Have you tried growing potatoes before? Leave some tips and tricks in the comments below!
Happy gardening, friends!
Inspired? Try one of my recipes featuring potatoes here: