Category Archives: Potato

The Potatoes Didn’t Work Out

Wow, it’s been 2 months since my last post – not good.

This spring, May and June, we have had double our local amount of rain and the veggie garden is suffering.  I have to figure that the potatoes got too much water.  The plants were beautiful, dark green and growing fine until we got weeks and weeks of constant rain.  The plants ceased to grow and turned yellow and then brown and shriveled up.

See the shriveled, leaves drying up, yellowing plant.
potatoes not do well with too much rain

The baby fig tree behind the back pot is in the ground and seems happy.  The pots have holes in the bottom and 12 inches of soil that the potatoes are growing in and the rest of the space – filled with alternating whole leaves, sand, and hay.  Maybe the 24 or more inches just didn’t drain fast enough?  I plan to buy or make some kind of potato bag and try to grow them again next spring.

What a difference a month of rain can make.  This picture was taken on May 7, about 5 1/2 weeks ago, before the excessive rain.  This is one of about 6 of these caged buckets I made.
potato update may 7

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Growing Potatoes In Buckets

I want to grow potatoes, but with my red clay I have to grow in raised beds.  I simply do not have enough bed space to plant potatoes.  I have seen clever and fancy expandable gadget structures to grow potatoes in.  However, with my limited resources, I have had to improvise.

This is an old 5 gallon bucket with holes and cracks in the bottom to allow water to drain.  I made wraps out of old, rusty fence.  The potatoes were planted in the bucket itself, about 2/3 full of good soil.  As the plants produces green stalks, I began to add layers of hay, dirt, old leaves, and more dirt – holding it inside the wire with inside-out cereal boxes to hold it all together and to keep the sun off of the baby potatoes that I hope will grow in the raised area.

To grow potatoes in the ground, you hill up dirt around the plants as the stems grow.  I am doing the same here, holding it in place with cardboard and fence.  In this bucket, I have added about 18″ of soil and leaves along the growing vines.  Supposedly potatoes will grow all along that vine stem. (You can see a bluebonnet on the left/center of the pic.  At first I thought I would just add the leaves and straw, but realized that I had better devise some way to keep the sun off of the baby potatoes.
growing potatoes in a bucket

Here are 3 more of the potato buckets.  All have had about 18″ of soil and leaves added.  They get full sun in the morning and changing sun during the afternoon.  They are growing fast and look like they are getting plenty of sun.
several buckets of growing potatoes

I like new potatoes and am going to have to learn how to dig them out.  We’ll see how this goes.  If it works and if I get a wire cage full of potatoes, I am going to have toget someone to help me build the vision of a potato growing box.

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Potatoes From the Dirt to the Serving Bowl

We have never had a really good potato harvest here.  I do believe that the same diseases that turn the tomato leaves yellow and kill the plants also affect the potatoes – since they are of the same plant family.

I purchased a small bag of seed potato, it had about 8 golf ball sized seed potatoes.  Since the potatoes were so small, I didn’t bother cutting the potatoes into smaller chunks.  I just planted the 8 or so seeds.  They grew beautifully for almost a month.  The greens were just beautiful and deep green and stood straight up.  I wish that I could find a pic of them.

It didn’t take long until the dreaded yellowing showed up in the leaves.  The plants quickly declined.  This is a pic of the affected plants.

disease setting into the potatoes

After struggling along and rapidly declining for a month, and with the plants all but shriveled up and dead, I harvested what few potatoes had grown. This is my pitiful harvest. Each plant produced about 3 good sized new potatoes with plenty of marbled sized small ones. Some potatoes had a nasty bumpy/knobby way about them. They didn’t keep long and got thrown out – in the trash, NOT into the compost!!

potato harvest

What to do with such a small batch of new potatoes? Boil them, of course, and serve them with butter and herbs (parsley and chives). The harvest made a heaping bowl and I just remembered to take a pic before they were all gone. They were Good!

cooked new potatoes

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Potatoes In A Pot Aren’t Doing Well

I planted 2 seed potatoes in this large pot.  They grew great for a month, I filled in the pot with soil and mulch as they grew taller.  Just recently – about the time the nearby tomatoes started turning yellow, these potatoes started to die back.  There isn’t a whole lot to them left.  The vines are light and scrawny, but haven’t noticeably turned yellow like the tomatoes.  Perhaps a different issue is afflicting the potatoes?

potatoes in a pot appear to be dying

The 8 seed potatoes that I planted in this ‘back’ garden – in the ground – are still nice and dark green and look healthy.  If you look to the very top right of the pic, you can see yellowed tomato leaves.  The sick toms are awfully close to the potatoes and I have to suspect that the tomato problem very well might be able to travel to the potato, and since potatoes and tomatoes are in the same family, the tomato problem might very well infect the potatoes.

potatoes planted in the ground

 

Potatoes aren’t a major focus for my garden; they are something that I want to ‘play’ with without putting a lot of effort and care into.  If I ever get a bigger place, then I will work on growing good potatoes.  Right now, something always gets them, as it did last year.

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Potatoes Growing Right Along

I’m growing potatoes this year, just a small bag of seed potatoes. I planted 2 in a large pot, in about 8″ of soil. They have grown over a foot, and I have added at least 8″ of leaves/mulch/potting soil. I am intending to cover the stems up to the top edge of the pot and hoping for a pot full of potatoes. We’ll see how this works. I am expecting potatoes to grow in the soil at the bottom, and as I understand it, the covered stems should produce potatoes along them also.

Potatoes growing in a large pot

The other 8 seed potatoes were planted in this row, about 8″ under the soil in the ditch. They sprouted up about a week ago. I need to cover the ditch with the dirt on either side, adding lots of leaves in the mix.  I hope to be able to cover the plants up to that wood wall on their right.

Row of potatoes

To the right of this row are carrots that are close to harvesting.  On the left, to the left of the wood laying on the ground that I am going to use as a bed border, bush beans are going to be planted, with pole beans along the raised cattle panel that is further left.

I am trying to use any small area that is plantable and use what ever scraps of materials that I can find to tend my small garden.

Last year we planted some potatoes in this general area, but they caught some virus that turned the leaves yellow and killed the plants.

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