Adding potatoes to the gardenPosted: March 11, 2010
Back from another teaching gig and reinvesting in the garden.
Down in the food forest I added two sets of potatoes as an experiment. The first section is the fairly straightforward trench method so we can do hilling. I dug ~ 200′ of trenches, some in their own dedicated beds and some snaking around our new berry bushes and more two year old fruit trees.
In another section of the food forest that had a site prepped but no topsoil/compost (because I got tired of hauling compost this past summer) I added a line of buckets with potatoes in them. The plan is to add a second vertical layer of buckets (with the bottoms cut out) on top of these as we add more dirt to them during the hilling process.
I went with the buckets for the experiment (and a random trash can) rather than the more popular towers since not many folks actually *doing* the towers were getting good results. I found lots of articles citing the wonders of potato towers written by journalists, but it was clear none of them had actually planted these and watched over them for a season until harvest time. On the other hand, there are many more blog entries by folks actually doing the planting/harvesting with buckets.
And I had truckloads of extra buckets left over from planting the berry bushes and runs to the local deli/bakery for food grade 5-gallon buckets. Reminder: drill holes in the bottom for drainage.
The best part? At the end of the season, I spill the buckets over right where they are in the food forest to make a new bed for a different crop next year. Instead of hauling four yards of dirt down the hill in one day, I do it in small batches over several months…