There is just something about potatoes pulled right from the ground. They really don’t taste like store-bought ones at all. Last year, I mixed store-bought red potatoes with the homegrown (because I didn’t have enough from the garden) and Tony wanted to know “what the heck” was wrong with the ‘other’ potatoes. I told him they were from the store. He then chose to only eat the potatoes from the garden and he’s not a picky eater at all.
Why do I grow my own potatoes? One word: PESTICIDES. I’ve seen one too many Dr. Oz shows on why organic potatoes are the way to go. Growing my own, I KNOW they are organic instead of just some unregulated label they stick on the bag.
But with the cutting garden going in, there is really no room for potatoes in the raised beds. So, just like I did with my strawberries, I’m getting creative here too.
We’ve all seen on Pinterest how you can grow potatoes in a tower, a wire cylinder lined with straw, or even in a laundry basket, right? Seriously though, did you ever try searching “growing potatoes” on Pinterest? Potatoes are easy to grow so I can see why you can grow them just about anywhere.
The problem I have with plastic containers is the chemicals. What is the point of growing them with organic pest control, in organic soil if you’re going to grow them in plastic bins that will bake in the sun? Wouldn’t that lace the soil and then the veggies with chemicals? Not that I’m crazy about this, but it IS one way I can control what I allow into my food.
So, because potatoes will grow just about anywhere I’m going to try to get a bit creative here just like I did with my strawberries. I got bushel baskets from my MIL (for free). She had gotten them from an auction years ago and never used them. She probably has about 20-30 baskets hiding out in her shed.
So here’s what I did. I planted 2 varieties of potatoes.. Red organic potatoes (early season) and regular potato seed.
You do have to get actual seed potatoes and the time to buy them is in mid-March to right around now. Eventually stores will not sell them into the summer months because the potatoes will actually bake in the ground if the soil is too hot.
You then have to cut the potato to separate the sprout. The sprouts will turn into your potato plants. I usually make sure they are about golfball size.
Here are my potato pieces that will eventually be plants.
They say you need to treat them with an anti-fungus powder, but I never do and they are always fine. I hope I don’t jinx myself this year though. Here is a started potato bushel basket:
And the red potatoes are already starting to come up:
This is the first spring I’m not teaching, so it’s so rewarding that I got a head start on my garden. I already have lettuce, strawberries, and potatoes growing and it’s only the start of May! I’m pretty excited about this.