Monday, July 4, 2011 Post By: Grayne Wetzky

How to grow potatoes in a barrel

Potatoes are pretty easy to grow the only real problem is to find a spot that is suitable for them. If you have some room in your garden this is not going to be a problem but if you are gardenless or can't use your yard for vegetable planting there are still ways to get your spuds growing.

Potatoes grow easily, but they do require fairly deep soil to be able to thrive and give the kind of yield you want. This means that potatoes, unlike many other common vegetables, don't do very well in a container garden.

The solution is to go big and grow your potatoes in a barrel.

For successful potato growing you should use a fairly large container. A 50 gallon barrel will provide plenty of room for your plants to grow and form spuds. To maximize the number of potatoes you can harvest, start off with a fairly shallow layer of dirt at the bottom of the barrel. As the plants grow, you can fill up with more dirt until you reach the top of the barrel.

Planting the potatoes is easy, just put a potato in the grown and add water. Before you plant let your seed potatoes sit around for a while. You want to make sure that the potatoes you are using will sprout before you plant them. Some of the potatoes you get in the grocery store will not sprout and planting one of those is a huge waste of time.

Once you have a sprouting potato or two it's time to plant. If you want to you can cut the seed potato into several pieces, making sure there is at least one sprout on each piece. Now all you need to do is cover the potato with a layer of dirt and wait for it to grow.

Potatoes are typically resistant to drought and can also tolerate a fair amount of water. This makes it a very easy plant to grow, you should however be careful not to over-water the plants. To make over-watering less of an issue you can drill drainage holes in the bottom of your barrel.

Your potato plants will grow quickly and produce flowers quite early. Once the flowers are gone the spuds will start to form under ground. Don't pick your potatoes yet but wait for the plant to die down. When this happens you are ready to harvest a bounty of potatoes.

Harvest the potatoes by pulling them up by the stem of the plant. Most likely many of the potatoes will be stuck in the soil still. To get to these potatoes you can either dig through the dirt, or if you have a suitable spot, simply tip the barrel over and sift through the soil.

This way of growing potatoes will give you a very rich harvest with the added benefit of easy access to the potatoes when they are grown.

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