There’s nothing better than sitting down to a meal containing vegetables grown from your own backyard.
I love my love vegetable patch and laugh every time we say “just going to shops to grab some veg”. It’s an amazing feeling when all you need to do is walk into your backyard and pick fresh vegetables for your meal.
I only wish that I had more time to spend in my garden. But working full-time, plus long hours spent in travel means I can’t spend as much time in the vegie patch as I want to. But that’s okay – as we’ve discussed already, it’s about working smarter not harder. Like our watering system (here) or what to plant (here) or even composting (here). I’m always looking for simple and easy ways to garden that not only benefit me but my garden as well.
So, as I mentioned in my pervious post about ‘What to Plant’, I have 5 garden beds in my vegie patch but only planted out 4. These four are doing great.
At present, I have rhubarb and potatoes growing in my fifth bed, along with a lot of grass (remanets from when I put un-composted horse manure in. Whoops!) And while these are both doing okay, I really want to maximise the amount of potatoes I grow. At the moment with our current setup I’m unable to build up the soil as the potatoes grow, so the yield is low. To get maximum yielding out of your potatoes it best to be able to build up the soil as the plant grows, so you’ll have more potatoes being produced then if you don’t.
So after a few years of growing my potatoes this way, I really wanted to find a way to simplify the process and find a cost-effective way to get better yields. Then I found someone on the internet that uses a couple of pots to grow their potatoes. I have to be honest, I can’t find the website that I found this idea from but I’m sure if you google it others similar to this idea will come up.
It’s a really easy, straightforward process using two pots, one slightly smaller than the other. You place some slits all around the side of the smaller pot and then sit it inside the larger pot. You then grow your potatoes in the pot and when it’s time to harvest, lift the smaller pot up and the dirt drops through the slits you made leaving the potatoes in the smaller pot, and the dirt in the larger one. The best thing about this method is that there’s no mess. All the soil you sift is caught in the larger pot.
So to start with I prepared the pots. I decided to have two separate pots of potatoes as I have the space and we eat a lot of them. I placed a number of slits around the bottom of the smaller pots and made sure they fit into the larger ones.
As I was replacing our current system, I then got to work on the fifth bed. I removed all the grass and any remaining potatoes left in the bed. These potatoes will then become my next crop of potatoes. I also have an overhead sprinkler system for this bed which I’ll lower to ground level to ensure the sprinklers water the pots effectively.
Then the fun part. I placed the pots in place, added a small layer of soil into the base of the pot, and then added a few of the potatoes I harvested earlier.
Then put another layer of soil on top (around 7cm worth) and we are ready to get growing. As the potato plant grows I will add more soil and straw to just cover the plant, and will continue to do this until I’ve reached the top of the pot.
Once you get to this point just need to wait until the plant dies down and then they’re ready to harvest!
This is such a great method to use for growing potatoes, especially if you have a small backyard or a balcony. Why not try a different type of potato in each pot? And don’t forget to keep a few potatoes from each crop to start off your next season.