It all started with an article my wife brought to my attention. It was about growing potatoes in burlap bags. As it turned out, the day before I saw a video on starting potatoes slips indoors. So this got my curiosity up and going. But how do you do it? What kind of potatoes should you grow? Why should you grow potatoes? So come along with me as I educate myself on these questions.
Why should I even bother to grow potatoes?
The first thought that comes to mind is how little room they can take up. We are going to use burlap bags, the size of a common bucket. Potatoes also are easy to keep for a long time, much long than other produce.
• Click here for tips on how to keep potatoes from rotting.
• How to Store potatoes by Jonathanwallace (this is a great video on storage)
Potatoes are cheap, why bother growing them?
• I will grow potatoes for a couple of main reason. I know where my food comes from. I know the soil used, what was used on it and where they came from.
• Just in time shipping. If the “monkey throws poo at the fan”, then I have some food on hand. I am not 100% dependent on the local market to save my backside.
• The knowledge of growing potatoes. Things that seem simple turn complicated when we first try them. Now is the time to try.
So how does one begin to grow them?
• My wife and I will be doing what I believe the majority of the people do. You take a whole potato. Many on the internet recommend only organic potatoes. Put half of the potato in the water (held up by toothpicks). The most important thing is that the “eye” is facing up.
Here is a video on how to start them:
• How to: Start Your Own Sweet Potato Slips by RootMassFarm. Great video on the process.
When do you plant the potatoes?
• “As noted earlier, potatoes are planted from early March through mid June in Oregon. Low elevation, coarse soil texture, and low spring rainfall all favor early planting. Consequently, earliest plantings typically occur in the Columbia Basin while long delays are frequently experienced in areas such as the Klamath basin because of low temperatures and in the Willamette Valley due to prolonged spring rains and heavy soils. Early planting is especially desirable for early fresh market and from-the-field processing of chips and frozen fries. Crops harvested in early July in the Columbia Basin, and on some sandy sites in the Willamette Valley, are typically planted in March or very early April.” Oregon State
• A simple search on Google or Bing should tell you what the best time is in your state.
Below you find the different ways how to plant potatoes.
• Planting Methods for Growing Potatoes. This is an outstanding article on the different styles of planting potatoes. This article will be my go to reference when I start to grow.
• How to Plant Potatoes for High Yields by LDS Prepper.
• Plant Potatoes in Bags of Burlap Above Ground from Home Grown Fun
• 5 gallon bucket method: Potato Crop 2011 by rchopp
• Growing in a wooden box: Growing Potatoes Above Ground by LDS Prepper.
• Potato Barrel by Localblu
This is small sampling of different styles. I will be using the burlap and most likely the wooden box method.
• Visit your local coffee shop and see if you can get their burlap bag for FREE. You can do the same for coffee grounds. You should NEVER have to pay at coffee shops for the material.
Have you done this before? Have any advice for a Newbie? Please leave a comment if there are articles or videos that would be helpful.