Edible City is where I muse about urban gardening and share tips from my new book City Farmer

Monday, May 31, 2010

Potato Trick

I'm moving house right now and looking for ways to re-purpose the tons of stuff I've accumulated over the years--such as bushel baskets. I'm going to try a trick my friend Dagmar Baur told me about. I'm going to grow potatoes in bushel baskets this year,

Step 1: Line the bushel basket with plastic in which some drainage holes have been punched.
Step 2: Put approximately 8" of soil in the basket.
Step 3: Bury seed potatoes in the soil (I'm going to use heritage varieties recommended by Dagmar: Irish Cobbler, Slovenia Crescent, Matsuama).
Step 4: When the potatoes start to send up stems, add another inch or so of soil (this apparently encourages more potatoes to form). Keep doing this as the stems grow.
Step 5: Later in the summer (I'll keep you posted!), harvest a bumper crop.

I'd appreciate hearing from anyone else who has tried this technique.

These potatoes will be a memorial crop for Dagmar, who died a couple of weeks ago. She was an amazing person who generously spread love, plants and wisdom to the world. I'll miss her, as will so many of her friends in the Toronto gardening community.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Lorraine,
    I seen the same trick, but with old car tires (A "'tater-tire-tower", if you will). By planting the first eyes in a tire filled with soil, one can add tires and soil to a height of roughly six feet with the potato plants sending out a layer of tuber-laced roots with each height addition. Well-suited to areas where real estate is at a premium - high-density patates!
    Loved the book and hope all is well,
    Fraser Smith