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growing potatoes

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:52 pm
by BernardSmith
I am thinking of using cardboard boxes as growing pots for this year's batch of potatoes. Anyone tried this before? Is this a crazy idea?

Re: growing potatoes

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:27 pm
by Flo
I'd think that the cardboard would collapse when it gets wet? Potatoes do need a fair amount of water.

Re: growing potatoes

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:08 pm
by Odsox
I'm with Flo on this, but you could easily test the theory.
Fill a small cardboard box with soil, give it a good watering and see what it's like in a few days.
You could always line it with polythene though...

Re: growing potatoes

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:44 pm
by Green Aura
If you place the box where it doesn't matter too much if it does fall apart then go for it. A neighbour of mine grows her spuds on opened out cardboard and just keeps covering with more grass clipping or compost as the plants grow - sort of no-dig without the beds!

Re: growing potatoes

Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:19 am
by ballamara
I also think a cardboard box would become a bit soggy. However once I used a polystyrene fruit box, the trouble with that was it wasn't really deep enough. I have also tried the commercial potato planters they work but I have gone back to good old mother earth.

Re: growing potatoes

Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:01 pm
by BernardSmith
Thanks for your thoughts. Much appreciated. Given the very consistent view that the box would likely to disintegrate I have modified my plan and will line plastic crates with burlap and so make a kind of "grow bag" for the potatoes. That should give me an effective growing height of at least 25 cm. The crates have lots of drainage holes and the burlap is biodegradable

Re: growing potatoes

Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:25 am
by ina
Some people use tires...

Re: growing potatoes

Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:51 pm
by BernardSmith
:dontknow: Tires... Hmm.. but the only tires I have are on my car. That's not true. I have tires on my bicycle too but those are quite narrow gauge and I really need the tires on my car. ... Removing tires from my neighbors' cars does not seem like a very friendly act..

Re: growing potatoes

Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:01 pm
by ina
:mrgreen: :mrgreen:

I have a few spare ones that you could have... :wink:

Re: growing potatoes

Posted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:17 pm
by elfcurry
I've heard of people using a grow-bag cut in half. Imagine the bag flat on the ground in front of you; make a cut through the upper surface half-way along (ie divide across the short axis) leaving the underside intact to keep the halves together. Lift up the (cut) middle and readjust the contents so it stands up, then tie string, rope or wire round to keep it together. The idea is to provide the depth for the roots. Plant spuds and water it. I haven't tried this but I might now.

But maybe you only need advice on the container and have the soil.

Re: growing potatoes

Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:23 pm
by BernardSmith
elfcurry wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:17 pm
I've heard of people using a grow-bag cut in half. Imagine the bag flat on the ground in front of you; make a cut through the upper surface half-way along (ie divide across the short axis) leaving the underside intact to keep the halves together. Lift up the (cut) middle and readjust the contents so it stands up, then tie string, rope or wire round to keep it together. The idea is to provide the depth for the roots. Plant spuds and water it. I haven't tried this but I might now.

But maybe you only need advice on the container and have the soil.
Not sure I picture what you are referring to. I have one image inside my head but the depth of the bag is very small. I thought potatoes need about 12 inches of soil above the seed potato because the potatoes grow from shoots sent out horizontally by the stem underground, and the more height of the stem that is buried (up to a point) the greater the harvest is. Last year was my first year planting potatoes and I buried the seeds a a few inches below the surface on my raised bed and got not much more than one potato per seed potato.

Re: growing potatoes

Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:36 pm
by Odsox
The way I understood it Bernard, you get a grow bag about 3 feet long, cut it in half so you have 2 parts 18" long, stand them on end and you have 2 planters 18" deep.
The confusing part (I think) is Elfcurry only cuts one side in half, so you end up with 2 planters 18" deep, but still joined on one side. That way I would imagine would make them more stable.

Or I could be totally wrong ... :iconbiggrin:

Re: growing potatoes

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:30 am
by Green Aura
BernardSmith wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:23 pm
Last year was my first year planting potatoes and I buried the seeds a a few inches below the surface on my raised bed and got not much more than one potato per seed potato.
You need to earth them up Bernard. As I said above, my neighbour starts with only a few inches of compost/grass cutting but tops up with more as the plants appear, until she has a pile of the depth required - 12" or more. The potatoes pull up really easily and she never gets the "strays" that planting in a more formal arrangement entails. She also has a lovely pile of freshly composted grass cuttings (not a pile of slime!) to put on her other beds at the end of the season.

I was stunned at how well her system works.

Re: growing potatoes

Posted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 5:36 pm
by elfcurry
Odsox wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:36 pm
The way I understood it Bernard, you get a grow bag about 3 feet long, cut it in half so you have 2 parts 18" long, stand them on end and you have 2 planters 18" deep.
The confusing part (I think) is Elfcurry only cuts one side in half, so you end up with 2 planters 18" deep, but still joined on one side. That way I would imagine would make them more stable.

Or I could be totally wrong ... :iconbiggrin:
Quite right Odsox, that's what I meant. Leaving the two parts joined by the original bag makes it more stable as I don't think two separate halves would stand up.

Sorry for the confusion Bernard.

Re: growing potatoes

Posted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:06 pm
by BernardSmith
Ah.. What a great idea.. I see it now. The Grow bag is cut so it resembles a W (sort of kind of) I might in fact borrow that idea although I did splurge and bought about six re-usable bags from Amazon... But I can always return them...