Potatoes in Bins

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Mortimer657
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Potatoes in Bins

Post: # 225383Post Mortimer657
Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:20 pm

Hi all,

Is it possible to grow decent crops of potatoes out of bins? A friend of mine grows his in normal black plastic bins. He has 4 of them running up one side of his garden and seems to get reasonable yields out of them. Is it much of a space saving idea? I only ask as i was considering this myself as there is a year to 18 month waiting list on allotments on the site i've opted for, even though i was told they do often come up quicker by the guy i handed my application in to.

Also as an added question what varieties are best in your own opinions? Im looking for versatlie types good for mashing, baking or boiling. Im told its very difficult to get sweet potatoes/yams to grow well in the UK, how true is this? Im a big fan of the Sweet Potatoe purely because it is a good source of complex/slow release carbohydrates.


Any advice very much appreciated.

Many Thanks all.

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Re: Potatoes in Bins

Post: # 225428Post Green Aura
Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:22 am

You can grow spuds in pretty much anything from a bucket upwards. Just make sure it has drainage holes and something like shredded paper or similar in the bottom.

I'm not sure how to advise on varieties - the best one's we've grown were Rooster but I'm sure others will prefer different spuds. One thing it might be worth considering is growing some of the posh types like anya etc that cost a fortune to buy.
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Re: Potatoes in Bins

Post: # 225431Post becks77
Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:51 am

I tried potatos in old compost bags last year, perhaps I'm impatient I dont know but they grew a lot of leaves,died back but there was very little in the way of yield...however I know of a couple who grow all their own pottoes in this manner and keep some for seed for the next year.!
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Re: Potatoes in Bins

Post: # 225432Post niknik
Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:52 am

why the shredded paper ? (or similar)

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Re: Potatoes in Bins

Post: # 225443Post Green Aura
Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:09 pm

Two reasons - aid drainage and reduce the amount of soil/compost you need - these bins or bags take huge amounts to fill and a lot of it's not needed.
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Re: Potatoes in Bins

Post: # 225559Post irigg
Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:27 pm

i always grow mine in bags and get very good results in fact far better than i did when i grew them in beds

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Re: Potatoes in Bins

Post: # 225602Post Mortimer657
Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:48 pm

Brilliant replies all.

I think i'll give this a go then. It'll be a good way to get started and get my hand in while i wait for my allotment plot to come up.

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Re: Potatoes in Bins

Post: # 225621Post MKG
Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:47 pm

It's well worth a try - you certainly get a crop. But don't expect the size of crop you'd get from plants in open ground (and you can certainly ignore the miraculous crop claims of those who sell the "magical potato cropper - bumper harvests for all" kind of thing). I now grow earlies in open ground and maincrops in bags, simply because a smaller amount of maincrops which actually taste good is well worth the effort.

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Re: Potatoes in Bins

Post: # 225631Post chuck_n_grace
Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:12 pm

Hi,
Just bought two large bins for spuds. We have several sweet gum trees...and they produce these large seeds called 'gumballs', 'monkey balls', etc. They are about 1" in diameter and are spikey. We'll feel the base with a bunch of them...along with drain holes.

I think Grace wants to put in enough dirt for them to grow, produce several leaves, and then bury them again...and repeat until the top if reached. We understand this causes plants to produce a greater potatoe yield.

Regards,
Chuck

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Re: Potatoes in Bins

Post: # 225634Post Green Aura
Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:28 pm

chuck_n_grace wrote:I think Grace wants to put in enough dirt for them to grow, produce several leaves, and then bury them again...and repeat until the top if reached. We understand this causes plants to produce a greater potatoe yield.
That's pretty much the conventional way of growing spuds, Chuck. I've tried both that way and just burying one near the bottom of the bag/bin and then filling it up straight away. Can't say I've noticed much difference in the amounts gained really.
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Re: Potatoes in Bins

Post: # 225756Post chuck_n_grace
Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:04 pm

Green Auro,
Maybe it works best this way. You buy a large bucket, 10 feet, cut it down into 1 foot lengths. Plant spuds in bottom bucket. When it gets leaves, add another 1 foot section, cover with dirt and compost, and repeat.

I guess with a 10 feet you might get a lot of potatoes. :icon_smile:

Regards,
Chuck

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Re: Potatoes in Bins

Post: # 225768Post MKG
Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:19 pm

I'll have a bet with you, Chuck. I'll bet that, if you do as you describe, you'll be able to get the foliage up to ... oh ... five feet high. Then you'll strip down the bucket assembly to get at your spuds ... and they will ALL be in the bottom one foot container.

Sorry about that, but I've tried it every which way and that's what has always happened with me.

Mike
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Re: Potatoes in Bins

Post: # 225771Post Big Al
Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:47 pm

I've grown spuds in bags for the last 4 years as a garden club I'm in holds a competition for the heaviest yeild per given bag. The size of the bag (for brits) is half a growbag and you use 2 tubers of a given variety. I get yields of between 15 and 17 pounds of pots per bag. I do water well especially when the flowers grow and feed a lot. I guess i feed them more than if they were not for competition but as they are on one of my spare deep beds any over feed will go into the soil.

I think one reason for not getting pots all the way up the bag may be something to do with attention to the bag. I check mine every day and water /feed in the evening every other night.

I have grown potatoes in a dustbin before and got pots up to 6" below soil surface but the downside of this experiment was that the pots at the bottom of the bin grew and grew and were tasteless mush. Even boiling them in pre boiled water for less than 3 minutes they went to mush when I tried to take them out of the hot water.

I don't know but guess that it is all to do with them being a starchy veg.


I would recomend having a go at this even if it's just for an experiment but especially for those ishers who don't have the luxury of a large or indeed any garden.
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Re: Potatoes in Bins

Post: # 225900Post chuck_n_grace
Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:29 am

I need some experience before doing any betting. :icon_smile:

I decided against piling dirt on potatoes this year...based upon the fear instilled in me by Al and MKG. :icon_smile:

I took two 20 gallon containers today...drill holes in the bottom...added a small layer of 'gum balls' (spikey seeds from a sugar gum tree. Add several inches of compost...and then dirt. Mixed compost and dirt. Planted five pieces of Russet potatoes with eyes. We'll grow them in bins this year...just to see what happens.

I had about 10 more pieces left....so I placed them dead center between the stalks in our corn bed...near the sun side. It's an 18" bed...so I'm hoping there will be room for both.

Regards,
Chuck

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Re: Potatoes in Bins

Post: # 225926Post JillStephens7
Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:51 am

Good luck Chuck. I grow in bags as we rent and the landlords don't want us digging up the borders for potatoes but haven't had very big yields but I probably don't water or feed enough (note to self, must try harder) :roll: .
Big Al wrote:The size of the bag (for brits) is half a growbag and you use 2 tubers of a given variety. I get yields of between 15 and 17 pounds of pots per bag.
Big Al, do you just stand half a grow bag on end and bury two tubers nears the bottom?

:sunny: Jill

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