growing potatoes

This is the place to discuss not just allotments but all general gardening problems and queries which don't fit into the specific categories below.
(formerly allotments and tips, hints and problems)
Post Reply
BernardSmith
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 3:19 pm

growing potatoes

Post: # 292613Post BernardSmith
Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:52 pm

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?

User avatar
Flo
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1898
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:12 am
Location: Northumberland

Re: growing potatoes

Post: # 292614Post Flo
Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:27 pm

I'd think that the cardboard would collapse when it gets wet? Potatoes do need a fair amount of water.

User avatar
Odsox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5298
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:21 pm
Location: West Cork, Ireland

Re: growing potatoes

Post: # 292617Post Odsox
Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:08 pm

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...
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

User avatar
Green Aura
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 8967
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:16 pm
latitude: 58.569279
longitude: -4.762620
Location: North West Highlands

Re: growing potatoes

Post: # 292624Post Green Aura
Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:44 pm

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!
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

ballamara
margo - newbie
margo - newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:00 am
Location: McIntyre, Victoria, Australia

Re: growing potatoes

Post: # 292627Post ballamara
Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:19 am

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.

BernardSmith
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 3:19 pm

Re: growing potatoes

Post: # 292629Post BernardSmith
Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:01 pm

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

ina
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 7971
Joined: Sun May 22, 2005 9:16 pm
Location: Kincardineshire, Scotland

Re: growing potatoes

Post: # 292632Post ina
Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:25 am

Some people use tires...
Ina
I'm a size 10, really; I wear a 20 for comfort. (Gina Yashere)

BernardSmith
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 3:19 pm

Re: growing potatoes

Post: # 292637Post BernardSmith
Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:51 pm

: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..

ina
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 7971
Joined: Sun May 22, 2005 9:16 pm
Location: Kincardineshire, Scotland

Re: growing potatoes

Post: # 292638Post ina
Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:01 pm

:mrgreen: :mrgreen:

I have a few spare ones that you could have... :wink:
Ina
I'm a size 10, really; I wear a 20 for comfort. (Gina Yashere)

elfcurry
Tom Good
Tom Good
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:08 pm
Location: Dorset

Re: growing potatoes

Post: # 292640Post elfcurry
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.

BernardSmith
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 3:19 pm

Re: growing potatoes

Post: # 292644Post BernardSmith
Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:23 pm

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.

User avatar
Odsox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5298
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:21 pm
Location: West Cork, Ireland

Re: growing potatoes

Post: # 292645Post Odsox
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:
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

User avatar
Green Aura
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 8967
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:16 pm
latitude: 58.569279
longitude: -4.762620
Location: North West Highlands

Re: growing potatoes

Post: # 292646Post Green Aura
Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:30 am

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.
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

elfcurry
Tom Good
Tom Good
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:08 pm
Location: Dorset

Re: growing potatoes

Post: # 292651Post elfcurry
Wed Apr 03, 2019 5:36 pm

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.

BernardSmith
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 3:19 pm

Re: growing potatoes

Post: # 292652Post BernardSmith
Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:06 pm

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...

Post Reply