- Don Ruch
- Ramona, CA
- United States
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I love to grow my own food in my own garden plot and the basic crops that I like to grow are Tomatoes, squash , peppers and potatoes. There is someting empowering about growing your own produce, no pesticides, fresh vegtables moments from the garden and the joy of participating in the creative process. However there is an added treat in growing potatoes that I find compelling, not only is the potatoe easy to grow but the real treat comes in the fall at harvest time. When the plant dies back in late summer the potatoe is ready to harvest. Typicaly you thrust your shovel into the ground several feet back from the dying plant and dig up the potatoes. You never know how many or what size, kind of like digging up treasure. There is only one draw back to this age old harvesting problem, If you miscalculate with your shovel , you could and will put your shovel blade right through a nice potatoe. Boo !
I have come up with a (new?) way to grow potatoes by using a 15 gallon nursery bucket, filling the bucet with potting soil. I have used one seed potatoe per bucket. A seed potatoe, for those unfamiliar, is a potatoe that started to sprout eyes , potatoes that have been around a little to long. When the plant has reached maturity in late summer and starts to die back, it will be an easy matter to tip the bucket over and harvest the tubers, no spade split spuds.
This could be a boon to apartment dwellers in that the potatoes could be grown in lovely planter containers. The potatoe plant is quite lovely in that it will bloom near the end of its life I am in the process (R&D) for growing the potatoe hydrophonically. The issue that I face there is that the potatoe plant (all that is green) is poisionus. Indeed if a tuber should break the surface during its development, the part of the potatoe above ground will turn green and become bitter and poisionus as well. Much to be experimented with here.