Monday, April 07, 2008

DIY-Grow Your Own Potatoes in Small Spaces

I hope to put in a vegetable garden this year. I have a nice healthy herb garden and only need to expand on it...but my goal for this year is to grow some potatoes, carrots, peas and beans. I would tuck lettuce and a few other small, complimentary veggies alongside them, but I want to keep it managable.

Because our front and back yards are heavily shaded with trees, it creates quite a challenge. I figured I would have to dig up the middle of my back yard as it is the only sunny spot...except, this is where the kids play so I was feeling a bit guilty. So, when I found this article about growing potatoes in plastic bags I was thrilled. It would allow me to take advantage of the narrow sunny spots available in my yard and move them if necessary.

My only concern was the plastic and how heating plastic allows chemicals to leach into soil. I might try to track down burlap bags and if needed, set the burlap bag inside a plastic bag...but maybe I am worrrying about nothing??

Check out the article and attached link as it is very interesting.

Living in the city, it can be hard to find a place in your garden for potatoes. Potatoes, grown conventionally, take up a lot of growing space and are time-intensive when it's time to dig them up. There are benefits to growing your own potatoes though. You have a much wider selection than that which you get in the grocery store. You will also have a ready supply of baby new potatoes, considered an expensive delicacy if you have to purchase them but just another potato in your own garden. There are, however, many different methods to growing potatoes in your small garden that save time, space, and work. I have tried many of these methods but the Garbage Bag method is the easiest and most productive.

To use the Garbage Bag method of growing potatoes, all you need is a sturdy garbage bag, like Glad Force Flex, some compost, shredded leaves and seed potatoes. You can purchase certified seed potatoes from a nursery or use sprouted potatoes from your pantry. Seed potatoes are your best bet as they are certified disease free and come in many varieties and colors, from yellow to pink to purple and blue. Cut larger potatoes into pieces that have two or three eyes each. Let potato pieces sit out to dry overnight.

When you are ready to plant, fill garbage bag four inches deep with compost. Roll down sides of bag until just above the level of the soil. Poke holes with the point of a pair of scissors around the exterior of the bag just below the soil line. Site the bag where it will get at least 6 hours of full sun every day. It can be by a fence, on your balcony, or in a sunny unused area of your yard. Plant three seed potato chunks into the soil and cover shallowly. Water lightly. The black garbage bag will provide extra warmth to the potatoes in the spring and fall and they will grow faster than if they were in the ground.

cont'd here


restyled home said... which tiny corner of my suburban back yard should I do this?? It's tempting...I so want a garden, as you know!!

busybee said...

Hi Wendy!

I'm planting a gardent too this year. I have my dirt ready in the back yard. The only problem is we now have our very own pet deers in the back yard. Yes! 3 of them!! They are lovely to watch everyday, morning and afternoon...just grazing away. I'm now about to research how to keep them out of the garden. I've bought more things for my "stocks" you know what I mean.

If you have any suggestions on how to keep deer out let me know. LOVE the last picture...the doorknob. BEAUTIFUL! A woman of many talents!!

Bye and miss you. Denise

onelittlemustardseed said...

Hey, I miss you too!! The deer are stumping us and I am trying to figure out a cheap fence. Right now I'm raking tons of leaves...can't wait to get started!

I want to come up soon...really soon...what weekend is good for you both? The boys are done hockey now so my weekends are free.

busybee said...

O.K. here's the deal on the fence... Alistair and I were discussing the deer situation and he said: "Well, the only way to keep them out is a fence." So of course, I get all excited 'cause I think GREAT! Perfect way to get a lovely and wonderful fence. Then he shatters my lovely dream by saying: "You can't have a wooden fence! It will shade the garden too much!!" And of course I follow with: "...but we could build a short fence, maybe 3ft?!" He replies: "Those things can jump a six foot fence!!!!!!" (Actually I just read on line they are known to be able to jump 10ft.) Wendy, I'm cringing at what he is contemplating building around the garden :( I want something pretty yet functional!!


P.S. You can come any weekend! We are pretty free. This weekend though, Aidan is away so that's no good for Jack. Alistair is working this weekend also. However, if you wanted to come just you and Ella we could make it a girls weekend. Sarah has swimming on Saturdays but that is only 45 min approx. Anyway, let me know. If you want to wait until Aidan and Alistair are home then any weekend after that works. Sarah would be over the moon to have a friend over all weekend!! I could even keep the girls while you go to Chapters or something. I'd love to spend time with them. Think about it!!


restyled home said...

Waaahh!! You two are making me jealous!!

Your far-away sister...

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