Growing potatoes vertically is quite common among gardeners in the West. Planting a dozen tubers in a few bags (Potatoes in bags), in large bags, crates or barrels can end up in a harvest of several buckets of potatoes. So far, this method of ours is a novelty.
We used to call potatoes a “second staple” and grew far more of them to feed ourselves, our relatives, and our livestock. But today more and more homeowners generally refuse to grow potatoes, saying that they are worth every penny, but it’s enough of a hassle to use it throughout the summer.
If you think so too, but don’t want to forget the incredible taste of their young potatoes, try planting them in a bag, box, or bucket. The results will surely please you.
THE ADVANTAGES OF GROWING POTATOES VERTICALLY
It’s this method that gives you the fastest harvest (if you choose an early variety, of course) because the mobile “bed” preheats the fastest.
No hoeing or weeding every lazy gardener’s dream. This way of growing potatoes is also suitable for people with small plots. Potatoes in buckets and boxes help give the plot a pristine appearance.
When growing potatoes in bags and buckets, the plants have a much longer root system than when growing potatoes normally. And since the number of roots determines the number of tubers, the crop is always good.
And best of all – potatoes in buckets and large pots can be grown successfully, not in the garden, not in the garden, but at home – a sunny gazebo or balcony will do.
In addition, vertical beds of potatoes.
- It’s easy to grow.
- Can be watered and fertilized less often.
- There is no need to dig up the harvest (the formed tubers are simply poured out of the container with the soil).
There is also the issue of reusing materials (unnecessary containers, old bags, sacks, buckets), thus focusing on the environment. At the same time, vertical beds for potatoes can be very diverse. For example
- Plastic, metal, wooden barrels.
- Old wheel tires.
- Cloth bags and synthetic bags.
- Large black garbage bags, plastic bags.
- Large flower pots.
- Old buckets.
HOW TO GROW POTATOES IN BARRELS?
The barrel will break by time. If there is a leak in the bottom of the barrel, you can’t pour water in. This applies mainly to metal containers. But plastic ones can be damaged by mechanical damage.
If the metal bucket is old and worn out, it makes sense to paint it before planting potatoes. You can decorate the outside of this container with beautiful pictures or original patterns so that it will be creative and imaginative when you do it.
If there are not many holes in the bottom of the metal bucket, you can make them with nails and hammers. You can use a drill with a bit to make this effect on a plastic barrel, or you can heat a nail and then use it to carefully punch holes in the bottom of the barrel.
If you are placing the barrel horizontally to grow potatoes, then make drainage holes on one side of the barrel and larger holes on the other side for growing potatoes.
Fill the bottom of the vertically placed container with a 6-8inch (15-20 cm) layer of material for drainage. It can be small stones, crushed bricks (for a horizontal “bed”, the height of this and subsequent layers should be lower).
On top of the drainage can be placed mowed grass, chopped straw, fallen leaves, compost at a height of 12-20inch (30-50 cm). Then fill the bucket with light, rich soil in layers about 6inch (15cm) high.
Water the soil well with a watering can. Add 1 tbsp of potassium humate for every 5 liters of water. You can also add water to this vertical bed with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer.
On the surface of this layer of soil, place the tubers at a distance of 6inch (15 cm) with the eyes upwards. The potatoes are covered with soil 6inch (15 cm) above.
At 2 weeks of seedling age, perform the first “seed soaking”. To do this, simply sprinkle the soil under the bush. Then, the same action is performed two or three more times. This way, the potatoes will be well covered with soil and stimulate the formation of more roots and tubers, while the root crop will not turn green.
Since the area of the barrel is limited, it is important to water it promptly, as the soil here will dry out quickly. These mobile beds are best installed in advance where there is something to shade them so that the soil does not overheat. Also, the seedlings should always be under light.
GROWING BAGGED (POTATOES IN BAGS), BOXED, AND BOX POTATOES
All recommendations for planting and growing barrel potatoes also apply to bagged and sacked potatoes. Suitable are large plastic bags, sacks for flour and sugar, and large, sturdy garbage bags. These containers don’t take up much space and can be placed in a vacant spot for as long as the cottage owner wishes.
To make it easier to “dig” the potatoes grown this way, a rectangular hole can be cut in the bottom of the sack or bag. Velcro is attached to this flap and sewn around the cut hole to make the right element. Then you can occasionally observe whether the harvest is ripe and, if necessary, take a few large potatoes and let the bush grow further.
CAR TIRES: SEEDBEDS FOR POTATOES
If you can use tires, they too can become vertical beds for potatoes. You can put several together, or you can build the bed gradually as the potatoes grow.
First, you need to dig the soil to the diameter of the wheel and put fertilizer or compost in the soil. Then plant the potatoes with their eyes facing upwards. Now you should put a tire cover around it and fill the top of it with light soil.
When the potatoes have grown to a height of 6inch (15cm), place the second sprouting cover over the first one. The soil is also poured into it, which will become a “mound” at the same time.
You can stop here, but it is better to use 1-2 more tires and also to fill in the soil as the potatoes grow. You will definitely have a good harvest.
PLANT POTATOES IN BUCKETS AND LARGE POTS
This method will allow you to have potatoes even in city apartment conditions. If you have two large plastic pots of slightly different sizes, then in the smaller one, cut rectangular holes in the sides. Then it will be easier to collect the potatoes when they are ripe (remove the large tubers first and let the smaller ones continue to grow).
Potatoes can also be grown in regular high-capacity pots. You can also use a 10-liter bucket. Some people can grow potatoes at home this way, and some will take the idea to their country homes. The best way is to give the potatoes as much sun as possible.
POTATOES IN WOODEN BOXES AND BOXES
You can make a wooden box for growing potatoes with your own hands. You need to take four sticks and place them vertically. They will be in the corners of the box. From the outside, they are nailed to a wooden board. You can immediately provide a door at the bottom of the box so that when it is opened, you can extract the planted tubers.
And if you have factory-made wooden boxes, for example, in which nails are sold, you can use them or any other. The characteristics of growing potatoes in a box are the same as when growing in a barrel.