Do you love potatoes? Why not grow them yourself? It would be a lot better than buying them at the store. You would be amazed to know how easily you could grow up to 100 pounds of potatoes in only a 4 square foot area.

Potatoes are a great food, versatile and tasty, they go well with any meal! Best of all they are nutritious. And you could grow them yourself and it is easier than you think. You could harvest a lot more than you would expect from a small area. All you need is 4 square feet and some standard garden supplies.

This system utilizes vertical gardening technique, where you can use containers to grow your potatoes in layers. So, you don’t need to spread out your plants in rows over a large area in your garden. This could be a neat trick especially if you have a small garden area.

Why grow potatoes yourself? Because you will love their “fresh from the garden” flavor. By using this clever gardening tip you don’t need a large garden area to grow your own food.

You can grow potatoes anywhere

You don’t need to be in Idaho to grow your potatoes, says The Seattle Times,  in an article published a few years ago. The article was about a farmer named Greg Lutovsky, who has been growing potatoes as a business since 1993.

Greg says “you can grow 100 pounds of potatoes in 4 square feet. All it takes is some lumber, seed potatoes and careful attention to watering. “- The Seattle Times 


The growing process


First, you need to cut four, 2ft. pieces of 2in. by 6in. wooden boards and make a box or raised bed on the ground. Plant your seed potatoes in it. Attach a 2in. by 2in. sticks of wood on each corner of your bed for adding boards as your plants grow. As your plants grow taller, board up the sides and add more dirt.

The beauty of growing potatoes in layers is that you can remove one of the side boards from the bottom layer and remove potatoes from it whenever they are ready for harvesting and leave the potatoes in the top layer intact to continue growing. Remove potatoes from each layer of the box, as they are ready, and fill the layers back up with more dirt, and board up the boxes again.

Getting potatoes from the bottom layer maybe a little difficult because you will have to remove boards and dig carefully, but as you move higher up, it will get easier to dig your potatoes out. It also helps to mix compost in with your soil to keep it light and fluffy.

Imagine growing all those potatoes in just 4 square foot box. The same system can be applied to growing potatoes in barrels, crates, or other types of containers.

Growing instructions

potatoes-498673_1280As the plants grow taller, cover them up with dirt and add more layers. You might be covering some healthy leaves, but that’s alright. Potato tubers grow right under the surface, so covering them up with dirt will keep them underground. When potatoes are exposed to sunlight, they will turn green, and  are then unfit for eating. As the plants grow taller, they will produce more side runner stems increasing your harvest. Start digging up new potatoes after 7 or 8 weeks after you plant seed potatoes.

Plant care

Water seed potatoes sparingly to prevent rotting. Water your plants regularly after the plants have sprouted. Choose organic fertilizers and mulch to add to your soil. You can easily make your own organic fertilizer with your kitchen waste, yard waste and some other household trash.

Pest control

Potatoes can be susceptible to a number of diseases and pests. Scab is very common, but not fatal. You may also find crusty growths on your potatoes. They might not look perfectly pretty but they are still edible. Avoid adding too much nitrogen or lime to your soil. Another common problem for potatoes is blight.

Potato beetles can also be a big problem for your plants. They  eat the plants leaves limiting its ability to photosynthesize and grow. These insects are visible with the naked eye, so you can pick them off with your hands and squish them. Also inspect your lawn regularly for wireworms. They can eat your growing potatoes. Choose a different place for your plants if you see these insects and larvae in the ground. There are also some organic ways to wipe out pests from your garden, without using any insect spray.

colorado-potato-beetle-582966_1280Hope you will enjoy growing your own potatoes in your backyard or kitchen garden. Potatoes are excellent for delicious dishes and can be eaten in many different ways.

You may obtain potato seeds through mail order or from your local seed stores. You can also use supermarket potatoes as seed potatoes, but they are often treated with chemicals, so be careful about that.  Best place to obtain seeds may be at a local farmer’s market or garden center. Make sure to start planting your seeds before the summer gets too hot in your region.

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Source: Nourish the Planet

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