Paul Nickerson

InDorm Potatoes Update: Piling

In Alternative Agriculture, Gardening on January 31, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Over this past weekend, my two of my potato plants shot up drastically. I think this was due to the fact that I was not there to turn their light on for a couple of days. Regardless, it gives me the opportunity to update you all on the container, and show you the next step in InDorm Potato Gardening.

To recap, the purpose of growing potatoes in an upright container, such as a pail, is that you can pile dirt higher around the growing plant. In typical farming, potatoes are planted in long furrows. As the plant grows upward, the furrow is filled in, allowing potatoes to grow along the buried section of the stem. Due to the exposed rows, piling dirt to any real height can prove difficult, allowing for only a small section of a potato plant to produce potatoes. In a container, however, you can easily add soil to the bucket as the plant grows, allowing you to bury up to a number of feet worth of plant, greatly increasing the yield of a single plant.

As you can see in the photo, two of the plants have grown about six inches high. At this point, I simply pile potting soil, with a mix of vermiculture compost, around the stems of the plants. Once the plant continues to grow another few inches, I will again add more soil. Continuing this until harvest. Unfortunately, the other two plants are lagging behind, so I piled the soil on the one half of the bucket, and am hoping the other two plants will follow quick behind.

Plants Before Piling

Plants After Piling

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