Paul Nickerson

Posts Tagged ‘Potatoes’

The Potato Tower: Bigger and (Hopefully) Better!

In Alternative Agriculture on June 1, 2011 at 10:13 am

Outdoor Potato Tower

After the problems with Fire Safety, who apparently were under the impression I had a heat lamp in my room, I reconstructed my Indoor Potato Tower in my basement to continue seeing how that would turn out.

In an effort to upscale the Potato Tower project, I have also constructed this larger tower in the garden at the school. It is currently six feet tall, and about four feet across. To maximize space, I planted it with Red Pontiac potatoes. As a filling media I am using a compost-soil mix that will provide a high amount of nutrients for the plants.

For those of you who are confused as to why we are burying beautiful plants, potatoes grow along the buried stem of the plant. By increasing the amount of stem we are able to bury, we can drastically increase yield per unit ground space.


Potato Tower Update!

In Alternative Agriculture on May 15, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Potato Tower Update!

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

InDorm Potato Farm

In Alternative Agriculture, Gardening on January 4, 2011 at 12:38 am

There is currently a lot of information online regarding Container Potatoes, therefore, I will not go into great detail about the intricacies of planting potatoes in bins. Instead, I am going to outline my InDorm system.

InDorm Potato Farm

The overall theory behind my system is to stack 5 gallon pails on top of each other in order to achieve growth along the whole length of the potato plant. After drilling a number of small holes in the bottom of one pale, I planted small pieces of seed potato.

As the plant grows, I will continue to bury the plant by filling the bucket little by little with compost and soil. Once the dirt reaches the top of the base pale, I will cut the bottom out of a second pale, and stack it on top, continuing the process.

System Light Cover

The pride and joy of my InDorm Potato Farm is the grow light. I cut a large hole out of the middle of a plastic lid, then pop-riveted an eight-inch, metal flood light to the cover. I put a 65 watt flood light in the lamp, which cast light directly over the plants. It also maintains a micro-climate of 85 degrees. This seems to be an ideal situation for healthy potato growth.

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