Melinda's Moment: Potatoes In A Box

Growing Potatoes in a Box                                                                                                               

Don't let a lack of space stop you from growing your own potatoes.  Harvest up to 100 pounds of potatoes in as little as 4 square feet on your patio, balcony, deck or in your garden.

My friend Mark helped me build a planting box that makes growing and harvesting potatoes fun and easy. 

We used recycled 2x 2's for the frame and long lasting cedar slats for the sides.  You can set the box on prepared soil in the garden or on a hard surface.  I used a board to protect the patio.

Fill the box with a well-drained potting mix or compost and plant the potato tubers 4 inches deep.  Water as needed and continue adding slats and covering the lower portion of the vines as they grow.

You can harvest potatoes as needed.  Remove the lower board, harvest, replace soil and the board.  Next time harvest one layer higher.  Or harvest the whole planting at the end of the season.

A bit more information:  Those of you with plenty of space may prefer to grow your potatoes in the ground.   Purchase seed potatoes (actually whole or pieces of a potato tuber) at garden centers or from garden catalogues.  Cut whole or large seed potatoes into smaller pieces containing at least one good "eye".   Plant in a 2-3 inch furrow,10 to 12 inches apart, leaving 24 to 36 inches between the plants.  As the plants begin to grow, mound the nearby soil over the tubers until the rows are 4 to 6 inches high.  Keep the planting weeded, watered, and wait for the harvest. 

For more gardening tips, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.

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