The humble potatoe. I don’t know about anyone else but potatoes feature fairly often on the menu around here.
Mashed, roasted, cooked as fritters with meat, chips, on top of meat pies – either way we love them and we use heaps of them.
I tried growing potatoes years ago with moderate success. Ashley and I planted heaps of seed potatoes and while yields were good they weren’t fantastic and it was a struggle to keep the water up to them let alone keep hilling up the dirt so they grew more potatoes.
I planted quite a few in a wine barrel in the cat cage.
The few times I have poked around I can see baby potatoes growing but am leaving them to become teenagers before we harvest them. I’m not sure what kind of yield we will get but they will be welcome.
When Elise and I were in Echuca (seems like years ago) we picked up these potatoe growing bags. Not cheap – $20 for two – but thought them worth a try. I finally got around to putting in the potatoes that had sprouted yesterday. These are roasting potatoes – just ones from the supermarket. I know “everyone” says use seed potatoes to lessen disease – but the few I grow I figure it wasn’t worth it. Plus the soil that is used to grow them in will be spread around the flower beds not in the vegie garden which should help. Having three healthy looking potatoes should lessen the risk as well.
I thought these were quite nifty. You put in 6 inches of soil, plant your potatoes at least 2 inches deep and as the potatoe grows just keep adding more soil.
It’s hard to see but on both sides of the bag there is a little flap that you can open to check out the harvest and pick some early potatoes.
I’m working on the theory that if the bags are washed and dried after use and carefully stored I should get a few years out of them.
Then I started wondering if I could make my own potatoe growing bags. I should say here we have tried using old car tyres but they took too much soil and it was difficult to keep the water up to them when it was super hot as the black colour did attract the heat. Plus what kinds of chemicals are in old tyres? Acutally having asked that I dont’ want to know.
I found this tutorial for making growing bags. I’m not totally sure what kind of fabric was used but I do have some weed mat that seems pretty strong so might have a fiddle at some stage to see what I can come up with.