This weekend, I planted my potatoes out. My fellow Canadians may be shaking their heads, saying it's much too soon, with very real threats of frost...but just take a minute. I'm planting my potatoes in containers this year. Yup! That's right...containers. Meaning, upon the threat of frost, I can move them indoors if needed; and now they will have a super head start!
I was inspired by the video below on YouTube:
It appears that is is possible for it to be very successful. I had potatoes my first year in the garden, and then decided that with my limited garden space, that I wasn't going to grow them last year. But, after seeing that video I see I can have garden fresh potatoes, and save space in my raised beds for harder to grow vegetables! :o)
I watched the flyers from all the department store in my area, and waited until large storage bins went on sale. I got these guys half - a great deal! They are approximately 60L. I drilled holes in the bottom and sides for drainage - very important according to those who have done this. The holes prevent the soil from getting 'water logged' and the potatoes rotting.
I let my potatoes "chit" on a windowsill for a couple weeks - and they gave me these lovely sprouts. It is important for these sprouts to be 'short and stout', not long and gangly (like what you find if you left your potatoes in a bag for too long). These shorter sprouts are healthier. You don't have to do this, but this way, you know which way to plant your potatoes.
Above is a Blue Russian seed potato, and below are chitted Banana Fingerling seed potato.
I ordered my seed potatoes online from Eagle Creek Farms, in Alberta. I ordered: Russian Blue, Banana Fingerling, Bintje and Candy Cane. They all have different harvest times: early, mid and late season so hopefully we have potatoes throughout the season, plus a few to bring us into early winter.
I put 2-3 inches of soil in the bins, along with compost. I placed the seed potatoes in, sprouts facing up, and then covered with another 2-3" of the soil mix. When the plants reach 4-6" high, I will add more dirt to the bins to simulate "hilling up", and continue to do so as the plant grows until the bin is full.
We will see how it all turns out in a couple months. I'm hoping that it is successful - reusing the bins every season will make the whole project very cost effective.
Chewie of course helped. ;)