Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Growing Potatoes in a Barrel

One thing I love to grow is taters. We like to eat them baked, fried, mashed, hashed -- well, you get the idea. There are so many ways you can fix and eat this nutritious, easy to grow, tasty tuber.

I grow my potatoes in barrels around the cabin deck. I have two varieties, Norland Red and Yukon Gold. Of the two, the Golds are the best keepers through winter.

After harvesting, I save my taters wrapped in newspaper in open baskets in my downstairs "root cellar" under the bed where it's dark and cool with little danger of freezing.

I save some of my crop to become seed potatoes. By planting time, they've grown nice sized eyes. Small taters get planted whole, larger ones get cut making sure there are several eyes on each piece. I let the cut edges dry before planting to prevent rot.

I put several inches of potting soil at the bottom of each barrel, place the potatoes on top, and then add several more inches of soil. After the plants break through the soil, I add more potting soil or peat moss. I do this several times until the soil comes within a few inches of the top of the barrel. This encourages the plants to generate more taters all the way from the bottom to the top of the barrel.

Potatoes are a great thing to grow even on an apartment or condo balcony if you get good sunlight. All you have to do is bury, water, and periodicallly give them a little all-purpose plant food. They even make a lovely plant for the summer months.

After the foliage withers, the taters are ready to dig. If you can't wait that long, carefully reach under the soil and take a few to enjoy with an early season dinner.

Fresh harvested potatoes last for months without spoilage. Click here for more harvesting and storage tips. -- Margy


  1. I grow one big planter of potatoes on the deck. One year my daughter and I grew potatoes in hay. Same idea - put some soil in the bottom - then add has as the plants grow taller - it worked great too. I love those first few new potatoes - oh hurray potato plants.

  2. Now I want to plant some. We have plenty of sunshine here on the prairie.
    I haven't even been to the garden stores yet this year, because our recent travels really dragged me down. I'm still exhausted and in pain, two ingredients not recommended for gardening.
    Now Dick is talking about Africa, just after I told him "no more overseas trips" and I'm finding it difficult to reject the idea of the Maasai Mara, Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Rift Valley, and, most of all, Olduvai Gorge.
    But all that flying.
    We shall see. Meanwhile, planting some delicious edibles seems like a better idea.

  3. I have been meaning to plant some, keep forgetting to do so.

  4. I think I'm going to try this out on my deck - I would like to try some of the Peruvian varieties that I've seen in the grocery stores lately.

  5. Lorne is into growing tomatoes, which I love to eat with him. But re potatoes, my favourite way that he cooks them for me is the little new ones, cut in half, and roasted with olive oil and some spices (???) that he uses. YUMMY!

    abcw team