Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Great Potato Barrel Myth

As you can see, the potato plants in the barrels have died off and were ready for harvest. Each barrel had 10 seed potatoes planted at the very bottom, so we should have harvested at least ten gallons of the least.

As we tipped the barrel on it's side, the results looked really promising....

As we started to dig, we found very few potatoes...3/4 of a gallon in the first barrel to be more precise and about the same in the second barrel. We had a few larger potatoes but most of them were small.

So what went wrong? I had done my homework and looked at all kinds of blogs and Youtube videos telling about their successes and their disappointments. Potatoes like lots of room to grow, so I had made sure that the soil was rich with peat moss. At the bottom of the barrel where I planted the seed potatoes, I had placed about 6 inches of good rich garden soil to get them started. There was good drainage. I watered regularly. The only thing I can think that stopped the growth of tubers was the barrel was too hot. The barrel should have been full of spuds, they had perfect growing conditions by all accounts from my research.
So this potato barrel growing myth is BUSTED in my opinion. Growing potatoes in the barrel took a lot more watering and so for that reason alone, is not viable for me. Although, if I had gotten my ten gallons of spuds per barrel, I may have had a different opinion. I guess I did have a bit of suspicion when I found all kinds of videos on the net showing how to plant a potato barrel but only one harvesting a descent crop. There was one video of a fellow that had I think 1 potato that he harvested out of his potato box. The other videos of how to do the barrel planting never posted an after video of their crop. I guess they couldn't because they didn't have a crop. Ah well, c'est la vie!

1 comment:

  1. We did this too! Three years in a row after a tip about growing in a 2x2 box. It didn't work for us either. I recently read at a unviversity botanical magazine that potato plants never produce potatoes above their seed potato. In the article it said you are better to leave tons of soil UNDER the seed spud rather than over. Trying that next.