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Friday, July 11, 2008

Marisa's Garbage Can Potaotes

After Megan's post on trash can potatoes, I decided that I would try it. My friend Brandi gave me two big tubs that her mother-in-law found out by a dumpster or something. I love it when I get to save some money! I was planning on buying a garbage can, but I didn't have to. I went and got some certified seeds from the nursery, I should have written down the exact type I got, because now I can't remember. I think they are a reddish new potato. I planted the seeds at the end of April.
They took FOREVER to sprout, I thought for sure these weren't going to work. My husband and I would dig around to look for sprouts every once in a while just to see if anything was growing. Finally they sprouted.

The pictures is hard to see what is going on, but the left pictures is before I buried the plant, and the right side is after I buried the plants. I read that you want to leave a little bit of foliage, and not bury the entire plant. Supposedly if you continue to bury the plants until it is full to the top, the bucket will be full of potatoes. I will be sure to show pictures of the harvest.


Dale said...

I love this idea! When the potatoes are mature, you can just dump out the garbage can to harvest the potatoes.

Jennifer said...

We did ours in a garbage can, too, and they're now about 18 inches above the top and have blossomed. I'm a potato newbie -- when do you harvest them? Sadly I don't remember what variety we got either.

Dale said...

In a former career, I was a potato farmer in Idaho with Marisa's father-in-law, my brother. In 1982 we grew so many potatoes that if you put them end to end, they would stretch from Idaho Falls to Salt Lake City and back again (400 miles). That is actually a small number compared to todays potato farmers.

We use to gauge our first success of the season by having "new potatoes", 2 inches in diameter, with creamed peas by July 24 (pioneer day in Utah and Idaho). Then they would grow with vengence in Ausust and September. We started harvesting them in late September.

Of course, yours will be different depending on variety and growing conditions. If you are careful, you can dig down several inches to the side of the stem and see how big they are and them cover them back up and they will continue to grow.

Tea Rose said...

I have grown my potatoes in a similar fashion for a few years now and I will never plant potatoes any other way. We purchased a dozen fabric potato pots from gardeners supply and have had great luck. The pots are about 18" tall and I plant about 6 seeds in each pot. They grow like crazy. When it comes time to harvest we just kick the sides a bit to losen the soil and then dump the nice rich soil into our garden beds and harvest the taters from the lose dirt. I have also heard that using old tires works well for this. Layering another tire each time you need to add dirt. With all the the old tires on the side of the road I see, I may try this technique next year - good recycling project. :-)Good luck with yours, they look great!

Alexis said...

(I know this post is really old but...)

Oh god THANK YOU! I put potatoes in some old tires two weeks ago and am VERY sad to see there's no sprouts yet. I couldn't find anything online about how long it should take before I see signs of life. It's good to know that they may take forever.

marisa said...


Good luck! Let us know how it works out for you. We didn't get very many potatoes from it, I'm looking for the key to success with this!

Jamie said...

I recently found a potato plant growing in my compost heap. (There are also 2 pumpkin plants in there. Guess it's not getting hot enough. Anyways.) So I picked it up and planted it in my garden. What do you think will happen? I noticed that you said potatoes were a cold weather crop...

marisa said...


I'm not sure what will happen. I don't think that potatoes are a cold weather crop because they normally grow throughout the summer. Maybe something will come of it. Keep us updated!

P.S. If plants are growing in your compost pile, you are right, it isn't hot enough.

Make sure you have enough "green" material in there, add some water so it is like a wet sponge, and mix some dirt in with it. That should help get the heat up.