As you know, I have turned a keen “hobby veg grower” since having kids. I started growing vegetables, so I could teach my children all about where food comes from… but also to avoid any poisoning instances. I am also a bit of a “what you make and grow yourself must be cheaper than what you can buy” – what else is the point?!
For this reason, I have not really bother with potatoes before – afterall they are such a “commodity”. Then last year, we randomly planted a Jerusalem Potato, and the result was so “cool”, that this year we decided to plant potatoes too! That and the fact that there a random empty bin appeared in our front garden, that no one claimed for 3 weeks!
Materials: a bin, lots of earth, a drill, stones/ broken pots, potatoes
1) Firstly drill lots of holes at the bottom of your bin.
2) Then fill with stones and broken pot pieces – this is to allow for drainage.
3) Fill half way with earth and plant 5-6 potatoes.
4) Place in a reasonably sunny spot and wait.
5) Finally, after about 8 weeks (?) the potatoes were sprouting happily and the first flowers are showing.
6) [After consulting Twitter and getting advice from @NicolaJWhite you …] now top up to the top with earth. This allows for the potato to grow more potatoes all along the stem you have just covered. Ideally, I should have topped them up sooner – before (as in the photo) they were sprouting mightily high. Because then, as they continued growing, I could have topped them up time and again. With each top up you encourage new shoots and growth.
7) Wait some more (months)…
8. You potatoes will be ready when the flowers have dropped and the leaves begin to wilt.