Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Potatoes in a Bucket Experiment - Hiccups -

I decided to try potatoes in buckets this year as I really didn't want to give up a veggie bed to years of digging out wandering potatoes. Well, today I had to do something with those buckets as I could see the plants were dying or dead. What went wrong?

Usually I take copious amounts of notes & photos for just such a case as today - not so with the potatoes! Shame on me...

So I dumped them out onto a piece of plastic - how easy would a harvest have been!! Precisely why I used 5 gallon buckets!

1) The soil was wet - really wet, practically a swamp at the bottom of the bucket. And I wasn't watering these things lately. Reason: holes were not large enough & I had forgotten to ensure the plastic shavings were cleared of the holes. Improper drainage is easily fixed with larger holes & maybe a few more...

2) Very few potatoes - actually, 1 or 2 on the plus side of none. Reason: I planted whole potatoes instead of cutting them up into smaller pieces which forces the plant to produce more potatoes. I had also not bothered to buy seed potatoes because this was after all, an experiment. I didn't even make note of what kind I planted - but looking at those 2 little wimpy 'taters, I'd say they were either Yukon Gold or white potatoes.

So, the soil is 'airing' out so that I can mix it up with some manure for replanting & the buckets will have better drainage drilled into them so that I can possibly re-try my potatoes in a bucket experiment.

Now, if only summer weather would come to the coast...

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