Yesterday was beautiful - a 70 degree Sunday - perfect day for garden projects and we worked on a little one, but one we are really excited about. Potato boxes! We grew sweet potatoes last year for the first time. Love growing them for both the root at the end of the season, but the greens as well - and those we had all season.
This year we are trying regular potatoes. I've sort of grown them before but without really knowing how they need to be grown to be worthwhile. I put them in (from starts when potatoes in the kitchen started sprouting, so we decided to plant them) and let them grow. At the end of the season we had a handful of taters, but nothing really to speak of.
Turns out there is method needed to really get anything from potato growing - it's not hard, just something I wouldn't have known to do. As the plant grows you have to keep piling on soil. The roots of the plant have the desired tubers and when you keep piling up the soil the plant keeps working to grow up and more roots, and more potatoes, are created.
There are many methods of taking care of this, from simple mounds that continue to grow, to various methods of containing the soil and potatoes as the volume of soil continues to rise! We decided to go the "box" route. mounding is fine, but mounds also spread out - and a primary reason for other methods is also harvest. With a simple mound you push away or dig away the soil you've accumulated all season. With boxes and other similar methods you simple dismantle the sections or sides and the soil falls away revealing the harvest.
We also built our boxes to be used in conjunction with our raised beds. We notched untreated yellow pine, cut them to the size of the beds (3' wide) and planted the potatoes down about 6" - 8" into bed base. We'll add sections of pine for the ongoing growth of the plants. Worked out great and fit right into place!
Can't wait to see what we get this year. We planted four varieties of small potatoes - red ones, two kinds of yellow guys, and purple>