It works. Plant them in straw just as you would in soil, just "hill them" by putting another layer of straw on them. Another neat way to do potatoes is in tires (yeah I know the leaching thing is not a good idea but it worked and we are still alive) put 3 tires on top of each other, add potatoes and soil, hill by adding another tire and more soil. Harvest by undoing the tower of tires. We did it with our scouts, the kids thought it was cool.
I've been thinking about growing them in straw, but I am wondering if the resultant potatoes will have less nutrients than those grown in compost -- I would think the more nutritious the growing medium for the plant, the more nutrients will turn up in the potatoes for us. Any thoughts anyone?
I am getting 2 different trains of thought...
do they have to be planted in soil first? and then straw piled on top?
I am thinking my mom grew them on top of the ground. We really have poor soil and I am trying to think of crops that can be planted without using up all the well built soil surface. I think we have about 50x50' of good soil and about 70 acres of rocky clay.
We also have a tire dump at the place we bought near town. I am thinking of using tires in my herb bed as planters and putting wood chips between... if we dont have an abundance of good soil, nor a large compost area what do I fill those tires with? (they are truck tires...we legally disposed of all the car tires (about 130 of them) They had been used to build a retaining wall at the entrance of the property....
My neighbor plants his potatoes only a few inches down, then covers the whole area with black plastic (and puts holes in for the plants). When they are ready to harvest he just reaches under the plastic and picks them. The majority of the potatoes grow along the plastic.
I grow mine in a raised area with a lot of compost. I add straw as they grow.
We lay ours on the ground and then cover with the straw. You have to be sure to keep adding straw as they grow or you end up with a bunch of green on your potatoes. I am thinking to trying the tire towers this year. It really looks fascinating.
I have grown potatoes in old laundry baskets lined with newspaper, milk crates lined with newspaper, old plastic trash cans and have made containers by making cylinders out of chicken wire and tieing them with bread ties. Fill them with either straw or a soil mix. We had an apt with a cocrete slab in the back so I had to improvise with with everything. I even did pole beans in the laundry baskets. Just put a pole in the middle and string it up. Our neighbors thought we were crazy but if I could get something to hold dirt, I planted something in it.
Animal, you sound like me when I had my "city" years!!! I had a postage stamp sized yard and a concrete driveway but I grew enough for myself and three children to eat and put quite a bit up. I had children from blocks around coming and staring at my garden and oohing and aahing over it. Funny thing, with all the little vandals in the neighborhood, they never touched my garden.
A forum community dedicated to living sustainably and self sufficiently. Come join the discussion about livestock, farming, gardening, DIY projects, hobbies, recipes, styles, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!