Wednesday, March 21, 2012

planting potatoes

in addition to many other plants, we are trying to grow potatoes for the first time this year. because we have an urban garden (our front and back yard) and we don't have infinite amounts of space to plant, we are trying out a vertical gardening technique: potato towers.

saturday morning we headed out to Naomi's Organic Farm Supply, one of our very favorite shops, to look longingly at the baby chicks and pick up 8 lbs of seed potatoes.

we got five varieties: bintje, purple majesty, caribe, all red, and yukon gold. i sliced them up leaving at least three eyes per chunk and left them to dry for 24 hours.

the next day we waited until nap time to start planting, and of course that's when the crazy weather started: snow, hail, and rain in various combinations came down.

have i mentioned how great my husband is? of the two of us i am the one with the urban gardening/homesteading dreams, but he is the one who does almost all of the manual labor to help me achieve these dreams. so while he was shoveling soil in the snow i was hiding on the front porch getting the potatoes ready for planting. i took the potato chunks and shook them in a bag of bone meal to get them thoroughly coated. at least i was being productive and not just hiding...

you line the tower with straw to keep the soil in, then every 12" put down a layer of potatoes, while simultaneously chasing your now-awake toddler around the front yard.

and naturally, as soon as the towers were finished the sun came out. we should start to see some sprouts in the next two weeks, although with all of the random snow we are getting, it might take longer than that.

i am looking forward to all of the culinary possibilities that await with these potatoes. all are good for mashing, most for baking, and bintje specifically is good for french fries! until harvest time, however, i will just dream of purple potato salad and pink mashed potatoes...


  1. The photo of the cut up potatoes looks like a fun roast! I had no idea you could grow potatoes from cut up pieces. I learn something new everyday!

    1. they did look quite enticing and i kind of wanted to roast them right then, but hopefully they will turn into a lot more potatoes to roast in the future.

  2. These are brilliant! I have never seen potato towers before so you blog is educating me! I wish my husband would indulge my gardening and house whims more...I want an allotment but know that it will be only be working on it!

    1. i didn't know about potato towers until i saw them recently on pinterest. crossing my fingers that they work out well!