"100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

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"100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by E » Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:50 am

So cruising lifehacker this morning, found this article
http://lifehacker.com/5202849/grow-100- ... quare-feet" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
very interesting concept, doing something like this. Has anyone done anything similar?

Also i must not know a lot about potatoes. it says to keep putting layers of dirt and potatoes on as the plants grow. Do the vines just continue to grow up or do you eventually cover them with dirt?
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by Tetra Grammaton Cleric » Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:15 am

Yes, it will work.
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by razi » Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:40 pm

neat!
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by spacecase0 » Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:02 pm

potatoes have a great land area VS amount harvested.
due to plant killing fungus and the like, it is not a good plan to trust it to always get you food,
remember the Irish potato famine.

they are my number one backup food to grow if my food supply gets cut off.

also remember that potatoes grown from actual seed are more resistant to failure.
collect seeds from tiny green fruits that grow near (and after) the flowers.
I don't think anywhere sells the seeds anymore.
http://www.reneesgarden.com/ use to sell them but no longer do.
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by XtraBright » Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:29 pm

Works but can be made much cheaper.

Use some empty non-UV degradable plastic bags (i use 100 liters bags that once contained small insulation gravel) and roll them down from the open side till they are about a foot high.

Fill with earth, plant potatoes and slit some holes close to the bottom (excess water drainage).

When the plant grows roll up the bag a bit and add earth, continue every week till harvest.

Harvest: slice bag, collect potatoes, shovel earth away (or mix with fresh earth next year and reuse).

I planted them today, may provide some pictures tomorrow (already dark outside).
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by filip » Mon Apr 13, 2009 9:55 pm

spacecase0 wrote:potatoes have a great land area VS amount harvested.
due to plant killing fungus and the like, it is not a good plan to trust it to always get you food,
remember the Irish potato famine.
From what I remember, the Irish potato famine had more to do with bad economics than actual supply issues.
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by Ricky Romero » Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:20 pm

I am absolutely doing this.

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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by stimpy321972 » Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:53 pm

I, also am thinking of trying this.. just to be a little more self sufficient
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by PCP » Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:04 pm

Yay potatoes.
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by Emberfox » Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:32 pm

Hmmm... isn't that technically 4 cubic feet? ;) Uhoh, another idea to try this year! :lol:
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by spacecase0 » Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:48 pm

Emberfox wrote:Hmmm... isn't that technically 4 cubic feet? ;) Uhoh, another idea to try this year! :lol:
you are right, the math is a little off...
if you convert it to square feet it would be 4 times 4, and I think that is 16 square feet.
if you get all "cubic feet conversion" happy, then it is 64 cubic feet, but the leaves are higher than the box, so it would likely be double than that. :)
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by Emberfox » Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:14 pm

That's a lot of space for tubers to grow in. I am very tempted to try it.
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by E » Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:07 pm

hmm. so if they dont sell potatoe seeds, and i live no where near where they grow potatoes, what does one do?
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by Ricky Romero » Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:21 pm

You buy what they call "seed potatoes", just a regular tuber with some sprouting eyes. cut it into quarters, plant the pieces and watch it grow. That's about all I know until I do some research.
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by AgentBlack » Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:31 pm

i've seen this done since i was a kid with old tires. layer the taters and tires, then just remove one tire at a time or knock down the whole damn thing for harvest.
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by Kaylan » Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:10 pm

If you check the lifehacker article, they link to the original source - there's tips for using seed potatoes in there.
• Cut apart larger seed potatoes, making sure there are at least two eyes in each piece you plant.

• Dust the cut pieces with fir dust, which seals the open ends from bacteria.

• Fertilize with 10-20-20 fertilizer at planting and a couple of times during the season.

• Water so that the plants are kept at an even level of moisture.

• Don't plant in the same area in consecutive years or use the same soil to fill your potato box, as potatoes can attract various diseases.
Interesting stuff! I like the idea of being able to steal potatoes from the bottom during the growing season, instead of having a metric buttload all at once. Definitely want to give this a go sometime.

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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by Tetra Grammaton Cleric » Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:25 pm

Kaylan wrote:If you check the lifehacker article, they link to the original source - there's tips for using seed potatoes in there.
• Cut apart larger seed potatoes, making sure there are at least two eyes in each piece you plant.

• Dust the cut pieces with fir dust, which seals the open ends from bacteria.

• Fertilize with 10-20-20 fertilizer at planting and a couple of times during the season.

• Water so that the plants are kept at an even level of moisture.

• Don't plant in the same area in consecutive years or use the same soil to fill your potato box, as potatoes can attract various diseases.
Interesting stuff! I like the idea of being able to steal potatoes from the bottom during the growing season, instead of having a metric buttload all at once. Definitely want to give this a go sometime.
The "stealing potatoes from the bottom" thing is refered to as "bandicooting" down here.

Ricky, this is one of those things ZS has hiveminded recently that would be really good for your "Save a family with a $1000" thread.
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by Ax-Man » Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:07 am

I like this. Not much use in an apt. Can't wait to get a house. *bookmarked*
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by Kaylan » Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:48 am

Well, there's a theoretical question for our experienced potato growers - could you possibly set something like this up over a container so that it would be more practical for the renters, apartment dwellers, etc?

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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by sasa134 » Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:57 am

I have grown potatoes in my back yard (not garden, just a concrete yard) in large planters and just using shop bought potatoes which have begun to sprout. As the flowers begin to show just add another layer of dirt, this way you get a higher yield.

you could, in theory, do this indoors if you have room for a large planter and a sunny window.

another good way, if you have space, is to use car tyres. as the potatoes sprout add another tyre with more dirt. an easy way to get a high yield with little space taken up.

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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by maddmatt » Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:17 am

Tetra Grammaton Cleric wrote:
Kaylan wrote:If you check the lifehacker article, they link to the original source - there's tips for using seed potatoes in there.
• Cut apart larger seed potatoes, making sure there are at least two eyes in each piece you plant.

• Dust the cut pieces with fir dust, which seals the open ends from bacteria.

• Fertilize with 10-20-20 fertilizer at planting and a couple of times during the season.

• Water so that the plants are kept at an even level of moisture.

• Don't plant in the same area in consecutive years or use the same soil to fill your potato box, as potatoes can attract various diseases.
Interesting stuff! I like the idea of being able to steal potatoes from the bottom during the growing season, instead of having a metric buttload all at once. Definitely want to give this a go sometime.
The "stealing potatoes from the bottom" thing is refered to as "bandicooting" down here.

Ricky, this is one of those things ZS has hiveminded recently that would be really good for your "Save a family with a $1000" thread.
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We call taking the bottom potatoes "graveling" around here.
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by herbalpagan » Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:26 am

I'm planting mine in tires this year for the first time. I guess it's the same principle.
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by Ax-Man » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:21 am

sasa134 wrote:I have grown potatoes in my back yard (not garden, just a concrete yard) in large planters and just using shop bought potatoes which have begun to sprout. As the flowers begin to show just add another layer of dirt, this way you get a higher yield.

you could, in theory, do this indoors if you have room for a large planter and a sunny window.

another good way, if you have space, is to use car tyres. as the potatoes sprout add another tyre with more dirt. an easy way to get a high yield with little space taken up.
But how do you take the bottom potatoes?
Kaylan wrote:Well, there's a theoretical question for our experienced potato growers - could you possibly set something like this up over a container so that it would be more practical for the renters, apartment dwellers, etc?

Well I "could" try something like this on the balcony, but I suspect the weight of it would be an issue. Maybe something small scale... I may try this.
How long does it take for the bottom potatoes to be ready for the plucking?
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by spacecase0 » Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:49 am

filip wrote:
spacecase0 wrote:potatoes have a great land area VS amount harvested.
due to plant killing fungus and the like, it is not a good plan to trust it to always get you food,
remember the Irish potato famine.
From what I remember, the Irish potato famine had more to do with bad economics than actual supply issues.
the potato famine was caused by potato blight
it was a crop failure and had nothing to do with economics other than they had not diversified the food sources that they had and they could not afford to import food either.
without fungicides you can loose your entire crop, so just like with stock investments, diversify your food supply if you can,
so grow 3 or more types of potatoes if you can.
I usually get potatoes from the store, and then just plant them.
seed savers exchange has a great selection of potatoes and they are shipping them now ! it is spring time.
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