Grow Potatoes Organically II
There are many useful and practical ways to grow potatoes organically, and we’ve already outlined some of them. Remember, the proposed organic methods for growing potatoes are:
The organic growing methods are:
- Raised Bed Method
- Straw Mulch Method
- Hilled Rows Method
- Wood Box Method
- Wire Cylinder Method
- Grow Bag Method
- Garbage Bag Method
We already described raised bed, straw mulch and hilled rows methods. Here, we will describe the other methods for growing potatoes organically.
Wood Box Method
This method requires some craftsmanship, but it’s very rewarding. To grow potatoes in this way, you need to build a wooden box first. The box should be square in shape and bottomless. You may use wood from discarded pallets if you like. Make sure to build the box in such a way to allow for added slats can be screwed to the sides as the plants grow and you add more soil to the box.
To plant potatoes using this method, you should go the same way as for the raised bed method. As the plants grow, make sure to add more soil on the top. To harvest potatoes easily, remove the bottom slat and remove the potatoes. You can screw the bottom slat again when you finish harvesting your potatoes. Or you may simply tip the box and dump out the contents to harvest potatoes easily.
This is another good method if the garden soil is of poor quality. This method produces a good yield.
The drawback of this method is that it requires some effort and craftsmanship to build the wooden box, not to mention time to construct it.
Wire Cylinder Method
This is another method ideal for crafty people. Use hardware cloth with ¼ inch mesh to make a cylinder. The cylinder should be about 18 inches in diameter and about 24 inches tall.
To plant potatoes, put several inches of soil on the bottom. After this, put 3 to 4 seed potatoes on the soil and cover them with 3 inches of soil.
Make sure to continue to add soil on top as the potatoes grow. Harvesting is easy: simply lift the cylinder and pull the soil back to get to potatoes.
This method is good for areas with incessant spring rains. Cylinder mesh will provide excellent drainage and it will prevent soil from becoming waterlogged. It’s also another good technique if the garden soil is of poor quality.
A bad thing about this method is that it gives a limited yield. It might be because the soil and compost mixture dries up too quickly so the plants don’t receive enough moisture.
Grow Bag Method
This is an interesting method for growing potatoes organically. There are many commercial growing bags available. They are typically made of heavy, dense polypropylene.
To grow potatoes using this method, place a few inches of a soil-compost mixture on the bottom of the bag first. After this, plant 3 to 4 seed potato pieces in the bad and cover them with 3 inches of soil.
As the plants grow, add more soil to cover them, until the bag is filled. Harvest is very easy with this method: all you need to do is to turn the bag on the side and empty it.
This is a great method for those who have limited space or no garden to grow vegetables. You can place bags almost anywhere, such as patio or driveway. This is also a great choice for situations where garden soil is of poor quality. Another advantage is that these growing bags can be used over and over again over many seasons. They are typically dark in color so they capture solar head and speed the early growth of your potatoes. Growing bags also make harvest very easy and the yield is very good, concerning the small space the bag takes.
The downside of this technique is the price. Commercial growing bags tend to be expensive (over 10-12 dollars per bag). Also, you will need many bags to get a decent number of potatoes.
Garbage Bag Method
This is a nice alternative to commercial growing bags, and it works in a similar way to the previous method. Instead of a commercial growing bag, you will use a large plastic garbage bag. Follow the same instructions as the ones provided for the growing bags. The only difference is that you will need to punch some holes in the bag for drainage.
Another thing to do is to roll the top edge of the bag to help it stay upright or else it will sag and spill out. Harvesting is simple: simply rip the bag and dump out the potatoes from it.
This method offers many of the advantages of the commercial growing bags. Harvesting is easy and this method can be used almost anywhere. You don’t even need a garden – you can grow potatoes in this way on your patio. This is another method great for places where soil is of bad quality. Also, just like commercial bags, garbage bags capture solar heat and speed up the early growth. Another good thing is that, unlike commercial growing bag, this is a very cheap choice.
The downside is that the yield is not as impressive, probably because the thin plastic allows the soil to heat up to much, which limits tuber formation. Also, this is the least appealing choice when it comes to aesthetics.