Friday, May 1, 2009

Survival Tip! Grow Potatoes In A Barrel

Now is the time to truly consider growing your own vegetables. But, what if you don't have a large plot to grow a garden? You can grow vegetables in an assortment of containers...buckets, recycled plant containers, old barrels, etc. One vegetable that is EASY to grow and delicious (once again, once you eat one of your own potatoes, you'll not want for the potatoes in the store!...TASTE is back!)is the potato. And, you can grow potatoes in a container...anything from a 1/2 barrel to a full 55 gallon barrel. Here are some tips to get you going:

Choose the size of container/s in which to grow your can be plastic, metal or wood.

Drill holes in the bottom of your container to allow for drainage. You may have to put a screen over the holes once they are drilled to prevent soil leakage, etc..depends on how big you drill the holes! The holes should be about 6 inches apart.

Set barrels on blocks, old pallets, or whatever, to ensure that there is good drainage. And make sure your barrels are in a spot that receives a good amount of sunshine.

Place some gravel in the bottom of the barrel...again, to help with drainage.

Put down at least six inches of clean soil, mixed with a good compost, sand and maybe some sawdust.

Now...plant your potatoes. To plant potatoes you must get "seed" potatoes from a garden supply store, nice neighbor (smile) or feed store...or online. Do not use the potatoes you buy from the store...they will not produce well even though the potatoes grow little "buds". Once you get your seed potatoes, cut the potato into halves or fourths, depending on the size of the potato. But, make sure you have at least 2 "eyes" in each piece of the potato. Allow your cut potatoes to rest for the night and let the cut edges dry a bit. Next morning, place the cut-side down in the dirt and the "eyes" looking up, and push the potato seed down so that the seed is just covered. Water gently. In a couple of days, your potatoes will start to sprout. Let your potatoes sprout about 2-4 inches...then cover the plant with more soil/compost/sand mixture and gently water. Continue this procedure until your barrel is full. Once you see your potatoes "blossom" you know you have succeeded. Then, let the plants die back. When you are ready to harvest, kick the barrel over, and gather your potatoes. Then, enjoy!


  1. Thank you!
    I'm seeding my Burpee Potatoes tomorrow. I bought my 32 gallon trashcans from Lowes, drilled holes in the bottom, and have the soil ready.
    But I would have forgotten to place the cans on blocks for extra drainage.
    Thank you for the final tip!
    That is why I read your posts.