"100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Discuss lifestyle changes to better survive disasters. This category is for topics pertaining to being self reliant such as DIY, farming, alternative energy, autonomous solutions to water collection and waste removal, etc.

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

Post by thepaleman » Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:18 am

Thanks RickyR.
winnie3k wrote: Also, I noticed in one of these articles that Yukon Golds don't keep growing taters in layers using this technique way ... too bad, because those are my favorites!
ARRRGHHH damn that was what I was going to grow!

But I have the wood and a weekend or two before planting so I'll have these up soon. If I get 2 boxes going and harvest just 50lbs of spuds and sweetpotatoes I''ll be really happy. It's $4 per 5lbs of spuds so free ones can only help. That plus my hens will be laying by then. Also the greenhouse and beehive will be producing so this year should put me a ways ahead on producing my own food.
100lbs of root veggies will last months as well.
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by HossDelgado » Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:59 pm

XtraBright wrote: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).

Another good method is to use old tires, and you follow basically the same "routine" as with the trash bags or the wooden box one. If you use tires instead of wood or trash bags, you can reuse them over and over opposed to wood (which will rot after a certain amount of time) and with trash bags you have to get new ones every harvest time. I didn't mean to put down on your method, just sharing info :)
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by RealZombiesAreSlow » Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:28 am

It seems like tires would leech some nasty stuff into the soil, wouldn't it? I'm not exactly an organic gardener, but I'd like to avoid inadvertantly fouling my crops. Are they anything like railroad timbers (just wait until the worst stuff has leeched out, then they're safe)?

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

Post by bierbrauer » Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:27 pm

RealZombiesAreSlow wrote:It seems like tires would leech some nasty stuff into the soil, wouldn't it? I'm not exactly an organic gardener, but I'd like to avoid inadvertantly fouling my crops. Are they anything like railroad timbers (just wait until the worst stuff has leeched out, then they're safe)?
Watch out for arsenic-treated wood if you're concerned with leeching chemicals! A lot of lumber that was expected to be out in the open for prolonged time frames (like railroad ties) were treated this way to prevent rotting. The EPA phased its use out in 2003, but a lot of the stuff that may be available would most likely date before 2003.

http://www.afhh.org/hhe/hhe_arsenic.htm
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by OneManShow » Sat May 02, 2009 2:31 am

Ok i just came into a stock pile of tires and want to do this. Is there anything i need to do to clean the tires out before i start?
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by Ricky Romero » Sat May 02, 2009 10:17 am

You don't need to clean them out. Be warned, though, that you'll probably have some spuds growing into the hollow of the tire, and it's going to be a PITA to take down the planter at harvest time. A possible solution to this would be to cut the sidewalls away to eliminate the hollow section, leaving just the tread to be easily stacked and removed when the time comes. Although, cutting tires may be easier said than done.
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by andygates » Sat May 02, 2009 3:03 pm

I tried the rolled-down plastic bag trick last year. It sorta worked, in an "I'm glad I don't have to live on that" way.

The main problem was slugs. They get in the bags between the soil and the bag sides, and they eat away at your precious spuds. I lost one sack entirely - they ate the leafy bits - and the others were all badly nibbled. The technique works - it was proved by the Victorians - but watch out for those damn nibbling pests.
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by evil0rphan » Sat May 02, 2009 7:06 pm

I experimented with growing spuds in a 5 gallon bucket last year. I got 1 single spud. And it was smaller than the piece I started the plant on. Hehe. A couple of things I did wrong:

I used a Yukon Gold. I should have gone with a red spud. As was mentioned previously, the Golds don't seem very acclimated to the vertical growth column concept.

The other mistake I made was not being vigilant on covering the plant with soil. The stem matured, and produced no tubers. I also think I harvested too early as well. I waited for the blooms to die off, but the plant itself was still in full life.

Also, on the thing with tires... I recall seeing somewhere that it's better to invert the tire to help reduce the hollow space. Of course, that's not exactly an easy thing either. I think next time, I am going to make a modular raised bed with wood, raising it higher as needed.

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

Post by faerie9 » Sun May 03, 2009 8:14 am

Ricky Romero wrote: A possible solution to this would be to cut the sidewalls away to eliminate the hollow section, leaving just the tread to be easily stacked and removed when the time comes. Although, cutting tires may be easier said than done.
I did this with a cheap jigsaw. Did the job easily.

Also, it's not hard taking the tyre stacks down at harvest time, though not having the sidewalls does mean they grow a bit more evenly I think.
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by winnie3k » Sun May 03, 2009 10:38 am

I've read in a book about permaculture that potatoes can be grown quite successfully in brushy piles--there's a fancy European word for this, but I can't think of it.

Last year we scored a wooden tea chest, about 1.5 feet on each side. I put about 6 inches of soil in the bottom, added some Yukon Golds that had sprouted in the back of my pantry (cut up into sections with about 2 eyes apiece) and then alternated layers of branches saved from our Christmas tree (what? I'm a saver!), soil and very young (still chunky) compost. The potato plants grew really well and quite healthfully, and I got a small harvest (about 5 pounds). I could have easily planted more spuds to get a bigger harvest, but it was an experiment in growing-stuff-in-a-quasi-compost pile.
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by Ricky Romero » Sun May 03, 2009 12:56 pm

Started mine about a week ago. I had some thin-skinned white potatoes growing eyes on my kitchen counter and figured that was a sign. I planted them whole since I didn't have anything to put on the cut surfaces to prevent rot. The next day a coworker who has grown potatoes in the past told me they had to be cut or else the plant wouldn't grow. I waited a couple of days and dug up one of my seed spuds. Lo and behold, the thing had already started to spread its stolons and I even saw some green leafiness in all its newborn splendor. Right now I just have them growing in mounds, but I'll build the box and take pics when the time comes. I have two mounds, so potentially I could have 200 lbs. of potatoes!
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by cjm3fl » Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:41 am

***Bump***

Read through the thread.
Interesting read.

Apartment dweller here and am beginning to research how to grow some food if SHTF and I don't have to abandon my place.
There is a good-sized concrete courtyard (24' wide) separating the buildings so there is very little soil area to use.
Large container-type gardening, hydroponics, and scratch-built greenhouse are what I'm thinking.

Wondering how everyone's experience ended up with this type of tiered potatoe growing?
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by Tangent123123 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:00 pm

We used a couple 55 gallon barrels with holes in the bottom for drainage. They worked great as well and can be used over and over again without worrying about the wood rotting and falling apart.

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

Post by TwistedSense » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:11 pm

Can this be done with red potatoes as well as russets? I get wicked intestinal disturbances with russets so if this can be done with reds that would be awesome.
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by Halfapint » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:16 pm

Russets give you the best food per acre, but if I remember correctly I believe yes you can. Hell grow the Russets anyways and make vodka and trade it if SHTF! haha
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by ZombieGranny » Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:44 pm

http://county.wsu.edu/pierce/mg/Documen ... 2010v2.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Potato Variety Recommendations
Use potatoes for container growing; such as Red Pontiac, Indian Pit, Yellow Finn, Fingerling types
.
In 2008, three other varieties were tested with mixed success
. White Rose and Russet varieties performed pretty well
. Nooksack failed as a container potato; but did very well in an open garden.
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Re: "100lb of potatoes in 4 sq ft"

Post by mindy » Sun Mar 23, 2014 2:51 pm

Very interesting i guess i am off to the hardware store. I get that there are less expensive mythods, but these are actually really nice looking.

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

Post by prtp3warrior » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:25 am

Ah, I am glad I found this thread. Off to give it a shot.

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