Growing Potatoes in McKenzie’s Potato Planter

Remember I talked about letting Nature guide you with gardening tasks? Well, another sign has popped up. The serviceberries are blooming…it’s time to plant potatoes.

Last year I tried planting potatoes. What a fiasco.

I have a small garden, so I planted a few in my small vegetable patch (6 feet by 4 ft) and I tried out the McKenzie’s Potato Planter for the first time. I wanted to try both methods to see which one would work best in a small garden space.

Potatoes in the garden bed quickly took over my space and I couldn’t grow anything else. Potatoes are space hogs. So out they went.

The Potato Planter was very promising at first. In early May, I folded the plastic planter down halfway, added the soil and then the potatoes. Next I covered the potatoes with more soil. I placed the planter on my back door step: a sunny west-facing spot.

The potatoes took off in the planter. As the stems grew, I unfurled more of the planter and added more soil (just like hilling). In early July the potatoes looked amazing.

 

But then disaster struck. Summer temperatures soared. Even with sufficient water, the potato plants collapsed, never to recover. The planter just became too hot. When I checked the planter for potatoes, there were none.

 

Potatoes do love growing in the sun…but heat in the root zone will kill them.

If I were to grow potatoes again, I would grow the potatoes in less heat-intense site. And since my whole backyard is hot…

 


Written by Cristina da Silva
Monday, April 16, 2012 in Book & Product Reviews

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Comments

  1. I’d not heard of the tie with serviceberries and potatoes; cool. I grow potatoes in a plastic storage tub (with holes drill in). I planted out my seed potatoes maybe a week or two ago. It has really worked for me! If you’re interested, I cover it here: http://gardenfaerie.blogspot.com/2011/07/growing-potatoes-in-plastic-bins.html.

  2. Cristina says:

    I am glad it has worked for you…and it’s an inexpensive solution.

    The thicker plastic of storage tub will transmit less of the heat to the soil, so it probably will work in my garden, which is hot, sunny and west-facing.

  3. DOUG says:

    Try painting the outside of your tubs or containers white. White absorbs the least amount of sun therefore it should help in keeping the roots cooler. Also wrap some white plastic around the tubs or containers leaving an inch or so of space for air to flow around.

    • Cristina says:

      I was trying out the Mackenzie portable plastic potato plant, which was a dark green. The container was a flexible collapsible plastic. A white tub, or a tub painted white would be better!. Thanks, Doug!


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