A while back, I read this great post about growing potatoes in a barrel, and have wanted to try it ever since. It looked really easy and fun, and I’m a pretty big fan of potatoes. I had really good intentions of doing this last Spring, but if you know much about my last year, you’ll know that March 2012 wasn’t a great month for me in terms of taking on new projects. But I got it together this year, and I’m hoping for a good result.
Apparently, the two varieties of potatoes that do really well in Central Texas are the red LaSoda potato and the white Kennebec one. I like red potatoes fine, but decided to try the Kennebecs this time around.
Good ol’ Red Barn had plenty of seed potatoes, so I bought about a pound.
I also bought this cedar barrel from Amazon, for about the same price as a used whiskey barrel:
A few other folks who bought this barrel said it was pretty flimsy, but mine is great. The boards are slightly loose when the barrel is empty, so that once you add dirt, the whole thing is pushed outwards a bit and the boards interlocked perfectly.
On February 20, I followed the instructions from the blog post I referenced at the top of this post, and cut up the seed potatoes into several pieces, leaving at least 3 to 4 eyes on each piece, then stuck them in the soil.
Finally, on March 11, I saw the first seedling poking through:
As of today, I have 10 potato plants.
The tallest ones are about 5 inches right now. When they’re all at least 6 inches tall, I’ll fill in some soil around them til they’re about three-quarters covered in soil, and I’ll keep doing that as they grow. This is supposed to yield a lot of potatoes by the end of the season. Can’t wait to see how well it works for me.