From the balcony to the backyard, there’s a method for everyone to grow some of their own potatoes. Originally from South America, these small balls of goodness contain high vitamin C (amongst other nutrients) are one of the only carbohydrates you can grow yourself and there are literally thousands of varieties to choose from.
Our latest Crisis Gardening video shows you three ways you can grow your own. You can watch it now here.
1. The pot (or hessian sack, tree bag or maybe even a pillowcase)
This is the method for people with tiny amounts of space. Think balcony, courtyard or perhaps you’re renting and aren’t allowed to dig up the lawn.
You can buy a “potato bag” from a nursery, or use a hessian sack, tree bag or really probably a pillow case. Please note, I’m yet to try a pillow case, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for one season only (it’ll break down quickly).
2. The in-ground method
If you’re starting with lawn, this involves a fair amount of digging and weeding. It’s perfect for folks without access to lots of resources to build a no-dig garden. Due to covid-19, it can be tricky to source big loads of mulch and/or compost – so we really wanted to show you this method as well.
3. The no-dig method
This is our preferred method as it looks after, and fosters fantastic soil health. Wherever possible we always work towards a no, or minimal till approach to gardening so we minimise/eliminate how much we disturb the soil profile. BECAUSE, each time you dig the ground you’re releasing carbon into the atmosphere and destroying the structure of the soil. Sounds very dramatic – because it is. You can read/see a bit about no-dig gardening over here on a previous Crisis Gardening vlog. You can also watch Mr Peter Cundall demonstrate another version of the no-dig potato bed here. Thanks Pete.
When to plant your potatoes
Late winter or early spring is the normal time to plant them – a few weeks before your last frost. Frost harms the leaf, so you’re looking to avoid the cold snaps. We’ll be planting a crop in then, however we’re also doing one in late Autumn (now) as we don’t have heavy/significant frosts on our property. This crop will grow slowly over winter and we’ll harvest it in spring. It wont be the biggest yields, but it’ll be some of the earliest in the region – and that’s what we’re after.