Home grown potatoes in a laundry basket

This morning my brain was awake while my body was begging for more sleep. It was the one day this weekend I should have slept until 8:00am, but instead I was planning my day by 6:45.

You see, I had three varieties of potatoes that had sprouted in my kitchen. You’ve gotta love the way organic potatoes volunteer for garden duty!

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Now, I know what you’re thinking – that is one dirty coffee cup. Or maybe you only see fingerling potatoes and are wondering why I claimed to have three varieties.

After reading many posts about growing potatoes in laundry baskets, I decided it was time to try it out. I lined my 1.5 bushel baskets with biodegradable garden fabric, then dug out about six inches of garden bed to nest the basket down into.

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See how nicely it fits between my onions and garlic?

The basic instruction is to fill the basket with 5-6″ of garden soil, then place the seed potatoes into the soil, and cover with an additional 2-3″ of soil. Once the sprouts come up, I’m supposed to add another 2-3″ of soil, and repeat this sprout & cover bit until the basket is full.

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So, I actually did this entire process twice, with sweet potato and yam (orange potato) slips from the kitchen. Only I was too dirty to take pictures by then!

Here is the progress update, June 15:

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And another layer of soil on top:

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Last year when I grew sweet potatoes, they struggled in my rocky ground and at harvest they were ugly and twisted looking. I’m hoping the rock-free soil in the laundry basket method will yield a bountiful harvest of beautiful spuds.

Check back at the end of summer to see what I pull up!

Update!

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Yesterday a hot, September wind blew through my garden, ripping up the fingerling plants, so I decided today was harvest day. The purple fingerlings produced a handful of new potatoes. The gold fingerling were too tiny to eat. But best of all, a healthy crop of sweet potatoes and one yam came out if the other basket!

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