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!


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.


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.


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:


And another layer of soil on top:


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!



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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