URBAN GARDENER: Potatoes Are Trumps when it come to small space gardening

Who would have thought you could grow a crop of spuds on a patio or a balcony?

Who would have thought you could grow a crop of spuds on a patio or  a balcony?

One of the cleverest uses of space has to be the potato bag. To produce an abundant crop of potatoes in a bag you need to grow long stems. In fact the longer you let the stems grow the larger the crop. To save the cost of a bag you could use a large gunny sack, a sisal type feed bag or a bulk coffee bag. Here’s how it works:

  • Roll down the sides of the bag until it’s about 12 inches high.
  • You’ll want full sun and a leak proof container to sit the bag on.
  • Add eight inches of soil into the bottom of bag and bury the seed tubers in soil.
  • Water every few days so soil stays moist.
  • After two weeks or so stems will peek through soil. Once they are six inches high add more soil or compost, leaves, straw, etc. to cover all but the top set of new growth. Keep doing this.
  • As the soil line gets higher, unroll the bag to match the line.
  • Continue adding soil and mulch up to about two feet from top of bag.

In two months or less the potato flowers will bloom. Harvest two weeks after the entire plant dies off. By then the bottom of the bag should have rotted out  so just grope around in the soil and  choose the small spuds first for a great dinner treat. If you need more details please go online and you’ll find lots of info for growing spuds in tall containers. July is not too late to start so head off to a local garden shop and pick up a few seed potatoes.

If Your Garden Isn’t Warm enough to grow heat-loving basil then try picking up a fragrant smelling pot of this wonderful herb in the local store.

Set the plant in a sunny spot near a window sill and it should produce a steady supply of leaves for months to come.

The trick is to regularly nip off the top greens.

It is astounding to see how quickly the plant reproduces.