Thursday, October 15, 2009

More On Potatoes

It's still a mystery why my potato box experiment was a failure. Fellow blogger H2 came over with her new flipcam on the day I took the box apart--in search of my advertised 100 lbs of tubers--to shoot this short video.

As the clip ends, we're heading to the roof to see how my SIPs planted with sunchokes, aka Jerusalem artichokes, did. A preview of what we found can be seen in this picture.

I'll post that clip next.

[Updated 11,04.09. I'm not the only one who can't get them to grow in boxes. Rob, at One Straw, had the same poor results.]


Richard said...

Yeah, I hate to hear that, but at least it makes me feel better.

We planted at least 2-3lbs and harvested enough to two people to have boiled fingerling potatoes as a side dish. Very tasty, but probably not all that sustainable :)

Based on what you suggest might have been your problem we will change how we do it this year. I really want some home grown potatoes!

Good luck!

Bruce said...

Hi Richard,

Do you have any idea why it didn't work for you? Was it the kind of potato you planted? I've read that only Late Season potatoes should be used in mounding towers.

It's frustrating not knowing why the plants didn't produce.

Thanks for the comment.

Mud Songs said...

Man oh man, I would be so frustrated after putting so much work into it and getting that yield. I got about 7 pounds out of my potato tower, but nothing grew above the first level. Very disappointing.

However, I've done a bit of homework and I think I know what we're all doing wrong -- maybe. I've written about it in detail over at Mud Songs if you want to check it out, but I think it comes down to carefully covering the stalk as it grows -- doing it immediately while the stalk is still soft. Only an inch of growth should poke through the soil -- just the top leaves -- until it reaches the top of the tower.

I'm tempted to try it again next year, but I don't know...

- Phillip

Bruce said...

Hi Phillip,

Thanks for passing on your potato tower results. You've got a great blog, too.

I might try growing in the tower again this year now that I have some idea on how I can avoid last years failure.

Mud Songs said...

I might give it another try too. I know it's a risk, but it would be so satisfying if it actually worked. I'm going to move the tower to a sunnier spot, choose the right variety, use the best composted soil I have, and then check on it every day.

I've spent too much time researching to give up on it now. I gotta do it.

Great site you got going here, by the way. You're on my list.

- Phillip