We love potatoes around here, so of course we want them to be one of our main crops!
But, they can take up a lot of space (and time) when they are planted directly into the garden.
So, how do you save space growing potatoes?
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The very first summer we lived at our homestead, we tried growing them in the garden and it was a let down. They took up about 1/3 of our gardening space!
I’m sorry potatoes but I also like tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, peppers, and the list goes on!
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Planting them in the garden also means that you need to hill them as the vines emerge.
Hilling means to continue pulling soil up around the vines, with the potato hills getting taller as the crops grow.
It’s a pain.
And because it was a pain, I did a poor job of keeping up with it. That led to a small harvest and even smaller potatoes.
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So, How Do You Save Space Growing Potatoes?
Friends of ours are avid gardeners, who actually live in town on a lot about the size of 2 of my gardens. And that includes the house!
Needless to say, they are pretty great at saving space when it comes to gardening. They like to use tires for their potatoes.
Yep, tires! Put a tire on the ground, fill it with soil and compost and add your seed potatoes. When the vines grow through the soil, add another tire and more soil and compost!
Well, I didn’t have tires. But what I did have was plenty of chicken feed bags!
You could always purchase growing bags like these, but I like free and I hate wasting something that can be re-purposed!
To start growing your potatoes in bags (or tires!), cut your seed potatoes the night before to let the edges cure. Make sure to have 2 sprouts on each chunk.
The next day grab your feed bag, cut a few small slits in the bottom to allow for drainage.
Roll the the bag down so that it is about 6 inches deep.
Fill the bag with a mixture of soil and compost.
Add your potato chunks with the sprouts facing up and cover them with more soil.
Water regularly and as the vines emerge, roll the bag up a bit more and add more soil/compost.
When you run out of bag, continue to water regularly. When the vines naturally die, your potatoes are ready to harvest!
I like to put my bags in the wheelbarrow and cut them open. Fish out all of your potatoes and add the soil back into your garden!
SO MUCH EASIER! Seriously, hoeing and digging and forking through the soil to find potatoes, not fun! At all!
Looking for more gardening ideas? Check out more here!