Introduction: Growing Potatoes in Buckets
New, fresh potatoes is a treat. Why not grow them yourself? You don't need a whole field, just a couple of buckets.
2 black buckets (potatoes dislike sunlight!)
a sharp knife
something to make holes in the bottom of the buckets (I used a soldering iron)
Step 1: Preparing the Buckets
First you'll make some holes in the bottom of both buckets in order to drain the soil. It's important because potatoes can rot if there are too much water around them. Once done set one of the buckets aside. You don't need to do anything more with that bucket. This one will be the outer bucket.
Step 2: The Inner Bucket
I divided the bucket rim in 3 parts, 120° each. Then I draw a line vertical down the bucket (a). Then I draw 2 lines parallel to the first line 5 cm (2 inch) on each side of these (b). Then I meassured 5 cm (2 inch) from the top and the bottom and made 2 lines between the b-lines. On the picture I call them c-lines. Now cut out the rectangle made from the b- and c-lines. Finally you'll have a bucket with 3 windows like the one on the third picture.
Step 3: Planting Potatoes
Before I made the buckets I started sprouting the potatoes. First I place the inner bucket in the outer bucket. Then I fill the buckets half with soil. Now I place one potato right in front of each window half the way from the middle to the side of the bucket. Then I fill the buckets with soil, taking good care of the fragile sprouts. Finally I give the potatoes a good amount of water. The soil will pack around the potatoes, so it can be necessary to add more soil. Remember, potatoes must not get any kind of light, they'll turn green and become poisonous (produce solanine). Place the buckets in a light spot, but avoid direct sun. Give the potatoes enough water but don't let them soak.
Step 4: Harvesting
When the potato plant begin to bloom the first harvest is ready. Remove the inner bucket from the outer bucket and take the amount of potatoes you want. Spare the soil that falls out of the bucket. When finished, place the inner bucket in the outer bucket and place the soil back on top of the surface where you took the potatoes. The soil will repack around the rest of the potatoes. It can be necessary to add more soil, avoiding sunlight to the potatoes.
You can continue harvesting potatoes from the same plants until late autumn/early winter.
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