It’s no secret that growing your own food can be a great way to save money and get healthier food.
But what if you don’t have a lot of space? Or what if you’re not sure how to start gardening? Don’t worry! You can grow potatoes in trash cans!
In this blog post, we’ll show you how to grow potatoes in trash cans using a few simple tips.
So read on to learn more about this fun and easy gardening project!
Potato plants are notoriously difficult to grow. They require a lot of water and nutrients, and they are susceptible to pests and disease.
However, there is one method of growing potatoes that can help to improve yields and reduce the risk of problems: growing them in trash cans.
When potatoes are grown in pots or raised beds, they often produce a large number of small, misshapen tubers because the soil is rocky or uneven. However, when they are grown in trash cans, the roots have more room to spread out, resulting in bigger, healthier potatoes.
In addition, trash cans provide protection from pests and diseases, which can devastate a potato crop. For these reasons, growing potatoes in trash cans is an ideal way to improve yields and ensure a bountiful harvest.
Ready to get started? Follow these steps!
If you want to grow potatoes in a trash can, it’s important to plant them at the right time. After the last frost date, make sure the soil is at least 50 degrees. Potatoes are cold hardy crops, but the cold wet ground may cause them to rot this early. Harvest before the first fall frost.
If it seems like the soil in your trash bin is taking forever to heat up, pull it out into direct sunlight. You may want to consider using a black plastic trash bin or putting a tarp over it to heat it up a bit more, too.
When it comes to growing potatoes, there are two main types: indeterminate and late season. Indeterminate potatoes produce new growth throughout the season, so they are ideal for growers who want a continuous supply of potatoes.
Late season potatoes, on the other hand, only produce new growth during a brief window at the end of the season. As a result, they are best suited for growers who want to harvest a large quantity of potatoes all at once. When choosing a potato variety for growing in trash cans, it is important to consider your own needs and preferences.
If you want a constant supply of potatoes, an indeterminate variety is probably your best bet. However, if you are more interested in harvesting a large quantity all at once, late season varieties may be more appropriate.
Prepare your seed potatoes. Cut them into small pieces, making sure that each piece has at least one “eye.” These eyes will sprout and become new potato plants.
Before you plant potatoes in a trash can, it’s important to make sure the soil is of good quality. The soil should be slightly acidic and rich in calcium, phosphorus, and potassium.
You also want to make sure there’s not too much nitrogen present. Too much nitrogen will produce leaves at the expense of potatoes. You can test the pH level of your soil with a home testing kit available at most garden stores.
If the soil is too alkaline, you can add sulfur to lower the pH. If the soil is too acidic, you can add lime to raise the pH. Once the pH level is where you want it, you’re ready to plant your potatoes.
Simply choose a location that gets at least six hours of sunlight each day and rotate the location where you plant your potatoes each year to prevent pests and diseases.
When it comes to choosing a trash can for potato growing, size is an important consideration. Ideally, you should choose a can that is 20 to 32 gallons in size. This will give the potatoes plenty of room to spread out and grow.
The material of the trash can is also important. Plastic or metal are both good choices, but avoid using a galvanized can, as the zinc can be toxic to plants. If you live in a climate with cold winters, you may also want to consider using a black trash can, as the dark color will help absorb heat and keep the soil warm. Otherwise, any color will do.
Be sure to add drainage holes by drilling several half-inch-wide drainage holes in the bottom and up the sides, about 2 inches up from the bottom. Good drainage is essential to prevent the roots from sitting in constantly wet soil and rotting.
Fill the can about six inches deep with soil. It’s not a bad idea to put a few inches of soil with added nutrients, like potting soil or a slow-release fertilizer, at the bottom of the trash can, either.
Put five inches of compost or potting soil in the bottom of the can, and water it well before planting. For best results, choose just one variety of potato per can. Place seed potato pieces on the soil, spacing them about eight inches apart. Cover the potatoes with two or three inches of additional garden soil, then water thoroughly.
When the vines reach four inches tall, cover all but the top inch with more compost or potting soil. You can also use wood chips or straw for this purpose. Just make sure to keep the potatoes well-watered throughout the growing season.
When growing potatoes in a trash can, it’s important to water deeply once or twice a week. Potatoes need 1-2 inches of water per week, so make sure to check the soil often and add water as needed. You should also care for your potatoes by adding compost or fertilizer to the soil every few weeks.
The best time to harvest potatoes is two weeks after the plants have died back. At this point, the potatoes will be fully mature and their skins will be thicker, making them less prone to bruising. Once the plants have died back, stop watering them. This will help to toughen up the skin and make the potatoes easier to store.
To harvest, simply dump out your trash cans. It’s as easy as that!
After you’ve harvested your potatoes, it’s important to take care of them so they will last. Don’t let them store in the sun too long, as light exposure can cause the potatoes to develop green skin. Instead, brush the soil off and store them in a cool, dark location. If you do this, your potatoes should last for several months. A root cellar or dry basement are both good options.
At the end of the growing season, you can dump the plant parts, including the stems and leaves, into your compost pile. This is a great way to get rid of them and return some nutrients to the earth!
One common problem is that the foliage can be depleted or chewed. This is usually due to beetles or aphids. The best way to combat this problem is to use an eco-friendly spray.
Another common issue is scabs on the potatoes themselves. This is usually caused by low pH levels in the soil. To prevent this, you should plant scab-resistant varieties of potatoes.
Finally, misshapen potatoes are often a problem when growing potatoes in a trash can. This is usually due to the red wire worm. The best way to combat this problem is to rotate crops and not reuse soil.
If you keep these things in mind, you can successfully grow potatoes in a trash can.
Growing potatoes in straw is not only an easy and fun way to get a great crop, but it’s also environmentally friendly. In the traditional method of growing potatoes, farmers till the soil, which loosens the soil and makes it easier for weeds to take root. This can cause soil erosion and damage to the environment. However, by growing potatoes in straw in trash cans, you can avoid these problems.
Straw helps to hold the potatoes in place and prevents them from falling through the holes in the bottom of the can. In addition, it helps to keep the potatoes from rotting by providing a layer of insulation. Finally, straw helps to absorb excess moisture, preventing the potatoes from getting too wet.
It is important to plant the potatoes deep enough in the straw so that they are well-covered. If the potatoes are not buried deep enough, they may be exposed to too much light and heat, which can cause them to turn green and develop toxins. For best results, plant potatoes in straw at least six inches deep in trash cans.
You can add any straw at any time. I like to add it right when I plant, but the choice is yours.
For the most part, and the most important benefits to the plants, straw is usually added shortly before the plant begins to bloom. This helps to keep the potato tubers warm and protected from frost. It also helps to encourage early growth. However, adding too much straw can result in the potatoes being too dry. When adding straw, make sure to leave some space between the top of the potato plant and the straw so that water can still reach the roots.
Unlike hay, which can contain seeds that will germinate and compete with your plants for nutrients, straw is sterile and won’t introduce any new weeds to your garden. In addition, straw breaks down more slowly than hay, so it will continue to provide weed control and moisture retention throughout the growing season.
Straw is also a good choice if you’re concerned about using herbicides or pesticides in your garden. Because it doesn’t contain any seeds, there’s no risk of contamination, making it a safe and environmentally friendly option.
While traditional potato growers may only think of using an in-ground garden plot or raised bed, there are actually many other options that can be just as successful. You don’t even have to have a big trash can! There are other options to consider.
For example, tires stacked on top of each other and held in place with a rebar pole make an excellent container for potatoes. Grow bags or a raised planter are two popular options, as is the idea of planting potatoes in trenches.
Drums or barrels can also be used, as long as they are at least 18 inches deep. For those with limited space, even a small trash can or container can be used to grow potatoes, as long as it is at least 18 inches deep.
I noticed that some of the potato plants in my trash cans had started to die back, so yesterday I decided it was time to harvest them. This was my first attempt at growing potatoes like this, and I couldn’t wait to see how they’d done!
I probably should have waited ’til the plants had all died completely back, but I was afraid I’d wait too long and the potatoes would rot.
I was grateful that most of the trash cans were on wheels, ’cause they were very heavy and I needed to pull them next to my compost pile to dump them out.
I’ve heard stories of people dumping their cans over to unearth dozens and dozens of beautiful, huge potatoes. This was the image I had in my mind, though I knew better than to count on it.
It’s a good thing I’m not easily discouraged! Here was my first can’s findings – four tiny potatoes:
As I continued dumping the trash cans over and digging through the dirt in search of new spuds, I came across several shriveled potato skins that were crawling with tiny little insects.
I couldn’t tell if these were the seed potatoes that had rotted, or if they were new potatoes that had been ruined. I’m pretty sure they were the seed potatoes.
After sifting with my hands and a pitch fork through five trash cans’ worth of dirt, I ended up with 4 1/2 pounds of good potatoes:
I harvested too early… When you’re growing potatoes in trash cans or anywhere else, for that matter, you need to wait until the plants die completely back.
Not only will this ensure that your potatoes are the right size, but it will also allow the skins to toughen up and cure in the ground so you can keep them for long-term food storage.
Have you tried growing potatoes in trash cans? How did it go?
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.