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Growing 100 Lbs of Potatoes in 4 Square Feet

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posted on Jul, 7 2009 @ 08:59 PM
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Hello friends!

I've recently been intrigued by the whole bugging out when TSHTF, and i found this and couldnt find anything already on it through the search function. It looks very interesting and rather easy. Are there any survivalist that have considered this? The potato box looks very simple and a couple of these would really help out if TSHTF.

tipnut.com...




posted on Jul, 7 2009 @ 09:04 PM
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reply to post by Faderade
 

Thanks! That's a neat little trick!

Gotta try one.



posted on Jul, 7 2009 @ 10:17 PM
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Yep,
I am doing a variation of that now, I ran across it last winter when I was making preps. As far as I can tell, there are a few methods... and the one mentioned in the OP's link is said to produce a pretty good yield.

But, in my readings I have gleaned some info which might be useful when doing such a thing, "build in the box" as I call it. Straight from my notebook:

#1
When growing a potato crop in a container, you must make sure that you don't let it get too out of control.If it grows too much without the addition of fill (dirt) it will become viney (sp) and difficult to cover the new shoots. It is best to keep the lower 3rd of the stalk covered at all times, and mound up the dirt as necessary.

#2
It makes a difference which spud you are using. I have heard that the russets do not do so well in this setup. I have no data on this yet though.

Now, I planted russets in mine... in the box that was 16x16 inches square, they took off really fast, and I had a hard time keeping up with adding fill dirt as it grew. Right now the container sides are built to about 3 foot tall.


Cheers!
T-



posted on Jul, 7 2009 @ 10:17 PM
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Folks have also used a stack of old tires for quite some time. The only drawback is that pulling the larger potatoes out of the hollow of the tire can be a pain. Further, it is necessary to cut drain holes in the bottom sidewall.



posted on Jul, 7 2009 @ 10:23 PM
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whats the best climate for potatoes? do they survive a frost or in snow?

inquiring minds want to know




posted on Jul, 7 2009 @ 10:41 PM
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Potatoes can grow about anywhere the growing season is long enough. In my experience, loamy or sandy soil is best. Heavy clays and stony soil make it harder for the tubers to develop (and for you to get at them). Potatoes can be 'stored' in the ground (undug) so long as they do not freeze. However, they are available for critters to consume. There are ways of also storing vegetables (primarily root crops) in trenches. I have never done it, but I have some reference materials about it. It seems labor intensive, and once you uncover part of your store, you have to pull it out and use it up.

When you dig your potatoes, be careful not to bruise them. A bruised potato will rot. If it is in contact w/ another potato, it too, will rot and so on. Try to cook damaged potatoes first. Store your freshly dug potatoes in a cool, dark place. A box with sawdust or straw will work. The filler will protect the potatoes, keep them separated, and keep them dry, without drying them out. After a period of time, some may appear shriveled. So long as they are not rotten, they are good to eat.

As you are digging, don't over look the 'baby potatoes'. Some call them 'new' or 'gravel' (grabbel), but they are good stuff. Also, those smaller potatoes can be your seed potatoes for next year, as can the larger ones, cut up. When planting, remember you only need one eye per segment planted.

So far as basic gardening is concerned, check with your local Ag Extension agent (if in the US), or search the web for 'Victory Garden' literature from the Second World War. Much of that was aimed at city folks who were starting from jump so far as agriculture was concerned, and it is very low tech.

edit for clarity

[edit on 7-7-2009 by Viking04]



posted on Jul, 7 2009 @ 10:55 PM
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yeah we already have about enough potatoes growing to last a lifetime..lol..ours are just in the ground so we have to dig them up, but that lil contraption looks much more handy!



posted on Jul, 7 2009 @ 11:19 PM
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Excellent post, S+f.

I just fired up my first garden this year. My potatoes failed. My green chile and jalapenos are having a rough time. My squash and corn are kicking some serious ass. My green beans seem to be living. I have been harvesting an insane amount of crook neck and zuchini (spelling) squash. I have so many tomatoes and squash, I have been hooking up all types of random people with veggies, It feels good to make people happy with fresh veggies.

I got scared with the economic situation and decided to try to figure out how to garden if I expected to survive. My parents have 5 acres that are ditch and well irrigated. We have it easy plenty o sunshine.

I am going to try the box o' taters method and see how I do. That is really great for people that live in the city! Again great info.



posted on Jul, 7 2009 @ 11:42 PM
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Ok...so I think the best idea so far has been the tires...I hvae done this and it works. I also think that in an urban environment in a SHTF situation who would think twice about a few stacks of old tires with "weeds" growing out of them in the back of some old shed or on the side of an old garage....spread them around a but and nobody would be the wiser. Just my opinion.



posted on Jul, 8 2009 @ 08:29 PM
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I'm doing something similar to this for the first time this year. The only difference is that I used one inch chicken wire instead of boards. I think the construction was easier, but one of my potato vines got out and IDK how to fix that without redoing the whole thing and i am so not not not gonna do that.
oh well i'll just keep filling it with dirt and try to keep the escapee covered.



posted on Jul, 9 2009 @ 02:59 AM
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reply to post by Faderade
 


Great thread S&F. This looks like it would be a very good method for growing potatoes for city dwellers with very little growing area. I only have room for about 6 tomato plants, 6 pepper plants and 3 brocolli plants. It would be great to be able to grow a good amount of potatoes also. I wonder if there is enough time left to start one now and yield a good amount before winter arrives ? Does anyone know how long it takes to grow potatoes ?



posted on Jul, 9 2009 @ 03:17 AM
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Originally posted by Viking04
Folks have also used a stack of old tires for quite some time. The only drawback is that pulling the larger potatoes out of the hollow of the tire can be a pain. Further, it is necessary to cut drain holes in the bottom sidewall.


I've done this before, too - it strikes me as a better option than the wooden box because tires aren't hard to find (some places will pay you to take them away), they last forever, and they tend to retain a bit more heat than the wooden box - helpful for the early/late frost thing.



posted on Jul, 9 2009 @ 11:10 AM
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reply to post by Faderade
 


Thank you for the link and idea. I'm starting my preparations for next year and this will be one of my projects. I have a feeling we may all really need our gardens next year.



posted on Jul, 9 2009 @ 02:52 PM
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What do you think the best type of potatoes are for this method? I read not to use Yukon in one of the links to this article. What are you all using out there???

I wonder if sweet potatoes would work well? If so I might build two!

I'm thinking about making one with hinges and maybe siding or some other material that won't deteriorate as fast as wood. I think I'll also paint it black so it can stay warm in the fall.

[edit on 9-7-2009 by on_yur_6]



posted on Jul, 9 2009 @ 04:50 PM
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reply to post by on_yur_6
 


As you are in OK, I would suggest that you call your local Ag Extension agent and ask what potato variety does best in your area. Ag Extension is a great resource for folks here in the States. They can provide you with information, education, and often services, such as testing soil samples for you.

Speaking generally, when purchasing seeds, and planting stock, if one does not have experience growing in your home area, as above, contacting the local Extension agent can help with garden planning. If that is not an option, I would buy my seed (to include sweet potato slips and seed potatoes (Irish)) from a local farm supply store. They are more likely to have varieties suited for your area.



posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 08:08 AM
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Originally posted by chise61
reply to post by Faderade
 


Great thread S&F. This looks like it would be a very good method for growing potatoes for city dwellers with very little growing area. I only have room for about 6 tomato plants, 6 pepper plants and 3 brocolli plants. It would be great to be able to grow a good amount of potatoes also. I wonder if there is enough time left to start one now and yield a good amount before winter arrives ? Does anyone know how long it takes to grow potatoes ?


Most potatoes are around 90 days. I'm trying a blight resistant cultivar this year that is supposed to be 120 days, but I'm not having much luck. It's a variety from Maine that seems to have trouble in the heat down here. Plus it's a dry year. At least some of my missed Yukon Gold spuds from last year sprung up.



posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 09:10 AM
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I think that a yield of 100lbs of potatoes from a 2'x2' container is hugeley optimistic. While I applaud anyone who can get this kind of yield, I would advise members not to base their preparedness planning on such estimates.

To maximize your crop of potatoes, you need very rich soil with plenty of organic matter (compost / well rotted manure), plenty of moisture, and good fortune regarding pests and diseases. Long term, you also need to consider replenishing your seed stock, as diseases can build up in your potatoes over the course of a few years.

My advice would be to start and maintain a sizable compost heap with a good balance of nitrogen/carbon to give you a good growing medium for your potatoes, and fill your tyres or containers with this to give yourself the best yield.



posted on Jul, 12 2009 @ 12:28 AM
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Great info here indeed!


I would agree with Paul in his above post with regards to planning one's sustenance based on the estimate. I will tell you why, in a brutally honest kind of way...

It takes alot of work, (gardening in general) and while it is fun to plant some seeds and watch it all grow into stuff that will feed your belly, you have to factor in mother nature... bugs, critters... weather... etc.

Meanwhile back at the ranch:
I learned a little something from my secondary spud stack that I had setup for tires... those things concentrate some serious heat.
I forgot to soak it down one morning, and came back to dead and wilted growth, within the course of a day.

So just a note to all tire planters out there, keep it wet if it's in the dry summer sun.

Thus far, I've been bombarded by all of mother nature from hail to total earwig infestation, heat cold... and one spud plant remains. Sad really, because I am an Idahoan and you would think I would be better on the knowledge of it all. :lol

cheers!
T-



posted on Jul, 12 2009 @ 06:57 PM
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I use a stack of tires as a composter. It works great so far. The heat just speads up the whole process.



posted on Jul, 12 2009 @ 10:46 PM
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reply to post by exile1981
 


Great idea! That deserves a star!

I wish I would have came across that before I went out and built a wooden one.

Afterall, tires last forever right?

Couple of questions,
Do you just stack more of them on top as you fill it up?
Is there any specific way of retrieving the compost and mixing it?

T-



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