Ciscoe's To-do List: Grow potatoes in a garbage can
Growing spuds in a garbage can is fun, and it's something you can do to get your kids interested in gardening. Any clean plastic garbage can will work. Drill at least four 1/2-inch holes in the bottom for good drainage and fill the bottom 6 inches deep with houseplant potting soil. Mix in slow-release fertilizer, or feed every two weeks with high-phosphorus, soluble houseplant fertilizer. Buy starter potatoes at a nursery, and plant them whole, 5 inches apart, just under the soil surface and water them in. The vines will soon begin to grow and as soon as they reach 4 inches tall, cover all but 1 inch of the lowest vine with compost, wood chips or potting soil. Continue to cover the vines in this way until they grow out of the top of the garbage can. Once the vines bloom, you can reach in and pick the biggest spuds you can find. These are new potatoes and they won't store, but they are delicious for that evening's dinner. Wait to do the main harvest until vines die back completely in fall. You never know what you'll get. My champion harvest was 42 softball-size Yukon Golds. Then for some reason, the next year I planted the same variety and got exactly 9,347,012 spuds smaller than pingpong balls.
I've got an idea to get two cans, one for us, and one for the food pantry. Gardeners, plant a row for the poor.
I'll be trying out these Red Pontiac Potato 2 Pounds Organic Certified Seed Tubers from Hirts Garden.