The potatoes (Anya a salad variety) were planted on 9 April 2009. There are 4 tubers in peat free compost with a drainage layer of coarse gravel below. The dustbin (trashcan) has four, 2 inch holes in the base which are covered with netting. To see how to make a dustbin potato container click here.
Update 14 Apr 2009
Another dustbin has been planted potatoes, this time they are Sarpo Mira.
Update 26 may 2009
It has taken just 6 weeks for the potatoes to fill the dustbins. The tops have now grown over the top of the bins which are now full of compost. The bins were moved out of the polytunnel to make space for tomatoes.
Update 19 June 2009 The Sarpo have just begun to flower and it looks like there are flowers on the Anya. The tops are looking good with no signs of blight.
Update 2 July 2009
The tops of the Annya are dying back so I decided to have a look for tubers. Digging down with a hand I found a few potatoes of reasonable size, the total weight was 0.68 kg. They were mostly towards the bottom which is disappointing. I will feed both bins again and see what happens.
Update 15 July 2009
The tops were showing clear signs of blight and dying off so I decided to empty the bin. The total harvest was 2.12kg which was disappointing. I am not sure what went wrong but it was probably lack of water.
Potatoes need water to swell the tubers and it looks like the water was not getting to the bottom of the bin. Maybe the answer is a perforated watering pipe the same depth as the bin.
The growing time was short at just 10 week, double that might well have produced a better crop. The other bin containing the Sarpo Mira is still going well. The tops are showing some signs of blight as are the two beds of Sarpo.
The weather is perfect for moulds – warm and damp. As Sarpo are extremely blight resistant I will leave them for a while. In previous years we have had blighted tops but perfect tubers so I am not that concerned… at the moment.
The final yields were disappointing with only around 6kg from the Sarpo bin. I know that they are capable of much more than that and think that the poor yield was down to overcrowding and lack of water. Sarpo are heavy feeders and require a regular supply of nutrients to do well.
The blighted tops.
Sarpo Mira, not many tubers on the roots.
What was surprising was that most of the tubers were in the bottom
18 inches (46cms) of the bin.
I don’t normally do this but this reminded me of the many moles that
inhabit the garden. Sorry!!