Trash can spuds for the gardening rebel.

My gardening rebellion knows no bounds.

Remember how last year I just stuck the potato seeds in the ground with no method? Well this year, I did something even worse.  Something no honorable gardener would ever do.

Unless you’re me of course.

Instead of ordering certified disease-free potato seeds like you’re supposed to do, I allowed a few organic potatoes to sprout in my closet.


Now, how’s a girl supposed to turn something like that down?  It’s so willing to grow!  So eager to fulfill its vegetable destiny!  And in my defense, I did order potato seeds, but they were back ordered until the middle of April.  Girlfriend ain’t waitin’ till the middle of April, man.

So, I risked it, and I just planted my own potatoes (a few of which were saved from last years crop).  I may, or may not, regret this decision.

I simply cut the sprouting potatoes into smaller chunks, leaving 3-4 ‘eyes’ on each piece.  Then, I let them dry out at room temperature for a day to help deter rotting in the ground.

This year, we are trying out that ‘ol trashcan method of growing our potatoes.  I splurged and purchased two $9 trash cans from Home Depot, which brought our potato trash can count up to three.  On top of this, we also had an old wooden trunk.  All of these were prepared in the following way:

1.  Holes were drilled in the bottom to ensure good drainage.  Don’t want no rotten potatoes, man.

2.  Rocks were put in the bottom, only a few inches thick, to assist with good drainage.  See second sentence of #1.

3.  Three inches of (not very good) soil and then three inches of decomposed horse manure were added.

4.  The sprouting chunks of potato were placed four to a trash can, buried a few inches down in the soil.  Please ignore my chipping nail polish.  I could stand to have a manicure.

5.  Another six inches of wood chips were poured on top of the soil.

As the potato plant grows up, we will continually cover it with wood chips, leaving only about 25% of the leaves exposed.  This will stimulate the plant to grow up and not down.  The potato tubers can easily work their way through the loose wood chips, thus increasing yields and potato health.  Straw hay can also be used in place of wood chips, if desired.

Our main problem growing potatoes in the ground is that we’ve only been in our rental house for a few years and a) we’re not really willing to spent a lot of time, energy, and money to bring the ground soil up to par and b) our raised beds with healthy soil are only about eight inches deep and are not conducive to piling on wood chips.  Enter trash can spuds.

It’s so fun to be getting all this stuff in the ground already!  Beets, chives, green onions, dill, kale, spinach, arugula, garlic, shallots, potatoes, and peas are already in the ground.  It’s also time for carrots and parsnips, I just haven’t gotten there yet.  Tomatoes, peppers, basil, cabbage, lettuce, and eggplant are all happily growing in the warmth of the office.

If you haven’t got started yet, get our there baby!  The fresh air and soil will do ya good.  

And don’t worry about following too many rules.  Half the fun of gardening is getting to be a rebel.

Ya, that’s right.  A gardening rebel.

Before you know it, I’ll have a tattoo of tomatoes and a pitch fork on my bicep.


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  1. says

    I guess we’re gardening rebels too! Some of the potatoes we’re planting this year are our own home-growns from last year. Can’t wait to hear how your trash can potatoes do!

  2. says

    One year I planted sprouted grocery store potatoes. They were the best I’ve ever grown. I didn’t need to plant them for about five years. The spuds that were missed during harvest got rototilled the next spring and have come up all over the garden each year!
    I’ve been wanting to try a trash can type of method, but haven’t found a proper (free) recepticle. I’m still hunting so we’ll see what I come up with.

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