About those Potatoes Growing in the Laundry Basket…

Early summer we started a potato experiment: Growing Potatoes in a Laundry Basket.

Growing Potatoes in a Laundry Basket

We were so excited about trying this and it did not disappoint. And while ours didn’t exactly look like the one above, it did grow, grow, grow! So much so that we didn’t  know exactly WHEN you’re supposed to dump them out…er, harvest them. So we made an arbitrary decision that it should happen this week.

My kids were so antsy to see what was in the dirt!

And we were so excited when we started digging and there they were!

I wish you could have heard their squeals when they discovered there were, in fact, potatoes in there!!

If you remember, when we were looking into this method, several homesteaders said a single basket could produce up to 10 pounds of potatoes. Well we certainly didn’t produce that. We did manage to grow enough for one meal for our family. And those taters were GOOD! (They definitely tasted different from store-bought potatoes. That was an interesting phenomenon).

We were also surprised how, after a full summer of growing, they weren’t any bigger than they were.

How cute is that?? lol~ Was it because it was a really hot summer? Or because we didn’t hill the dirt enough? Not enough water? Too much water? Dunno. But we’ll be doing this again next year for sure (with a few tweaks.)

Anyone else try this method? Or have a clue what happened with ours?

We’re still Happy Homesteading!



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20 thoughts on “About those Potatoes Growing in the Laundry Basket…

  1. I think you should have left the potatoes until the vines died, maybe a month or more, then they would have been bigger. I remember on my Grandpa’s farm digging the potatoes the last week of September.

    I enjoy your blog! (and your frankness about the downside of homesteading.)

  2. Yes, we leave them until the plant dies too. Though we also dig some up early, for the tiny new potatoes – they are so delicious. We had almost 10 rows of them though, so no hurry or worry about using them up before they were fully grown.

    I hope you ate the teeny little ones too – they taste like candy, boiled, then buttered and S&P. The tiny ones are the most flavourful.

    • YAY! I feel like something momentous just occurred. 😉 This was one of my favorite experiments this year. And from the sounds of it, we probably dumped them too soon. We’ll do more baskets and leave them longer next year.

  3. Reblogged this on Prepping Made Easy and commented:
    What a great idea if you want an easy way to grow potatoes… Remember to store them in your root cellar or a make shift cellar so that you can enjoy your harvest throughout the winter… 🙂

    I think Im going to try this next year…

  4. Aren’t potatoes amazing! Diggin ‘tatos is my 15 month old’s fav thing to do with dad in the garden. Dad digs them and he roots them out and chucks them in the bucket.

    You can dig them for early potatoes right after they flower, and yes after they die back for main season. We also plant “second early”s after we harvest the first crop of new potatoes – the babies are just two sweet to only get one harvest!

  5. I don’t know what part of the country you are in, but my brother and I didn’t have the best time with our potatoes this year either. It was way too hot. Potatoes set tubers during moderate soil temps – 65-70 degrees. Above that they don’t set well, and tend to stop altogether if the temps are above 80. Since you were planting in a basket, which is set above ground, the soil temp. in the basket would have been higher than the in-ground temp. Also, potatoes require a couple of inches of rain per week. If they weren’t getting that much, the potato wouldn’t have the ability to bulk up as much.

    • What a great lot of information! It was very hot this summer although I did water them frequently. So maybe the combination of heat, and harvesting too soon landed me with the tiny potatoes.

  6. What a great idea… I had been looking into growing potatoes in a container, but a laundry basket? Can’t get any simplier than that! I did notice from the picture (before you dug out your potatoes) that the soil level wasn’t all the way to the top…. From what I read, if you keep putting more soil mixture in your container, you will cause more potatoes to grow….

  7. Probably too hot for me to do this in my neck of the woods (Central California). We’re still in the high 80’s/low 90’s here as we close in on Halloween. Looks like a fun experiment though so I may try to see if I can find a shady spot somewhere in my backyard to try it next year. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  8. we had a lot of extremely small potatoes this year. I know it was the heat, but I admit, i was somewhat disappointed in the yield. of course, they were quite delicious, if somewhat smaller than hoped for.

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