This is a great idea I will be experimenting with this year in my garden. I usually plant my potatoes in my raised beds, then cover them with black ground cover after they reach about 5 inches or so, then in fall I remove the liner and dig my taters. However with this, it would seem easier, just because you tip over the barrel and gather them. Easy! I am also thinking that I might get a higher yeild this way. Something to try anyways.
Not to mention if your limited for space, this would be great for patio gardening! If you try this, please let me know your results this fall, would love to here how they turned out! I will be posting my results too.
1. You'll need a plastic trash can. Drill 8 holes in the base and 8 more around the can about 8 inches from the bottom for drainage.
2. Pour 12 inches of all purpose potting soil into the can. Mix it with a shovelful of garden compost and some well rotted manure (but not to much, as potatoes are prone to scab if to much manure is used)
3. Place 2 seed potatoes on top and cover them with more compost and soil. (Just use seed potatoes to start, as your sprouting buds from the grocerie store doesn't produce great crops). Water daily except in really rainy weather. (but not wet or soggy or your potatoes will rot!)
4. When their shoots are about 8 inches above the compost, add another layer of compost and soil to just cover them. Keep doing this until you have reached the top of you container. (the potatoes will continue to push their way, thru the soil and produce potatoes from the sides of the plant)
5. When the plants flowers stop blooming and the plant starts to turn yellow in the fall, it is time to harvest. Just dump over your barrel and reap your rewards!