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Growing Potatoes in the Middle of Winter

17 Dec

Before I begin, readers PLEASE leave a comment and share my blog. This Wednesday I will award a $ 10.00 gift card from my favorite seed supplier, Botanical Interests. One lucky person who comments this week, or subscribes to the blog will be chosen. It is my way of saying thank you for reading my blog and my books.

I fancy myself a lucky gal, lucky to have friends such as Billy Albertson and Mr. Thomas. Both gentleman are expert gardeners and sometimes, when I’m paying attention, I pick up a thing or two.

I haven’t written much about Mr. Thomas, primarily because he made me swear I wouldn’t. So to his friends and family who might be reading this blog, please don’t tell. Mr. Thomas has a top-secret proven method of growing potatoes year round. For me not to share would be, as we say in the south, a sin.

We have all reached in the potato box and uncovered something that looks like this.

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Coral-reef like appendages protrude from potatoes. Gardeners refer to this growth as “eyes.” Left unplanted, the potato will shrivel and die. But wait, you can turn these unsightly potatoes into tasty taters in a few simple steps.

After cutting away the fleshy part of the potato, as seen in this picture  place several cups of dirt in either a hanging basket, or a Topsy Turvy tomato planter. Image

Use enough dirt to fill half the container. Then scoop a small hole and press the potato into the dirt as shown.Image

According to Mr. Thomas, moisture is the key to growing potatoes during the winter. While I am afraid of applying too much water, Mr. Thomas reminded me that potatoes require a lot of moisture. His advice: place the container in the sink and water until liquid comes from the drainage holes in the container. After watering well and allowing the container to drain, place it in a sunny location, or hang the container beneath a light.

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As you can see. His advice works. Now that the plant has sprouted I will apply a small amount of dirt to the original potato. You should do that as well. I left it uncovered so you could see the stages of growth and development.

When I asked about pollination, Mr. Thomas told me that when tiny blooms appears, he gives the plant a shake. He believes this assists the pollination process. If you’re like me and are continually searching for ways to organically feed your family, try planting a couple potatoes. The only think you have to loose is unsightly tubers that you’re going to already going to toss in the trash.

Renea Winchester is an award-winning author of the book In the Garden with Billy: Lessons About Life, Love & Tomatoes, and the soon to be released sequel: In the Kitchen with Billy: Farming, Friends & Fried Bologna Sandwiches. Copies of In the Garden are available through her website and electronically.

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8 responses to “Growing Potatoes in the Middle of Winter

  1. Angie Kinsey

    December 17, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    I had no idea you could grow potatoes in the winter!

     
  2. hicksp11

    December 17, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Now why didn’t I think of that!?! Genius idea. Thank you for sharing this great tip with us. One more reason to believe that gardeners are the smartest people on the planted…or at least the most creative.

     
  3. Veggie Val

    December 17, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    “Coral reef-like appendages” … I love your writing, Renea. And do count on me to retweet and repost. And count me in for the contest! Botanical Interests are the folks with the gorgeous artwork on the packets, right? T’anks for the ‘tater tip, too!

     
  4. Carolyn Herndon

    December 17, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    I love this idea. Are you supposed to grow the potatoes indoors or have to put them outside in the cold?

     
    • Renea

      December 18, 2012 at 12:41 pm

      Carolyn, They stay indoors with you in a sunny location, or beneath a grow light.

       
  5. Nancy Garry

    December 18, 2012 at 11:28 am

    I love this information Renea. Although we store a lot of our potatoes over in the winter, I would love to just reach in a growing container and pull some more out!!!! of real “soil” It’s the farmer in me that loves to dig out potatoes year round and I just happen to have some blue potatoes (at least I hope they are) smile… in a sack by the kitchen, I sense a wonderful project about to begin. And I will even try making my own version of a growing bag! I believe that some of our feed sacks would do the job and be a wonderful recycling project.. I owe you a few if our contraptions work! Thanks so much for sharing this. I’m still on the look out for “hardy version” potatoes that will grow deep in the soil. I’ve seen a special years ago on Alaska homesteaders on GPTV that grew potatoes in 40 degree weather but still trying to drill down and find that show. Seems to me they were in trenches many feet deep, with straw and other bedding and windows to trap solar heat but before I dig 6 feet trenches, I’m with this method! God bless you for the share and all your great writings!

     
    • Terri

      March 28, 2014 at 7:38 pm

      That’s what I use, I save all my feed sacks.

       
  6. Debbie McMurry

    January 4, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Love this idea for winter growing! Thanks for sharing and will try it as we love to grow veggies.
    Love your blog and your book!
    Your a dear and bless you.
    Debbie

     

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