Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

Wordless Wednesday: Watch Out! Pregnant Lady with Power Tools Coming Through.

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

There’s a review coming on our new friend, the Mantis tiller but I know everyone really wants to see this. For my neighbours who thought weed whacking while pregnant was worth gawking at, here’s what pregnant tilling with a gas powered Mantis tiller looks like.

Ta da! New beds in the old cow pastures for tomatoes!

Project 365: week twenty six: June 25th, 2011 – July 1st, 2011

Friday, July 1st, 2011

June 25th, 2011 Hazel meets a skunk.

June 26th, 2011 Rebecca picks strawberries in the garden.

June 27th, 2011 Potato blossoms.

June 28th, 2011 Mint for more quinao salad.

June 29th, 2011 This is what summer looks like at our house.

June 30th, 2011 Squash blossom.  I think its a patty pan but really it could be almost anything.

July 1st, 2011 Arugula growing in my favourite container.  I’ll thin it out by eating some of it for lunch.

Wordless Wednesday: Arugula Growing in Eavestrough.

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

After seeing a tutorial on growing greens in “gutters” over on apartment therapy we had to try it.  Here is our arugula growing in some eavestrough along the side of our porch.  Tastes great and it’s a great use of previously unused space, which just makes more room for carrots in the garden. We turned a bunch of it into Shana’s arugula pesto. Delicious!

Internet Excitement! Clawfoot bathtub potatoes are a hit!

Monday, June 20th, 2011
Much excitement on the blog this weekend. Our clawfoot bathtub potatoes are a runaway hit!


This post about growing potatoes in containers:
http://www.cubitsorganics.com/2011/06/how-to-grow-delicious-potatoes-in.html


That was also posted over here on Julia’s goat-notes:
http://goat-notes.blogspot.com/2011/06/grow-your-own-potatoes-with-laura-watts.html


Went from twitter, to treehugger where Colleen wrote up this nice little post about our bathtub of potatoes:
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/06/turn_an_old_bathtub_into_potato_planter.php


Which then ended up on Apartment Therapy’s reNest which exploded my blog. Ah! This is a site I read every single day so to see Rebecca and I along with that extremely heavy bathtub & kind words was a great treat.
http://www.re-nest.com/re-nest/gardening/planting-potatoes-use-an-old-bathtub-149314


To clarify a few things, the tub is positioned so the drain is slightly down hill and there are two layers of loosely stacked bricks at the bottom.  In our climate we have never had issues with sogginess but I can see how you might.  We have typically used the tub for beets and carrots, especially at our old apartment where we were worried about heavy metal contamination in the soil. Since we moved we’re no longer worried and now are on very sandy soil they go in the ground.  Since potatoes are such nutrient suckers, they are in the grow bags this year and the tub is full on greens like mizuna and a bunch of beans.

e=”font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;”>Growing up, my mother also had a spare clawfoot tub which she kept all the laundry waiting to be folded in.  Later on it was in my brothers’ room and it made a great bed for teddy bears.  So I guess the love of the clawfoot tub is breed right into some of us, and repurposing too.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaways at the end of the two original posts, there’s a few days left and we’re giveaway an awesome book on container gardening along with some great companion seeds for potatoes.

How to: Grow Delicious Potatoes in Containers

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Potatoes are absolutely one of the easiest things to grow and you can plant them in just about anything.  

For years we grew them in a series of old garbage cans that we had drilled holes in and even in a big flower pot in our old kitchen.


Then we moved on to growing a clawfoot bathtub full of potatoes which I somehow don’t have a photo of.  Hey look what I found! Photos from last year of me tending to the potatoes with a baby on my back!

This year its full of beans and greens.


This year I’m reusing some grow bags that were given to us and I have them growing in a completely neglected space.  It’s the retaining wall of our front yard and neighbours parking space.  There are some hanging and some just tucked behind my bicycle.





So to plant potatoes first you’ll need some seed potatoes.  You can either buy these specially or use ones from th
e grocery store that have grown eyes.  Its best to go organic as some grocery store potatoes have been treated so they wont grow eyes, but really most will work especially if you gently wash them. Be careful not to scrub off those eyes, that’s where the shoots are going to grow. 

This year we’re planting a combination of organic heirloom seed potatoes including Russian Blues and Purples as well as Rose Finn Apple fingerlings and a bag of organic red potatoes that sprouted on us by accident.


You can either plant the whole potato or cut them up.  It’s a matter of personal preference.  I cut mine in half, making sure there is at least one eye per piece and then leave them in a dark spot for the cut to heal over night. 


The next day, you can start planting.  I like about 4 inches of soil under them and about 4 inches of soli above them.  You do not need to be tidy.  Throw them in willy nilly.


Potatoes need about 6 hours of sun a day. I have normally tucked them away somewhere sort of cool and find they fill a less than perfect corner of the garden. These ones are in a planter in front of the composter.


As they grow, you will add more soil, maybe every two weeks I add a shovel full or so.

After anywhere from 2-4 months the leaves will turn brown and die.  That’s how you know its time to harvest! Use your hands if possible as a trowel can really wreck the tender new potatoes. I have just dumped the entire pot over on the patio in the past.  Quick and dirty.

Planting, growing and harvesting potatoes are all excellent activities for kids.  You really can’t mess it up and digging for them at the end of the season is like a little treasury hunt. Also I haven’t met a kid that wont eat a potato so its an excellent activity to show where our food comes from.


Now a little give away.  Use the comments to tell us your favourite food to grow in a container for a chance to win a copy of Lara Lucretia Mrosovsky’s An Illustrated Guide to Growing Food on your Balcony along with three packs of carrot, dill and leek seeds from Cubit’s.  This combo perfectly demonstrates companion planting with potatoes in that if they taste good together, they probably grow well together (ie potato leek pizza).


step by step recap
  1. Find a large container with good drainage.
  2. Prepare your seed potatoes.
  3. Plant your potatoes in well draining soil.
  4. Ongoing water and basic care.
  5. Add more soil.
  6. Harvest!
  7. Eat!
So, what’s your favourite food to grow in a container? Let us know in the comments along with your email or twitter handle so we can contact you.

Winner will be chosen by random on June 30th, 2011.