Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “Build a better mouse trap and the world will beat a path to your door.” However, if the Garden’s potato experiments are any indication, maybe those tried and true methods for growing potatoes really do work the best. Perhaps sometimes there really isn’t a better mouse trap, but it’s still fun to experiment.
The Garden’s January 25, 2013 blog “One Potato, Two Potato, Hopefully More” described several different methods of growing potatoes, including the old time “trench” method, last year’s “trash can” method, and this year’s “potato bin” method. Guess which method produced the most and largest potatoes? Yes, it was the trench method used by generations of farmers to grow potatoes.
As you can see by the pictures, the potatoes grown in trenches in the Garden’s raised bed were larger and many more were harvested.
The potatoes grown in this year’s newly constructive bin where slats could be added to the side of the bin and filled with soil as the potato plants grew, did well, but produced smaller and fewer potatoes than those grown in trenches.
One reason for this, DCMG Jim Dempsey hypothesized, might have been that the potatoes grown in the raised beds in trenches were on a drip system, while those in the slatted bin received water only once a week.
Never one to give up easily (and who knows, someone may really invent a better mouse trap), Jim said that next year the slatted bin will be moved to a place where it too can be on the drip system and receive more water. The experiment continues………
Do you have your own methods for growing potatoes? And how did your potatoes do this year? Let us know. We would love to hear from you.
Pictures by Starla