Can I grow potatoes in a metal garbage can if I add some drainage holes? I don't really have anything else.
How hot would it get in there? Never having stuck myself in one with soil, I can't say for sure, but do you think you'd get baked potatoes instead? Again, just making it up, but I am curious to know if it would deflect heat or retain heat.
Yeah, that's probably true... I guess that shoots down my idea :). I'll have to find something else to put them in then. I could always just build a box...
I wondered about the heat too, but people grow them in plastic trash cans, so I'm not sure how different it would be. I have most of mine in some very large nursery pots (black plastic). I'm a little concerned about the heat with mine too, but I'm hoping the cool nights will help moderate the temps. Guess I'll find out...
Could you dig a hole and bury the can about half way? I'd think that would keep it cooler. Or maybe it would help to paint it white to reflect the light away from it?
Here is a link that might be useful: Annie's Kitchen Garden
Good idea, Granny... Maybe I'll try that, but it does get pretty hot up here in Utah during the day (usually above 95) in the summer, so I don't know how much it will help.
Maybe the white paint will help enough though. I guess the only way to find out is to try it!
You're in the same spot I was last year. I was looking for a good way to grow potatoes I a small space. I found the bins I call Build As You Grow bins. If you like, check out my blog page on them.
Here is a link that might be useful: Sinfonian's garden adventure
Yeah I saw your post about those, sinfonian. I got the idea of doing it in a garbage can from that, just minus the building as you grow.
I just don't have much wood around that I could use, and I have 2 old metal garbage cans that are just rotting behind my shed. I have about 5 five gallon buckets full of potatoes that I need to do something with before they go rotten, so I wouldn't mind if they died.
Experimentation is half the fun, isn't it?
Go ahead and try. Just keep well watered, especially on sunny or hot days. My brother's in a dark plastic garbage can died prematurely dur to excess heat in Seattle of all places. Note our AHS heat unit zone is 2, aka having less than 7 days over 86 per year. I bet you get more so be carefull. Good luck and enjoy the experiment!
Thanks! I'll be sure to keep you posted :)
Beware - potatoes do NOT like wet feet. So drainage is important.
Yeah, Gumby. I was going to drill a bunch of holes in the bottom of the can for drainage. Thanks for your input though.
I am going to try growing potatoes in something other than the ground as well! I came across a few ideas: an 18 gal Rubbermaid container, with holes drilled in the sides for drainage; a cardboard box which you can throw on compost pile at the end of the season; or an compost bag, emptied and top rolled down, replace compost as plant grows; commercially available "potato grow bag". Also P. Allen Smith showed growing them in bushel baskets filled with potting soil. (I like any of those baskets I find too much to grow 'taters in them!). I plan on doing at least one box with straw instead of compost/soil. Hope you all have good luck! On the trash can idea, I would question not only heat but access to light by the plant and ease of adding soil by the gardener.
I had more seed potatoes than space in their intended pots when I planted them. I almost did the cardboard box planting, but I didn't have a good place to stash it so it wouldn't look bad (neighbors). The garden area tends to look a little bad often enough, so I figured I'd better find another way. I ended up putting them in the ground outside of the raised beds. I thought the box idea was intriguing though.
Here is a link that might be useful: Tales of a Transplanted Gardener
Good idea with the cardboard... Maybe I'll do that. I do have some of those rubbermaid things, but they are all currently being used. I have a large storage room that is in dire need of de-junking, so maybe I'll find something in there.