Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Growing Potatoes In Straw

This year I grew potatoes for the first time. I read a few articles about growing potatoes and learned lots of different ideas. You can grow potatoes in a box, in a barrel, stacked up tires and of course directly into the ground. My father-in-law said when he was a child his family grew potatoes in straw. It sounded interesting and easy so I decided to go with it.

Select a nice sunny spot for your seed potatoes. Break up the soil and mix in some compost. Simply lay your potatoes cut side down onto the soil/compost mixture and cover with about 6 inches of straw. As your potatoes start to grow and the green plant pushes up through the straw, add more straw around the plant. Keep doing this every couple weeks or so.
Once the green plant starts to dry out and turn brown you can check on your potatoes. Just pull back some straw and your potatoes will be there right on top on the ground. Some of the potatoes had worked their way down into the soil but not very far. There was minimal digging involved. See the potato peaking out?This was my very first picking. I picked some a little earlier so that we could enjoy the smaller ones.
I waited a few more weeks till the plants died completely and pulled them out. Unfortunately by the time I picked the rest of the crop, animals had tunneled all through the potato beds and chewed on about 50% of them. I was so bummed!

I am not sure if I will grow potatoes again next year or not. If I do, this was definitely an easy way to grow them. I am a little nervous since I had problems with critters. I may just buy from a produce auction instead. I guess we will see when the time comes.

Do you grow potatoes? If so, what method do you use?

This post is part of the Frugal Tuesday Tip hosted here at Learning the Frugal Life.


  1. my church and I both used tires for the potatoes. I'll have to check with Jan about the yield at church. They didn't work out well for me.

  2. I haven't tried growing potatoes yet, but I have a weakness for those little fingerling potatoes, and they're so expensive. Maybe I'll give it a try next year. I like your no-dig straw method.