Country Lore: Grow Potatoes in Biodegradable Boxes

Cardboard boxes make great vessels for growing potatoes.
By Mary Swindle
February/March 2007
Add to My MSN


Content Tools

Related Content

Albuquerque Company Turns Landfills into Fields of Beauty

Growstone makes breakthrough, high-performance hydroponic growth mediums and soil aerators from disc...

Get a Head Start With Chitting Potatoes

To make the best use of potato-growing season, use the technique of greensprouting.

Harvesting Sweet Potatoes

After a summer of growing sweet potatoes, fall is the long-awaited time to enjoy the fruits of your ...

Can I Plant Potatoes in November?

A reader asks about when to plant potatoes in Zone 9.

The Irish potatoes that I grew in raised beds were healthy and stored well, but building a raised bed can be costly and requires hard work. I wanted an alternative that was easy to build, inexpensive, useful and attractive.

My company recycles hundreds of cardboard boxes, many of which are the same shape and size. Last spring, I collected several boxes, lined them up in the garden and planted potatoes in the bottom third of the box using a light soil mixed with mild organic fertilizer. As the potatoes grew, I added more soil. The potatoes grew beautifully. I planted herbs and flowers around the boxes, and it looked so good that my neighbor is going to add some to her garden.

The boxes were free, attractive and will biodegrade at the end of the season. Plus, new ones can be set up next year in a different part of the vegetable garden to help rotate the crops. The top flaps can be closed to protect the tender plants from a late frost. It is easy to build up soil around the growing potatoes; harvesting is also easy. You can either reach in for new potatoes, or peel the biodegraded sides away at the end of the season.

Mary Swindle
Charlotte, North Carolina 








Post a comment below.

 

pamela p
6/5/2011 12:45:12 PM
Re: growing potatoes in boxes. Do you have photos? A more detailed description of the boxes and process of growing them? Here are some of my specific questions? What size box? How many potatoes per box? Where keep the box (sun/shade/protected, etc.)? What varieties of potatoes? Can use this for other root veges? Fertilizer? How long for harvest? And any other details you can think of to tell me! Sounds great! Glad I found your column/newsletter! Thanks! Pamela








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.