For the past few months I’ve been experimenting with growing potatoes in a potato box that I made myself and I wanted share with you how much of an epic fail it was. Yep, I could not grow one, single potato.
But first to clarify, I don’t think the actual potato box was the problem. I built a pretty nice one and it did function as I wanted it to. You can check out a video on how I made my $20 stackable potato box here.
The 3 Potato Box Mistakes
I think there are 3 reasons as to why I came up potato empty-handed:
1. Not using seed potatoes.
Everything I read recommended that I use seed potatoes. I didn’t. I planted chunks of organic, store-bought russets that were spudding in the pantry. I hoped for the best but, unfortunately got the worst- nothing. I also did not let the potato chunks harden up beforehand. I planted them freshly-cut which makes them vulnerable to rot and disease.
In fact, I wish I had read this About article before I started, What are Seed Potatoes?
2. Trying to grow in the middle of summer
I also made the monster mistake of trying to grow potatoes in the middle of summer. In Florida. We’re averaging 95 degrees here. Any Florida farmer with a lick of experience will tell you you can’t grow now- it’s just too hot. Now I know why even our CSA is closed during this time.
3. Using only compost that is still too active
I have the habit of using my compost before it is fully composted. That means that it’s still active with critters and I wonder if those critters ate my potato chunks. I also heard that you should mix your compost with potting soil or another sandy soil that drains well. I didn’t do that either, I just used compost.
Learn by Experience but Still Take the Time to Read
Gonna be honest, I’m pretty frustrated by this gardening stuff. It looks easier than it is. At some point in my gardening adventures I will take the time to sit down and read and try to do something properly but personally, I learn by doing.
I like to garden willy-nilly and by experimenting. I’m not gonna give up though. You can never unlearn what you learn.
Have you had any epic gardening fails lately? Share in the comments below and thanks for visiting The Wannabe Homesteader.