It was a Grand Experiment and an Awful FAILURE!

Sad to say, sometimes you try something and you hope for the best and it fails spectacularly! So it was with our potato towers. We started out optimistic about the possibility of growing potatoes in feed sacks. We thought we could so we thought we would try.


Our hopeful start in May - five bags, look, little potato plants!

We set up five feed sacks against the fence in the paddock garden, filled them a couple of inches full with good potting soil and then added seed potatoes. They sprouted and we added more soil periodically to cover up the vines and encourage upwards growth. Grow they did!


Covering the vines - the one on the left has been done, the other two are about to get more dirt.

I watched them and made sure the bags will full and loved how great the vines were. We anticipated a great harvest of delectable potatoes for the table this winter.


Look at how lush those vines got to be!

Alas it was not to be. In late August the vines had died back enough that we harvested three of the feed sacks. Roger put each back into the wheelbarrow.

Roger picking up a sack of taters to empty into the wheelbarrow.

Then, he pulled out the vines and poured them out into the barrow and started going through the dirt, searching for that hidden gold we wanted to see. Alas. The first bagful was a big disappointment.


Pulling the vines out before pouring the bag out. Photo bomb of Cindy the Dachshund in the background. :)

Only three or four tiny potatoes out of that entire bag full left us pretty disappointed. It was about to get worse. He poured out two more bags and all we got for our trouble was a small bowl full of little potatoes.


That's it from three bags of potatoes.

We figured that we must have pulled them too soon and resolved to leave the two remaining sacks until October. We were just as disappointed yesterday, when we finally went through them.


Going through the dirt, fistful by fistful and you can see some of the take in the top right corner. :(

Our harvest was meager and so we will not be trying this experiment again next year. We can now say without reservation that potatoes do not grow well in feed sacks.


This is it! That's all we got from the last two sacks.

We will be building potato towers again next year but in a way we've tried before. In that method, we built a four foot square wooden box and planted in that. We'd add more boards and dirt as the year went on. We did get a nice harvest out of that and so.. it's a proven winner and so, next years potatoes will be grown that way.


This was June 2017 and the wooden potato tower that did work.

This year, we'll be buying potatoes at the store. :( Oh Well, learning to do new things is worthwhile. The failures just teach us what doesn't work so we can concentrate on better ways to grow our garden next year. We'll try again!


Something I've always lived by: If at first you don't succeed, try, try again (but use a different method)


As always, if you'd like to get away from the urban landscape and take in some peace and quiet, come visit Windy Thistle Farm and see how we do things first hand! This weekend is the class on Soap Making and while the class is full, I will be sharing photos next week so be looking forward to that post!


Next class is November 16th - noon to 5pm. - Pies, Pies and More Pies! We'll be learning how to make pumpkin pies from actual real pumpkins, how to make Sky High Apple Pies and a flaky rich pastry crust. We'll delve into decorative borders and tops for pies. We'll be doing all things PIE! If you'd like to join us, the sign up will be on Facebook events, or just leave me a comment letting me know you'd like to attend. This class is $25.00 per participant and you will go home with a pie of your own. Limit 5 people.

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