Saturday, September 06, 2008

Growing potatoes indoors all the year around

See! It works!


Marica said...

Hi-- I just watched the container potato experiment video. Great! Thanks. I wonder if you could fill in some details for me, as I will be starting up my own potato experiment soon. (I've already transitioned many of my outdoor garden plants to the inside and I'm pleased to say, we will have fresh peppers all inter long!)

Did you only use grow lights? Or did these supplement sunshine, both in terms of intensity and number of hours per day? Did you fertilize? Also, have you tried other root veggies indoors?


Marica (

Rosengeranium said...

Heh, unfortunately it's not me in the vid, it's AlohaCaraMia (YouTube alias) who made and filmed the experiment in Hawai. Do check her out.

I can give you some answers though. As for the grow lights I always try to put my growing stuff in the sun and use the light as a supplement. Unfortunately I'll be forced to place my potatobins in the darkest end of a room so I'm currently pondering the best way to get as bright growlight as cheap and environmentally friendly as possible.

I've grown potatoes in a bucket outdoors and it's easy to overfertilize them. When they get too much 'food' they grow big, lush green tops and no tubers (the plant get money enough to concentrate on the bling so to speak). If you are insecure on how much fertilizer you should give it's better to be tighthanded than to give an extra scoop. It is possible to grow potatoes in 100% straw so the plant won't die or stop producing. I haven't found the best 'foodbalance' for potatoes yet though, I guess I make a post about it when I do.

I've tried carrots and turnips indoors. I overfed the turnips and got lush leaves (edible and nice in stews actually), but the carrots worked pretty well. There are several stumpy or round varieties that works well in an ordinary houseplant pot.

The downside of growing root veggies indoors is that they take up too much space for their yield, at least if you use ordinary houseplant pots. Indoors you want plants that gives a lot on little soil, so plants like chard is a better choice.

mitzi said...

did you plant your turnips from seeds? Also,
Have you ever experimented with led grow lights?
They are supposed to use little electricity.

themanicgardener said...

A question for ya--do you pack the potatoes into your containers the way this gal does? Seems like a mistake to me, but I've never tried the indoor approach.

I'm also leery of sterilizing dirt, which kills off all the micro-organisms. What do you do?

Rosengeranium said...

Mitzi: Yes, I did - I'm try to do this with everything I grow indoors to avoid bringing aphids and other stuff home from a nursery.

I'm about to experiment with LEDlight, but I have a problem to find assembled lamps that are bright enough.

ManiacGardener: I use only one potato, that's enough.

I do sterilize my soil to avoid spreading plant illnesses, then I revitalise it with vermicompost containing microlife. This method is still in the 'birth stadium' so I can't tell how effective it is, but the plants looks happy...