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Recommendations for containers for growing potatoes?

 
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I've been growing potatoes in containers for a few years now, it works well and makes harvesting so much easier. I'm looking for better choices of containers.

My criteria is that they must be

a) inexpensive,
b) durable,
c) portable,
d) storable (think: in the shed in winter.)

I've tried those cheap grocery bags. They fall apart at the end of the year due to UV. I've tried the bags that feed (such as chicken feed) come in, same problem. I've tried 5 gallon buckets, which at the moment is my preferred choice, but they're a bit unwieldy to store. I've tried recycling boxes, which, because they are lower and larger provide more sunlight, but evaporate more quickly and tend to attract weeds, and take a lot of storage space. I've tried those synthetic bags that one gets when one buys onions in but they are a nightmare to keep irrigated.

What do you recommend that will last me 5 to 10 (or more) seasons?

Thanks!
 
pollinator
Posts: 1781
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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I have one friend who uses old "dead" coolers. She removes the lids and drills holes in the bottom of the coolers. Since she gardens year around, storing them isn't an issue. She successfully grows potatoes, beans, peas, and radishes in them.

Another friend used plastic garden totes, the size of half barrels. Drilled holes in the bottom. Two problems -- they only lasted 4-5 years before cracking and they allowed the plant roots to heat up in the sun.

I've often thought about making my own grow bags out of commercial grade weed cloth, the kind of barrier often used on the flooring of greenhouses. I've wondered if a bag the size of a half barrel wouod work. But I haven't tried it yet. Winter storage would be easy since they could be folded flat. But they might have too much drainage and thus need constant watering.
 
pollinator
Posts: 247
Location: ALASKA
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I've seen several things used for container grown potato's.  Stacked tires, half of a 55 gallon barrel, buckets, garden totes etc.  I am planning on trying the grow bags as an experiment this year.  They are cheap enough, can be had in many sizes (from gallon to over 100 gallon), can be folded flat for easy off season storage, allow for more air and better drainage.  I', going to try growing cantaloupe in in a grow bag inside the GH as our summers aren't really hot enough for outside grown melons.  I might try potato's, but our soil and climate makes for typically easily grown and high yields of tasty spuds with little work so they may stay in the garden and not a bag.
 
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