Growing Potatoes in a Crate-Trial Gardening

I like looking for gardening ideas that would make life easier. There are a lot of ideas out there, but I never know if they would work well for me. So I do a gardening trial each spring. This year I wanted to try growing potatoes in a crate because digging potatoes is hard for me.

Here is what I did

  1. Find a sturdy box or crate. I had an old plastic milk crate that I decided to use. I liked it because it had good drainage and it wouldn’t rot.
  2. I put some straw, leaves or composting material in the bottom to hold the dirt in place. I bought one bag of garden soil and put 1/2 the bag of soil into the box. You could use plain garden soil if you want. Place the seed potato in the center of the box. Some people cut them up, but I never have. Pour the remainder of soil on top. I had about three inches of soil on the bottom and three inches on top.
  3. Place a thick layer of straw on top to protect the tubers from sunlight. Sunlight turns the potatoes green and toxic.
  4. Position the box in a place where it will receive full sun. You may want to assemble the box in its final resting place. I practice no-till gardening so this box had mulch and straw all around it. This hid any growing potatoes from sunlight.
  5. Water the box.
  6. I never did one more thing to my box. I didn’t water it again or add additional dirt as the plant grew. I did this on purpose because it was an experiment and we received adequate rain this year in Michigan.

The Results….I simple picked the box up and dumped it out then swept the dirt and straw into the garden. It was super easy and took about 5 minutes to assemble and less than that to harvest.

I feel like this experiment was a success and plan on doing a few more next year.

Added bonus:

I was able to easily steel a few new potatoes from this box during the summer for a special meal. They were very easy to pluck out of the box.

2 thoughts on “Growing Potatoes in a Crate-Trial Gardening”

    1. Hi Cheryl, it depends on where you are at and your garden zone. I’m in zone 5b and it takes all summer to grow potatoes. Some varieties don’t get very big (like reds and purples) and others do (like russets and Yukons). So part of it is type of potato and part if growing zone. I know that’s not super helpful but my zone is about 3-4 months long so yours should be at least that as well. Good luck!


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