Sunday, February 20, 2011

another tater experiment-growing in straw/hay

Over the course of the last couple growing seasons, the growing medium (based off of hugelkultur) in the hot tub garden has settled by quite a bit. Faced with having to figure out how to fill the thing back up with soil of some sort and having a nice little pile of mulch hay here, we decided to try growing some taters in there using the straw method based off of the bin method. Theoretically, this experiment should produce a shitpot load of taters because we have seen countless testimonials telling us that they do. I think I will still plant our normal amount of taters though, just in case.

I am using potatoes just as I did last year in my potato experiment. I am planting them about a month early for this area but supposedly the straw will keep things warmer by about ten degrees and the hot tub is very easy to cover on the few real cold nights we may have left. I don't think that things will freeze solid again and if they do , I have lost a couple dollars worth of seed. If it works it is a gain of a nice early harvest of taters that we will be in need of. To get started I just laid the tiny pieces of potatoes on the soil that was in the tub, then they got covered with 3-4 inches of the mulch hay. Lastly, they got watered in.

This should be a fun experiment and I will do periodic updates through the season to see how well or not they do.


  1. Are you able to lift and dump the hot tub when they are all done, or will you have to get in and dig it out to get the taters? I think it's a awesome way to reuse an old hot tub and a cool idea. I tried using those black thick grow bags for my taters two years ago and frankly, it was disappointing. I did as they said and layer the bags with loose compost, straw and some dirt, but in the end, we just got a pretty normal amount of taters for a lot more work! Haha... but still, I do see a lot of people getting great results. I was thinking of using like rainbarrels cut in half as some container gardens this year... and taters are one of my thoughts for them!

    Thanks for all you do on your URBAN HOMESTEAD!!!! You guys inspire me!


  2. we have to dig in to get them out. That is fine as it is easily done without actually having to get in there and we did not start all the way at the bottom with our planting..I am very skeptical on the results but at the same time i have a pile of pallets to recycle and we could build two of the pallet piles for taters.. if i had faith in how well it works i would be able to eliminate having to do them in much needed garden space.. i may just gamble a bit n do it anyway :) hows that new banjo working out.. SWEET win!