Look! It works!! If you’re a beginner gardener (or just don’t have a green thumb), I am absolutely certain now that anyone can grow potatoes and garlic!
In this post, I talked about cutting off the little “eyes” (sprouts) from your potatoes and how to see if they will grow in a dish of water. Check out the pictures below to see my results and progress to date (eyes were stuck in a dish of water on 3/14/2020, transferred to dirt 3/26/2020, and this is what they looked like when I took them to the garden on 4/2/2020)!
It definitely works! The tall plants are the potato eyes that I simply set in a dish of water (changing the water every two or three days); they grew roots like crazy so I then stuck them in this little pot of dirt I had inside. This is ONE WEEK of growth in dirt! I was told to plant them in the ground now. If you look closely at the photo, you can see three very small sprouts that look like onions; those are garlic cloves that sprouted so I took a chance and shoved them in the dirt as well. Again – that’s just ONE WEEK of growth in dirt on the garlic in the dirt as well!
I planted each one in a raised bed because I read that if the dirt is really hard, then the potatoes that grow will be small and possibly shaped weird (which I don’t want). This raised bed is about two feet deep and about 2×3 on the sides and was what I grew zucchini and yellow squash in last summer. I broke up the dirt in it last week and pulled out any weeds that were starting the next day, and then I planted these potato plants in there last night (4/2/2020), putting them about a foot apart. I fit six potato plants in here (exactly what I had in my little kitchen pot). I could have fit nine plants (I have a second pot of potato plants growing in the kitchen), but I want to grow peas to vine up the frame that sets over this raised bed so I left the back row open for the pea seeds which are getting planted today.
I covered the box in thick hay to try to choke out any weeds. I left a little space around each potato plant, and as an afterthought, I stuck a rock behind each plant (just grabbed some from the driveway) in case something gets in there and kicks around the hay; I didn’t want to “lose” a plant and have to look for it. I don’t feel experienced enough to know what’s a plant and what’s a weed, so I wanted to provide a sort of “cheat sheet” for myself – the rocks are behind the potato plants. Anything else that doesn’t look like those six plants will be hand-pulled out weekly (besides the peas which I know what they look like)!
This is what a garlic clove looks like when it sprouts in a pot of dirt in the kitchen! According to Google, you stick them in the dirt, pointy side UP, with just the point barely sticking up out of the dirt. Then just water the pot of them. I did just that, and look – this is ONE WEEK OF GROWTH! I am impressed. The white things at the bottom are roots that the clove has put out. If you live in an apartment and don’t have room for anything else, I am convinced that you can at least grow your garlic in flower pots in a sunny windowsill or on your balcony or porch steps.
I planted these three cloves in a different raised bed, spaced about six inches apart, and I covered them with thick hay as well (though not as thick as the potatoes because I didn’t have a lot of it left for the garlic cloves). These cloves are planted right on the right side of the box in a row so I am not worried about “losing” any of them if something kicks the hay around; I have the hay here to try to keep weeds choked out (hopefully – at least that’s my plan!).
From what I’ve read, now that these are in the ground, I just leave the potato plants and garlic plants alone. They will grow. If it gets too dry, I’ll water them, but otherwise, they will just grow by themselves with no help. I have a bag of purple seed potatoes and a bag of red seed potatoes that I bought, and I’m hoping to get those in the ground this weekend. A YouTube video I watched said to just drop the potato in a hole in the ground and cover it up, and it will grow. The man on the video did say to make sure the dirt was well tilled so I have to do that first this evening. We will find out how easy potatoes are to grow this summer! I’ll report back a few times this summer to show the progress on the potato and garlic plants and the final harvest count on potatoes and garlic bulbs.
This is the start of my Victory Garden. I am quite pleased with myself.