The Great Potato Experiment

As some of you know, earlier this spring, I undertook an experiment of growing potatoes in a bucket. Well, the time has come to harvest and eat these purple beauties and I thought I would take a moment and report on the results.

We started on April 11 with a five gallon bucket and plastic trash liner, gravel for the bottom, purple potato eyes and potting soil. This was our experimental procedure.

We also used 2-twenty gallon containers as our normal procedure.


A month later (May11) of spring rain and sunshine, both experiments showed equal growth.

A little snag occurred late May with excessive rains and we had to drill extra holes in the bottom of the five gallon bucket despite the holes in the liner and gravel on the bottom.

By June 11 growth was remarkable and blooms were intact in all three containers. Flowers are an indication that tubers are forming beneath the ground and its important to keep the soil well-watered.

Once the blooms have disappeared, you should wait 2-4 weeks before digging up potatoes.


And now for the experiment of the 5 gallon bucket versus the twenty gallon container. Check out the comparisons below.

1-Five Gallon bucket yield

2-Twenty gallon containers yield

When comparing the size and ratio yield of both buckets, 1 five gallon bucket lined with a trash bag produced an equal amount of lovely purple potatoes in comparison to the 2 twenty gallon containers. Both buckets contained too much clay which limited the size of the potatoes. But not the quality of the taste, they were delicious!

I will definitely repeat this experiment in the fall adding more sand to soil ratio . Hopefully this will yield larger potatoes. This is a fun and easy experiment for the whole family to undertake. It is a manageable garden activity for small areas and children love the results of growing their own potatoes. 

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Patricia Gordon says

If I can get my act together and caught up before fall, I’m doing this!

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