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Homeschooling The Well Prepared Child: Growing Tators In Buckets

Monday, December 29, 2014

Growing Tators In Buckets

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     You know that amazingly awesome neighbor I have? Well, last summer, we helped her pull up her red potatoes and harvest them. When we were finished, she sent us home with a big box of home-grown red potatoes. We ate most of them but there were a few little ones that I stored under the cabinet in the kitchen. As you can see by the photo, they are crazy covered in eyes! So we thought, why wait for spring? Why not try planting them in a 5 gallon bucket now? 
     Zoey got on the computer and googled 'How to grow potatoes in a 5 gallon bucket.' She found an awesome site called Five Gallon Ideas.com. There was a lot of great information on this site. We made notes in her Scientific Discoveries Notebook as we read and watched the videos. We are going to do more research later on and add that to her notebook as well. The hubby brought us in a bucket from the shed and I drilled holes in it while Zoey looked at me terrified. No, I am not as quick and efficient as Daddy, but I got it done by myself by golly! She insists Daddy needs to help next time. I told her we didn't need a man for anything. She just shook her head and laughed at me. 
    Above,  you can see her Scientific Discoveries Notebook and our computer. Also in the background is the radish we picked from the garden today. We washed it up and added it to our dinner salad. We even added the stems and leaves. Did you know radishes leaves are more nutritious than the radish it's self? They have a little kick to them, and need to be ate a little younger than what we picked it at. Some of the leaves were a bit of a tougher texture than we like in our salad. We like the flavor though and radishes are super easy to grow. 

    Finally, we went outside. There is a spot in our front yard where we put fresh tree mulch, many many years ago. It has broke down into a very good growing medium. Zoey put the composted mulch into the bucket about 3 inches deep. Then she placed 4 of the potatoes she chose into the bucket and just barely covered the pototoes with more soil. 

     When tops start to form and peek out, we will cover them up with a little more soil, repeating until the bucket is full. We talked about the 5 elements that plants need and decided with this project the sun would not be needed since we will be covering the tops as it grows. We did place the bucket closer to the stove than the window in our garage. We think the warmth of the fire will help it to grow. We will make sure it does not get too hot though. 

      We found our 5 gallon bucket on the side of the road. It was food grade so we decided it would be a good bucket to grow in. How can you tell if your bucket is food grade? Wiki How says to check the number within the arrows on the bottom of your bucket. #s 1,2,4, and 5 are all safe for food, with the best being #2 for food grade. Check out that link. Lots of good info there! You can buy food grade buckets online HERE or check out your local bakery. A lot of times they will give you their buckets for free or sell them to you for a low cost. 

Well, wish us luck! :D
We will update you soon! 

Have you ever grown potatoes in a 5 gallon bucket? How did it do? We LOVE your comments!  

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