Potatoes in Containers

Have just tipped out two big containers (Saxon and Karlena) to harvest the pots but there are no more pots that I would have got had I grown them in traditional rows.
On examining the plants you can clearly see a big root ball at the base which is where the potatoes were, but the stem then rises in a big green rope to the surface but with no signs of additional side roots as I was led to expect would happen.
It may well be that I did not water enough but I also wondered whether there was some other more fundemental problem such as the wrong type of potatoes to do this with.
Anybody any ideas?
Thanks Steve
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Steve Newport wrote:

I'm not sure what the problem is. I've been growing potatoes in containers for years and I've only gotten a single central axis of spuds and usually get between six and 12 fist size spuds (Yukon Gold).
Anything planted in containers has to be watered frequently. If the weather is warm or hot, I water them everyday. You can see the soil pulling away from the sides if it's left too long (and that's an indication that it's way too dry). Did you use potting soil? If you used regular soil, it wouldn't hold enough a lot of moisture.
To me, the advantage of potatoes (and tomatoes) in containers is saving my plots for other crops and not spreading the diseases those two love to leave behind. For potatoes, it also makes harvesting so much easier.
..
Zone 5a in Canada's Far East.
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My dad told me that his grampa used tires to grow potatoes... To increase yield, he stacked them over time and used a mix of sand and composted strawor hay.
He'd start with two tires. Once the plant grew well above the top one, he'd add another tire and a layer of the composted soil.
Then another
and another
He'd end up with a tier of spuds in each and every tire, and the composted soil mix kept water requirements down since it acted as mulch. He stacked them 6 deep by the end of the season.
I've never tried this, but it makes sense!
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OmManiPadmeOmelet wrote:

The only problem is that water accumulates inside the tires and the spuds rot. It's hard to get proper drainage in those tires (I've tried - it wasn't worth the hassle).
However, the same idea would work by piling 2x8s in a two or four foot square.
..
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Sounds good. :-)
Or cinder blocks.......
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You could also use a large tomato cage instead of tires and the excess water would run off. I used tires once and they rotted also.
Dwayne
wrote:

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Top-posting corrected)

tel.net says...

Perhaps punch several holes in the (bottom-facing) sidewall of the tyres?
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<lol> Ever tried to cut holes in tires?
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snipped-for-privacy@THE-DOMAIN-IN.SIG wrote:

Tried it. With the tires piled on each other, it was near impossible to ensure all the water was out. I used a 1/2 inch spatula type drill bit to punch large holes in the sides and treads. No go and it wasn't easy work.
In the end, I would have been better off getting out the circular saw, cutting a piece of 2x8 untreated lumber into 2 foot sections and nailing them together...then piling them up 16, 24 or 32 inches high. It would have taken ten minutes and cost less than $20 for the wood - and the assembly would have been reuseable.
I plan to try that technique next year.
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I wonder how well using plastic lattice would work? Wood lattice would rot.
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OmManiPadmeOmelet wrote:

I'm not talking lattice. I'm talking about 2x8s - solid lumber. With proper drainage, it would take 15-20 years for it to rot. (Longer if you took it apart every year (to get at the potatoes) and restacked them in a different order).
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I understood that, the lattice concept was a new suggestion and would be simpler and quicker for those of us that are carpentry challenged. <G>

Plastic lattice should last indefinitely?
Around here, solid lumber will rot in about 5 years in the open like that. The ambient humidity levels are too high.
And there are abundant agricultural termites.
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OmManiPadmeOmelet wrote:

Termites? Wow. <picking feet off floor>
No termites here. We actually have few pests - no snakes, racoons, deer, ground hogs. The worst gardening pest I have to account for are slugs and hares (that couldn't climb a 2 foot fence if their lives depended on it).
We do have a wet climate (the most precipatation and fog in the country) but it's rarely humid to the point that it's oppressive. (The ocean also has a breeze).
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Heh. ;-)
While I thank the nature gods I've never had house termites, I have found them out back destroying any wood things that touch the ground unless it's railroad ties or heavily treated lumber.
And that's not suitable for growing food items. <G>

My dogs would make short work of bunnies.
Gleefully. :-(

This is the South...... ;-)
South Central Texas.
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A wire frame... maybe chicken wire or something.
Cool idea! :-)
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