Growing potatoes from the grocery store - Success!

Can you reliably plant grocery store potatoes? Most people caution against it....or say if you are going to do it, then at least plant organic potatoes.

This year, I decided to give it a try. The plan was to buy organic yukon gold potatoes in January and let a few sprout eyes.

Then in January, some of my non-organic russets started sprouting eyes.
Never one to waste, I put them in an old egg carton in the window and let the eyes grow.

A few weeks later, I grabbed a bag of....nonorganic.... yukon golds and saved a few for seeds. This was, of course, the wrong way to do it right?

Since we have wireworms in our soil, I planted the potatoes in boxes.
These were old flower boxes - containing part soil,  part potting mix. I composted inside them last summer and covered them with leaves over the winter.

The potatoes went in the ground on March 31, 2015.

They came out roaring!
They just looked so great. Big, Green, Alive! They stayed like this for a few weeks. Then as it started to become nice and hot, they did this....
I think this might be blight? Maybe it was because I never fertilized them. I thought fertilizer was supposed to cause scab? Or was that manure? I don't know. I tried to water them almost everyday, but the soil was always dry. So dry it pulled away from the box. Container gardening is hard....

I wondered what was going on inside, and I finally couldn't take it anymore. On July 20, 2015, I dumped one of the russet boxes out (there were 2 russet, 1 yukon gold.)

Nothing would come out.... so I had to dig a bit.

It turns out the soil was pretty dry. And the box bottom had completely rotted away.
This is what was inside the dirt:
There were quite a few little potatoes, but fewer than I think is possible. I think I planted too many plants per box. They were very dirty, but I found no evidence of wire worms. When I cleaned them up their skins all rubbed off:
Skin is overrated.... Actually, this means they are too young. Not too young to eat, but too young to store. So I do need to let the rest mature, then cure for awhile with all their dirt on, then I can store them, wash them, eat them, as usual.

I steamed them and mashed them up. They were good little potatoes.

I will let the other two boxes fully mature. I am guessing just a few more weeks. But knowing that the boxes are rotted out, I am only going to be able to move them once, so I'll wait until I need the boxes moved to get the last potatoes.


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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate all your tips, advice, and well wishes!

Angela

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