Fairport-E.Rochester Post
Who is this 'Iron Belle'?
Growing Potatoes in a Barrel
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About this blog
By Kerry M. Davis
Hey there, my name is Kerry (thatís me in the picture up there) glad you are here. I have been a health nut for a while but never truly realized my passion for it until a few years ago. I have been a massage therapist for over ten years and known ...
Chronicles of an Iron Belle
Hey there, my name is Kerry (thatís me in the picture up there) glad you are here. I have been a health nut for a while but never truly realized my passion for it until a few years ago. I have been a massage therapist for over ten years and known for my ability to Ďtortureí people. The CIA wasnít hiring so I pursued an Infant Massage Therapy certification in an attempt to figure out when things start going awry as we develop and stopping them before they cause trouble when we are adults. Person after person would come to me seeking relief from their pain and all I could do was iron it out with a massage, the rest of the work was up to them and I soon found that not too many go to the gym and know what to do or have a personal trainer who gives them a good program. A major contributor to this issue is the lack of communication from the client to the professional out of ignorance of their own body all because we are so busy with the other demands of life to even listen to what our body is telling us. This blog will give you that understanding.

All that background stuff brought me to today: a certified personal trainer who LOVES kettlebell training (my fave move is the Turkish Get Up), loves running, and loves acting like a kid (I have three!). I hope you enjoy the journey with me as we tackle understanding our bodies and how to get the most of your time at the gym, beat injury, figure out what muscles are doing what, and have a few laughs along the way. Understand that I am a massage therapist and personal trainer, not a medical doctor so the advice I share here is strictly that: advice. To see the kind of work I do (with my hunk of a hubby) click here.

Please drop me a line though, I would love to hear all about you!

Take care,

Kerry M. Davis LMT, CIMT, CPT
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By Bruce McGinnis
March 12, 2012 12:01 a.m.

Would you believe that it is possible to grow up to 100 lbs. of potatoes in a single fifty five gallon barrel? Believe it because it true. It is the perfect way for urban dwellers to have a green thumb in a not-so-large space; this method of growing is called vertical gardening. The only drawback to growing spuds in a barrel is that it can only be one kind in each barrel, unless you cut one in half and grow 2 kinds that yield roughly 50 pounds of each tuber.
Whether you like russet potatoes, Yukon Gold potatoes, fingerlings, or reds you’re in luck because all varieties are perfectly suited for this method. Using this method gives you a 200% - 1000% yield increase over those grown in the ground using the same seed potatoes because as the plants grow in the barrel you keep adding soil giving the plants a longer root system to help produce more potatoes per plant. Talk about efficiency, a little space that yields a huge crop!
Producing spuds this way only requires four steps. The first is to select and prepare the container you plan on using. Any 2’ – 3’ tall container will work as long as you are able to drill holes on the bottom and along the bottom sides. Potatoes require good drainage so you could also cut the bottom off the barrel and place in your garden bed or lawn. You will need to clean the barrel very well and then wipe down with a mild bleach solution to kill any type of critters left over from the previous use.
It is now time to select your seed potatoes you plan on using and getting them planted. You are better off buying them the first year so you can make sure that you don’t get a hybrid that’s been genetically altered. When planting, put about six inches of a soil and compost mix on the bottom of the barrel, on average 8 seed potatoes will fit comfortably. Cover them with about another 3 inches of soil and compost mix and then water them. Keep them moist at all times but don’t over water.
When about 6-8 inches of growth appears, add another layer of soil mix to cover approximately ¾ of the visible growth and repeat as often as necessary. When the growth reaches the top of the barrel, stop adding soil and wait patiently for roughly 10 weeks or so when the foliage turns yellow. Now it’s time to gently dig and look at the top layer and if you have potatoes if so, dump the barrel onto a tarp or ground and marvel the fruits of your minimal labor. If you approve of your results then save some potatoes to use as your seed potatoes next year. They just have to be stored in a cool dark place over the winter.

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