Broken Basket Reuse? Potato Planters!

By Liesl Clark

We acquired several broken baskets at a town recycling event here on our little island. They were headed to the landfill and I have a thing for almost-perfectly-good large wicker baskets. They can be used for many wonderful things both outside and in. Although most of the baskets were simply missing their handles (and I further dismantled the broken handles so the baskets looked as good as new), I sensed their lives could be extended, or at the very least make a final appearance in our fire pit.

Always searching for innovative ways to corral our garden potatoes so they don’t end up growing everywhere in the garden, I decided to try planting a potato basket. If people can plant potatoes in such vertical gardens as trash cans and stacked tires, a wicker basket might prove just as useful, and a bit kinder on the eye than tires and garbage cans amongst my veggies.

Plant a Potato Basket, Photo © Liesl Clark

Simply add a 4-6 inch layer of compost mixed with soil to the bottom of your basket and then lay your potatoes about 4-5 inches apart atop the soil.

Yangin With Seed Potatoes, Photo © Liesl Clark

My friend, Yangin, who plants acres of potatoes in Nepal claims that she gets the highest yield by slicing inch-long pieces of potato with a single eye on each piece as her “seeds.” We took her advice and planted the little slices in our basket.

Shovelful, Photo © Liesl Clark

Then add about a foot of soil on top of your potato slices.

Shovelful More, Photo © Liesl Clark

We’ve watered the basket periodically, and lo and behold potato tendrils have sprouted a few weeks later!

Potato Leaves Begin to Poke Out, Photo©Liesl Clark

We keep adding more soil until the basket is full and hopefully we’ll have a basket full of potatoes by the end of the fall. We’ll report back with photos when the experiment is done!

How will we harvest the potato baskets? We’ll gently dig out the soil and potatoes and reuse the baskets until they’ve melted into the Earth. They’ll then be composted back into usable plant food.

Do you have any broken down basket reuses or innovative ways to plant potatoes? Please share!

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Categories: DIY, Plastic-Free Living, Repurpose and Reuse, Trash Pile - All Our Stuff, Upcycle

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  1. Have Yourself a Handmade Christmas « Trash Backwards - December 20, 2012

    […] spill over to the new year and beyond as we work together to create outdoor garden and play spaces, grow our own food together, and transform everyday things back into useful items for our […]

  2. My Friday Faves, February 22 | livingsimplyfree - February 21, 2013

    […] I mentioned recently that my apartment building is currently for sale, how I wish I could afford to own it but that’s another subject, the field that we have cleared and turned into our garden area could possibly be developed and with that would go the community garden.  With that in mind I have been thinking of ways to add to my garden that could easily be moved.  Leisl shares how she uses broken baskets for growing her potatoes here. […]

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