Of all the root vegetables I grow, it is the potatoes that give me the biggest thrill at harvest time. I love to stick my hands in the soil and retrieve the buried bounty, with a yield of eight to ten potatoes for every one that I plant.
Potatoes are generous plants. Give them full sun, loose, fertile soil, and an inch of water per week, and believe me, they will accept almost any planting situation you offer them. You can grow potatoes in a plastic bucket, a plastic trash can, or special “grow bag.” But in my experience, containers like these require constant attention to watering, and yield only tiny harvests. A better plan is to grow your crop in a raised bed.
I achieve an enormous harvest—enough to feed my partner and me for nearly a year—by planting potatoes in two 4'-x-8' raised beds. The tubers are wildly prolific in the well-draining, rock-free soil the beds afford, and the vines require deep watering only once each week.
Kevin Lee Jacobs blogs at A Garden for the House. He was introduced to gardening when he was no taller than a delphinium. Today, his home in upstate New York features formal rose gardens outdoors and lavish window gardens indoors.