Several times over the last 9 years I have grown potatoes here, and I usually end up wishing that I hadn't. (but for some reason that doesn't stop me from planting them again and again- what's with that?) The potatoes are good, don't get me wrong, it is just that they take up a lot of space. They also end up taking a little more effort than I like to spend on potatoes, and then when I dig them up I still have to scrub them. To me, this seems silly because I can easily and inexpensively buy them at my local green grocer where they are already cleaned too. I guess that I would rather use my garden space for things like tomatoes, peas, tender baby lettuce, raspberries, strawberries and all sorts of other treats. I suppose what I am saying is that the lowly potato gets pretty low priority around here. However, this year I kept coming across the no-work potato method in all my reading. All you have to do is lay your potato starts on the ground and then cover them with a bit of mulch. As they grow you just keep adding mulch, and when it is time to harvest you just grab your nice clean taters out of the pile of mulch. That sounded pretty good to me, but I still kept thinking that I didn't want to "waste" the room on potatoes. (Everyone who has seen the size of my garden is thinking that I am crazy right now. I know, I know, it is a huge garden with plenty of space...but priority has to go to all those tomato plants)Anyway, I've always been the sort of person who likes everything to have multiple uses, so when I was trying to find space for my hoard, erm...I mean, my good-grief-what-excellent-foresight-get-all-the-neighbours'-leaves-quick-quick stash of leaves I thought perhaps I could combine some ideas. I had already planned to make some sort of leaf mulch compost container, so why not use it to grow potatoes too? (I've recently learned that this is a very permaculture way of thinking) So, my lovely hubby scored some wire for us, and before you knew it, I had me a leaf-mulchin', tater growin', compostin' spot. I think I might even use it to grow some sort of vine on too, perhaps some sort of melon.
And yes, I do realize what an excellent husband I have. We've been busy plotting, scheming, dismantling and building for most of the day on all kinds of projects, something know as the "it's never just the one thing" event, around here.