David Suzuki Foundation's Blog

Small space; big growing potential

I live in downtown Vancouver where apartments are small and yards even smaller. But even though I don’t have much space, I have found a few ways to grow fresh produce all season long. Here are two of my favorite new strategies for growing potatoes and greens.

Potato sack

Burlap Bag Potatoes: Go to your local coffee shop and ask for one of their used burlap bags. When you are ready to plant, fill the bag four inches deep with compost. Roll down the sides of the bag until they are level with the soil. Plant approximately 3 potato shoots in the soil and cover them lightly with more compost. As your potato plants grow, cover the new shoots with soil and slowly roll the burlap bag up to meet the new soil level. By covering the shoots, you signal to the plant that it is time to produce more potatoes. By then end of the season your entire burlap bag should be filled with soil and potatoes!

Potato sack

Mixed Greens Pot: Forget everything they ever told you about how far apart you should plant your vegetables. Find a pot about 1foot x 1foot. Fill with good soil. Plant a mix of lettuce, kale, swiss chard and herbs together in close proximity. It will get cramped in the pot but the end result is not only beautiful, it’s tasty too. In the end you will have created lovely edible garden d├ęcor.

While my potatoes aren’t yet ready for harvest, I’ve been eating out of my mixed greens pot for months now. Can’t wait to learn more from all of you so that I can try out a few more things next year.

— Akua Schatz
(Second year gardener)