Another Try at Growing Potatoes

Personal Reflection: Gerald did plenty of experimentation with gardening, especially with unusual edibles. He liked flowers, too. He did much to bolster my gardening efforts.

In this fictional letter from George to Karl, the survivalist, he shares information about growing potatoes for survival. (Links to references are not included.)


Dear Karl,

It is good to hear that you have such an avid interest in growing potatoes. But before you order seed potatoes I want to tell you some facts that might help in growing them.

I had about given up on the tower method, but I just read what might have limited the yield I got. I found out that short-season potatoes produce early and then quit. In a tower setup you may only have tubers in the first six inches of soil and then just get vines.

This is from Greg at Irish Eyes Garden City Seeds, at Tipnut. I found it when I Googled “Growing Potatoes in Wood Chips”.

So I looked up “late season potatoes” and found ten varieties at “MainePotatoLady,” a very neat site. These varieties are 90-110 days.

Temperature is very important too. “When the temperatures in the daytime get above 80 degrees F , the potato plant basically shuts down. “The Best Potatoes in the World -or- What Makes Idaho Potatoes so Idahoy.”

I don’t remember the source, ( I’m looking) but found that potato plants like total darkness at night. Some plants are sensitive to light at night, even car headlights.

Armed with this new information I hope to try again this year and even grow some indoors in Perlite. I hope this helps, Karl.

Your friend,


P.S. You might want to look at “Growing Potatoes in Perlite,” by Terry DelValle, and Better Hens and Gardens, “Lazy Bed Method.”

Author: Gerald Franz

Gerald Franz (1935-2014) was like a second father to me in the 27 years I knew him. Brilliant and eccentric, with a wide array of interests, he fit the definition of being gifted. He strove to shake people loose from their conventional thinking. As a Bible believing Christian, his favorite and most studied Bible subject was prophecy. Writing became a means of teaching in his later years. See more about Gerald here.