Canning potatoes with onions

I was wondering about canning potatoes with onions. I’ve canned vegetable soup (which includes potatoes and onions) in a pressure canner and it gave me the idea of canning only potatoes and onions the same way, wondering if it would be an easy way to open the bottle, drain them, and fry them up. Most recipes about potatoes talk about boiling the potatoes first before canning them. (I haven’t been able to find anything about adding onions to them). With my vegetable soup I just add all the vegetables, barley, and spices in a bottle and fill it up with boiling water and pressure can it for 45 minutes (without prior cooking). It turns into a quick delicious nutritious meal. Hopefully potatoes with onions can be processed the same way.

Also, I was wondering if you have ever tried canning a double decker pint bottles in a big canner with a rack in between, so you can get twice as many bottle done. Is this effective and safe?

Julie Ann Gale
Umatilla, Oregon

Yes, you may can potatoes and onions together. I raw pack potatoes and chunks of onions, add a teaspoonful of salt to the jar, then pour boiling water to cover the vegetables to within half an inch of the top of the jar. If you pre-cook the potatoes, they will get mushy on processing.

Dice or thickly slice the potatoes and onion slices or chunks and add the salt and boiling water. Seal the jars. Process at 10 pounds (unless you live at an altitude above 1,000 feet; consult your canning manual for instructions for adjusting your pressure to your altitude if necessary) for 45 minutes for pints or 55 minutes for quarts.

Yes, I double decker can jars all the time. It is definitely effective and safe. I have a wire rack that used to be a round grill rack (Dollar Store), which I lay on top of the rings of the bottom layer. The top layer of jars are placed for maximum steam circulation among the jars, with a top jar resting over two part-jars below. It makes super short work of a day’s canning! — Jackie

Morning glory removal and soil conditioning

We broke out a new patch of pasture last year to make a garden. It had a huge patch of morning glory in it. I have never had good luck removing this obnoxious, very prolific weed. Do you have any suggestions.

Also any suggestions for getting the soil better conditioned. I didn’t have much luck with my garden last year. We have very heavy clay soil. We have a pile of old hay that is going to waste. Is it safe to put that in the garden? We also have some manure from an old corral that hasn’t had any cattle in for over a year. Can I put that in it or will it “burn” the garden? We still have a foot of snow here in southern Idaho but I am getting anxious for spring.

Karla Moss

If I had your new garden plot, I’d till up the whole works, spread a lot of that old rotted manure on it, then cover half of it (if you can spare the area) with large pieces of old carpeting or, lacking that, heavy black plastic, well weighted down with stones and boards around the edge, especially. By covering the morning glory, you will pretty much kill it out in a year. The next year, you could do the other half and plant the previously covered half. I did this in New Mexico, where we had tons of bindweed, a wild morning glory with deep, tenacious roots. And when we left, the garden was nearly free of it.

No the old, rotted manure won’t burn your garden. Use lots, as it will loosen up the clay. Besides the manure, I’d work in any compost or organic material, such as leaves, grass clippings (from unsprayed lawns only!) and straw. I’d stack the old hay in a pile and water it well so it will rot and compost. If you put that on your garden, chances are that there will be a lot of grass seed in the hay, which will turn your garden into a hayfield! I know. I did just that. Big mistake and it took three years to get rid of the grass.

Hay is fine in a garden IF it has been cut early, before it or any weeds in the field have had a chance to go to seed. This is why you often hear deep mulch authors speak of salt or marsh hay. This is usually cut before it goes to seed and there are very few garden weeds on the edges of marshes. — Jackie


  1. Watch out for the carpeting! When we replaced the carpeting in our church I took the old carpet and spread it out on an intended garden plot near a 20 year old white oak, then proceeded to leave it there too long. Had some surgery, etc, and never got around to pulling it back up. Did you know that oak trees will grow through that stuff! We now have an oak grove, plus a bramble patch growing there. The weft of the carpet rotted away, leaving just the warp strings, and they are nigh on to impossible to pull out of there. Use it at your own risk!

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