Growing Potatoes In Containers

Posted By On September 2, 2010 - 5 responses
potatoes-in-containers

Growing potatoes in containers is a perfect solution for those of us not fortunate enough to have an allotment and where growing space for a kitchen vegetable plot is limited. The added bonus is that potatoes grown in containers produce a beautiful clean crop that is not affected by soil borne pests and diseases such as keeled slugs, potato eelworms and scab.

Which Container To Use

There is no need to buy special potato growing bags or a potato barrel because virtually any container can be used to grow potatoes in as long as it is at least 30cm or 12 inches in diameter and depth. Buckets can be used, large flower pots, flower buckets from the local supermarket, dustbins and even empty compost bags turned inside out. But, you must ensure to make drainage holes in the bottom.

Planting The Potatoes

First put some broken pots in the bottom of the container to aide drainage then using a good multi compost place 10cm or 4 inches of compost in the bottom of your containers. If using a bucket or large flower pot simply place one seed potato with the sprouts facing upward on the compost and cover with a further 10cm or 4 inches of compost. Be sure to water well. When using a dustbin to grow your potatoes place large pieces of broken polystyrene, that is used for packaging, in the base to aide drainage. A dustbin should take four or five seed potatoes.

It is important to either wait until after the last spring frost before planting or protect your containers with fleece if a frost is forecast.

Growing On

When the potato shoots are 15cm or 6 inches tall you need to start earthing up. Add another 10cm or 4 inch layer of multi compost and continue earthing up this way until the potato plant is above the top of the container leaving a 4cm or 2 inch gap at the top of the container for watering. Potatoes need watering well especially when the tubers are growing as under watering can result in a poor crop but don’t drown the plants!

Harvesting

Harvesting is easy when growing one seed potato per bucket or pot, just tip out the entire contents of the bucket for fabulous, fresh and extremely tasty home grown potatoes. First early and second early varieties of potatoes should be ready to harvest after approximately 13 weeks when the foliage starts to turn yellow and die. If you harvest too early you might be disappointed by a small crop of tiny potatoes. Have a careful root through the compost to feel the size of the tubers if you are unsure whether or not the potatoes are ready to harvest.

Christmas Potatoes

Yes, it is possible to serve freshly harvested home grown potatoes with your Christmas Day meal. You will need to order second early seed potatoes from an online supplier which will be ready to plant out as soon as they arrive in July / early August. Be sure to water the plants well especially during a hot summer. The potatoes will be ready to harvest in October but leave them undisturbed in the containers they are growing in and you should enjoy the treat of a Christmas harvest.

5 Comments Below to “Growing Potatoes In Containers”

  1. container vegetable gardening on

    Growing potatoes in containers…. My next frontier! Thanks for the great advice.

  2. alison scarll on

    Thank you for this info have recently planted my seed potatoes after chitting and put in greenhouse. Thought that after first step I will transfer outside. Can someone please advise me if this is ok

  3. business review on

    .Growing potatoes in bins may double your yield and is a tidy space-saving method…Potatoes are easy-to-grow tubers that require only space plenty of water and heat. Potatoes planted in bins yield more and contain the tubers so they dont spread in the garden.

  4. Tracey on

    Hi im moving to a house soon and im going to try my hand at growing my own veg…Been looking on line for advice .And will be buying a book how to grow your own veg for beginners.

  5. steve on

    If you leave the spuds in the containers until christmas do you keep them indoors or outdoors. I have both a garage and greehouse, would the garage be preferred as it is dark.

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