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How to Grow Potatoes in Containers

Gardeners with limited space can still grow potatoes by following this technique

Fine Gardening

Who doesn’t love potatoes? They’re tasty, versatile, require little maintenance to grow, and even produce pretty flowers. But what if you don’t have the space to plant them? If you have the right container, you don’t even need to plant them in the ground. In this video, Brandi Spade demonstrates her technique for growing potatoes in an ordinary plastic kitchen garbage container. This type of container makes a great place to grow potatoes because it has plenty of room, drainage holes can be drilled into it easily, and it is inexpensive.

What you need

Plastic kitchen garbage container
Potato starts
Potting mix

The potato starts can come from a nursery or garden center, or you can sprout your own from potatoes from a farmers market or grocery store.

What to do

1. Wash the garbage container with warm water.
2. Drill drainage holes in the base and along the sides of the container. If you don’t have a drill, use a hammer and a nail.
3. Fill the container about 5 inches from the top with potting mix.
4. To make your potato starts go farther, take any that have multiple eyes and cut them in two, making sure that each part has at least one eye.
5. Push the potato starts about 6 inches into the soil with the eye facing upward.
6. Add another inch of potting mix.
7. Water thoroughly but not excessively.
8. As the plants grow, cover any exposed tubers you see. Exposure to the sun can turn them green and make them bitter tasting—even toxic.

Caring for your potato plants

Caring for potato plants is simple. Keep them watered during the growing season, and fertilize them once after they have grown about 2 inches high.

Harvesting your potatoes

Potato plants will start to yellow and die back when they are ready to harvest. Just before that happens, you can dig down and pull a few potatoes out to check their size.

Previous: Growing Potatoes in Northern California Next: How to Grow Potatoes in a Tower
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