Video: How to Grow Potatoes in Containers

comments (11) March 30th, 2010

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Video Length: 2:13
Produced by: Kate Geruntho Frank and Brandi Spade. Edited by Tom Olivares.

What's not to love about potatoes? They're tasty, require little maintenance to grow, and even produce pretty flowers. If you have the right container, you don't even need to plant them in the ground.

Garbage cans are a great option for gardeners who don't have a lot of space. They are deep and wide enough, are perfect for drilling drainage holes in, and are afforable.

Materials You Will Need
A garbage can
Potato starts
Potting mix

You can purchase potato starts from a nursery or garden center, or you can sprout them at home from potatoes you bought in a grocery store or at a farmer's market.

Step 1. Wash the container with soap and water. Then rinse.

Step 2. Drill holes in the bottom and along the sides of the container to ensure plenty of drainage. If you don't have a drill, use a hammer and a nail to pound holes in the plastic.

Step 3. Fill your garbage can up to about five inches from the top with potting mix. If you leave any more space between the soil line and the top of the can, the sides of the can will shade the potato starts.

Step 4. Press your potato starts about six inches into the soil with the eyes facing up. If your starts have eyes on both sides, you can cut them in half to make them go a little further. Plant only one or two starts per can so the soil isn't quickly sapped of nutrients.

Step 5. Cover your starts with about an inch of soil. Water thoroughly but don't leave the soil sopping wet.

During the growing season, if you notice the tubers showing through the top of the soil, mound more soil on top of the tubers, leaving several inches of the plant above the soil line. Potato tubers that are directly exposed to the sun will turn green, which can leave them tasting bitter and potentially toxic.

Potato starts require minimal care in a can. Keep them watered during the growing season and fertilize them once after you've planted them and they've grown a couple of inches. If you fertilize them too much, you'll end up with lush, green foliage and not enough tubers.

Potatoes will start to yellow and die back when they're ready to be harvested. Just before that, when they're starting to turn yellow, dig down a couple of inches and pull a few out to test for size. When they've completely died back, they're ready for you to harvest.

More on growing potatoes and cooking with them...

posted in: potatoes, containers, Container Gardening

Comments (11)

Wm32degreeBilly writes: yes same question as LslieinPayson, but how big would they get in a 25 gallon bucket? Thanks everyone.
Posted: 10:25 am on March 28th
Penygroes writes: I have grown early potatoes in sack for the first time this year. I started them in a greenhouse and they have grown really well. I gradually added rotted manure as the shots grew. I think sadly that the shoots have bolted. They are 24-30 inches above the sack rim now.
I believe all of the goodness will have gone into the foliage and not the potatoes. Can I trim the greenery now even though it is starting to flower? I have moved them outside now.
Please help....
Posted: 9:41 am on May 14th
cheapguccil writes: 布 通販
通販 財
.....あなたを請う...今日は一生懸命.... バッグ
gucci 財布
プラダ トートバッグ
財布 オン
ァこれらの2つのセットを聞いた後なので、彼らはちょ ッグ
キャリーバッ ドレス
グッチ タ



市は、不足していることはありません常にお互 キング
グッチ 靴 レデ

帆布 ショルダー
Posted: 6:42 pm on September 27th
Barb5 writes: I just watched the video and it answered my question. Thanks

Posted: 11:12 pm on August 1st
Barb5 writes: I just planted potatoes for the first time this year in a black bag. How do you know when they're ready?
Posted: 11:08 pm on August 1st
BrixEncounter writes: I always just use grocery store potatoes and have never had a problem. If I were planting them in the ground, I would be more cautious about disease.
Posted: 2:42 pm on March 3rd
lakeeffect writes: You can grow potatoes in a wooden box, about 18"x 18" and start off about 18" high. You add soil and plant your potatoes. Then you harvest new potatoes and can keep doing this all season. As the plant produces new potatoes harvest them. Then add another row of side boards to your box, add about 6 inches of soil. The plant will develop new roots along the stem and grow more new potatoes. Keep this up all season and you will constantly have 'new potatoes'! I have done this and it's great to have new potatoes all season.
Posted: 11:45 am on February 24th
spudtac writes: I have been planting potatoes in garbage cans, wastepaper baskets, large pails, large flower pots, even heavy boxes for more then ten years.
When I plant them in large flowers pots, I also add some extra flower plants with them.
You do not need to dig the tubers, just dump into a wheelbarrow. It is so easy.

Posted: 8:54 am on February 24th
KatiT writes: Please be cautious about the potatoes you plant. Most potatoes bought from a store are treated with a growth retardant, so may not grow much at all. Potatoes are also susceptible to disease, so buying "certified" disease free seed potatoes will give your potatoes a better chance. This can also apply to saving your own seed from year to year. Potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers are related, to take care not to plant in soil used by one of those the previous year, as they can share disease.

Also, the potatoes form at or ABOVE the soil depth of the seed potatoe for the most part. I grow potatoes in large black (tree size) landscape pots. I start with the pot about half full of soil, and I tilt it at an angle so the potatoes can get sun. As the plant grows, I tilt the pot upright and continue filling it with soil (leaving 6" or so of plant above ground at all times) so more potatoes have a place to form above the seed potato. By harvest time, I have large pot, mostly full of potatoes. I dump it on a tarp, and sort out the treasures!
Posted: 11:04 am on February 21st
LeslieinPayson writes: So how many potatoes would you probably get in a container like this?
Posted: 2:27 pm on February 11th
Horsegal95 writes: This clears up some questions I had-thanks so much!
Posted: 1:41 pm on January 8th
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