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Grow Potatoes in Containers

Find out how to grow potatoes in the smallest garden

Grow Potatoes In Containers

vegetables | grow your own

Some people question the wisdom of growing potatoes in a small garden as they take up quite a lot of space and potatoes can be bought incredibly cheaply in the supermarkets. However, once you have tasted organic freshly harvested potatoes from your own garden you will understand. Also, fresh new potatoes are packed with vitamin C and so are very good for you.

Maris Piper Potatoes Grown in a Container.

Even if you don't even have a garden per se, just a backyard or patio area, it is possible to grow a usable crop of potatoes in containers such as old dustbins, large terracotta pots, a barrel, or even a large bag (see image below). And, it could not be easier to do. Plant the spuds in early spring and a few months later you'll be eating the tastiest potatoes.

Potatoes grown in a bag

Take for example an old dustbin. Drill 10 or 15 drainage holes in the bottom so that it does not become waterlogged. Fill the bottom of the bin with 5-10cm of crocks (old broken pots etc), and then add another 15cm of good potting compost. Put five seed potatoes on top with the sprouts pointing upwards. Cover the potatoes with more of the potting compost until they are just buried, and then water well. As the green foliage grows upwards add more compost. It does not matter if the leaves are covered as they will soon grow up through the compost again. If the compost is not very rich then add some fertilizer - for example chicken pellet fertilizer or well rotted manure to nourish the potatoes. Adding comfrey liquid or a foliar feed with extracts of seaweed every couple of weeks will also help.

Growing potatoes in an old dustbin

The only things you really need to watch out for is that the leaves of the potatoes receive enough sunlight and enough water. If the container is very deep then no sunlight will ever hit the foliage and the potatoes will not do well. In this case either fill the container with a lot of compost before putting in the potatoes therefore raising the height at which they are planted, or reduce the height of the container. Compost in a container will dry out far faster than a vegetable plot so it is essential to keep an eye out. However, over-watered potatoes can have black or hollow centres, and potatoes which were irregularly watered end up knobbly.

Click here for information on storing potatoes over winter: Potato Clamp - Storing Potatoes.

Shopping List

Here are some useful links to relevant products:
potato planter
pellet fertilizer

Article Published: 11:51, 5th Jul 2008

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