Potatoes are traditionally grown in the ground but not every garden has space for a large batch of them, especially considering rows of potatoes need at least 45cm between each other! This means planting rows of potatoes doesn’t just take up huge amounts of valuable growing space but planting and harvesting them is back breaking work!
Thankfully, potatoes are easy to grow in pots and containers, allowing gardeners tight on space to still have the fun of growing this hearty vegetable. Better still, potatoes aren’t fussy, being easily planted and grown in a wide variety of containers, from terracotta and plastic pots to purpose-built potato bags.
Let’s take a closer look at how to grow potatoes in pots!
Choosing Your Pot
Any container that is big enough to hold at last 10L of soil is suitable for growing potatoes, so you have plenty of options available. Each potato needs around 10L of soil, but you can have several potatoes growing in each pot, so make sure it’s large enough to accommodate this volume of growing medium.
While larger terracotta or plastic plant pots may look better in your garden, potato bags are a great alternative. These are massive growing sacks designed specifically for potatoes, making them very convenient to use. They drain well and hold lots of soil, but virtually anything with decent drainage and enough space can be used!
Preparing Seed Potatoes
While not a seed in the traditional sense, seed potatoes (known as tubers) are clones of a mother plant that are very easy to grow. They are basically grown potatoes that are replanted to produce a brand-new potato plants.
Once you have your seed potatoes, you can start the growing process by sprouting them prior to planting. This process is known as chitting and is very simple to do.
Just place the potatoes into a tray that can support them – such as an empty egg carton – and leave these in a light but cool location. Depending on the type of potato, you leave to sprout sometime between February and May.
Wait for them to start sprouting green shoots before planting them into pots.
Before potting into a container, you want to properly prepare it by adding some drainage material to the bottom of the container, although this may not be necessary if using potato grow bags.
Always plant potatoes eye up and not eye down. The eye is where the green shoots sprout from, so you need to plant the potato eye up to ensure that the sprouts can reach the top soil towards the sunlight.
Check out some of other other growing guides