Did you know that there are several benefits to growing potatoes in containers instead of in the ground?
One of the major ones is the protection of the plants from critters that’s much easier.
And, you’ll also need no extra space in your garden to grow them or to worry about those annoying weeds!
Moreover, growing potatoes in containers is a fun project to do with children; these plants grow fast and will supply you with a good yield.
Children will love harvesting them because it will feel like a treasure hunt. You turn over the container and the kid can sort out through the soil for the yummiest rewards.
One thing you should be more careful about when it comes to growing container potatoes is that you need to pay a lot of attention to the watering. These potatoes need a soil that’s moist, not wet!
When you get this right, watering often and deeply, you’ll have a rich harvest.
When to Plant My Container Potatoes?
The general recommendation is to plant them two weeks after the last frost in your part of the world.
Although many try it, the method rarely works with grocery potatoes, unless they’re organic and haven’t been sprayed for sprouting retardation.
Otherwise, you use seed potatoes sold for garden planting. You can find them in nurseries or specialty stores. You can grow them in a bigger container or big garbage cans.
What’s more, you can also do it in trash bags or stacks of tires; however, be careful with these because hot sun can make them very hot.
No matter the container you choose, it’s essential to have a good drainage, i.e. you can make them on your own by poking several holes on the bottom.
How to Plant Container Potatoes?
No matter if they’re planted in a garden or in containers, growing potatoes is a bit different than for other veggies.
That is, they’re grown with a hilling technique in which the stems are gradually buried by heaping additional soil around the plant while it grows upwards.
Then, the lower buried stems will develop more root structures, that is, potatoes, with the hill growing higher.
This is why hilling is pivotal for optimal harvest from potato plants. And, when the stems are buried, the potatoes aren’t exposed to the light which will make them green.
Choose a premium soil which is draining fast-organic soil is a great choice. Mix a slow-release fertilizer into the soil, a diluted one, every couple of weeks as the potatoes are growing.
Prepping the Seeds
Cut the seed potatoes into pieces, with at least two eyes each. Wait for the surfaces to callus over. You can leave them to sit for several days before the planting.
You fill up the container with 4 to 6 inches of soil with compost and fertilizer and put the previously prepped seed potato pieces onto the potting mix, with the buds facing up.
Since they’ll grow pretty fast and are large, give them enough room. Once set, cover the seeds with several inches of soil, but don’t overdo it.
Growing Your Potatoes
Potatoes need sun and water to thrive. For potatoes in containers, ensure they get at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day. What’s more, potatoes like a moist soil, but never soaking wet.
You can check this by putting your finger into the soil. If it’s dry, it needs watering.
Water it deeply, until you see it coming out from the bottom.
The Best Part: Harvesting Your Potatoes
You can start the harvest anytime after the plants have flowered.
Reach down into the soil cautiously and pull out several potatoes. Later on in the season, with the plant turning yellow and dying, harvest all of the potatoes that remained at once.
You can easily do this by turning over the container and dumping the produce on an adequate surface and then finding the potatoes.