How To Grow Potatoes In a Container - Backyard Boss
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How To Grow Potatoes In a Container

Potatoes are a very common vegetable that you can enjoy most weeks because of their versatility. You can use them to make many different delicious dishes. Not only are potatoes versatile, but they also have other benefits, including being high in fiber, which helps with weight loss because it keeps you full longer. They are also a great source of vitamins and minerals and contain a starch known as resistant starch, which is good for blood sugar control and digestive health.

With all of these wonderful health benefits, everyone should be growing their potato plants, and we are here to show you how to grow different kinds of potatoes in containers.

What you will need:

  • Seed potatoes
  • Container (grow bags work or large plastic/wooden bins.
  • Soil
  • Fertilizer
  • Watering can
  • Tools for digging (shovel)
  • Any gardening attire you want (gloves, hat, knee pads)

A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Grow Potatoes In A Container

Step #1: Prepare Your Container

Hands in Gloves Holding Potting Soil
Image credits: blufish77 via Canva

Once you’ve added the soil, your container will be pretty heavy, so it’s best to set it up first so you do not have to move it after planting. Add your soil to the container now that you have it in the perfect spot. You do not want to fill your container to the top because later you will be adding more soil, so only fill the container about 3/4 the way full. Your soil should be high-quality or organic with good drainage because you do not want your potatoes to get overwatered and soggy.

Step #2: Add Fertilizer

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Once you set up your container and soil, it’s time to add your fertilizer. The fertilizer should be slow-release the first time you add it, but after that, you can use a liquid fertilizer every few weeks to increase your soil health and grow more potatoes. Since you’re growing your potatoes in containers, they need a lot of water and nutrients that they would normally get from the ground, and that’s why it is important to add fertilizer more than once.

But be careful not to over-fertilize your plants (like using them more than once every few weeks) because that can make your potatoes burn.

Step #3: Seed the potatoes

Seed potatoes
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When preparing your seed potatoes, you can cut them into pieces, but you need to make sure each piece has a bud on it. Do not cut them smaller than 2 inches for best results. You also will want to cut your seed potatoes a day or two before you plan to plant them.

Plant 1 seed in a 30-gallon plastic/wood container. So, for example, if your container is 90 gallons, you would plant 3 potato seeds.

Step #4: Plant your seeds

Seeding Potatoes
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Next, you will need to arrange your seed potatoes in your container. You will want to make sure the seeds are spaced out from each other because each plant can grow big. For example, if your container is about 20 inches wide, you can plant 4 seed potato pieces in it, or 30 inches wide, you can plant 6 seed potato pieces, and so on.

Step #5: Cover your seeds with soil

Seeding potatoes
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A couple of inches will do. You do not need to bury them too deep. If you live in a cooler place, you should add less soil since this plant likes to be warm.

Step #6: Water The Seeds

Water coming from watering can
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Potatoes need a lot of sun, about 8 hours a day, and water. They need to stay moist/damp, not wet and soggy, so be careful of overwatering. You should check on your potato plants every day, just check the soil to make sure it is not dried out.

The soil needs to be wet throughout, so if the top looks dry, that does not mean the bottom is dried out. You can stick your finger into the soil, about an inch down to test the moistness. If you’re worried about your soil not being wet enough, you can go ahead and water it.

Step #7: “Hill” or rebury your seed potatoes

seed potatoes
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After a week or so, your potatoes will have grown a few inches above the soil. When this happens it is time to hill or rebury your plants. You need to add a couple of inches of prepared soil around the budding plant. You do not want to cover it completely, but you want the base to be reburied. Be careful not to add too much soil. You do not want your plant to break!

This process needs to be done every few weeks when growing your potatoes to ensure the best results. You can stop this process when the soil reaches the top of your container.

Step # 8: Harvest Your Potatoes

Harvesting potatoes
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Well, it’s been 7-8 weeks since you planted your potatoes, and now it is time to harvest. You will know they are ready to harvest when you see your plants begin to flower.

To harvest your potatoes, you need to start by reaching down into your container of soil and carefully pulling out a few potatoes at a time. If you pull out a bunch of really small potatoes, do not throw them away thinking they are not for cooking, you can use these small potatoes in salads and stews and be just as good as the large potatoes.

If you have waited more than 7-8 weeks to harvest, you may notice your plant has started to die off and turn yellow. When this happens, you can quickly harvest the rest of your potatoes by dumping the container right out onto your lawn. You can then collect the potatoes, and the soil leftover will work as good soil and fertilizer for your lawn.

To Sum Up

There you have it! Now you can grow your own potatoes in a container. You can wash them off and cook them right away or store them for later use. But now you know how easy it is to grow your potatoes with just a little sun, water and time.