You are in for a total treat if you have never had a freshly dug potato. The texture and taste of fresh potatoes are very different than those you buy from the store. If you decide to grow your own potatoes, you have the opportunity to plant rare varieties which are hard to find. Growing potatoes in containers has several advantages. For example, you do not have to worry so much about weeds and it is easier to protect them from the critters that love them.
In addition, it is a really fun project to grow potatoes in containers with children, since potato plants grow fast and most children love eating them. Being more vigilant about watering is the only disadvantage we see in growing potatoes in containers. It’s important to keep the soil moist, not wet, but damp. It is recommended that you check the soil moisture level often and make sure to water deeply, until water runs out the bottom of a container.
Growing potatoes in container gardens is fun and simple. In addition, it is also easier to protect potatoes from the critters who will go through almost any fence to get at them. People usually grow potatoes from seed potatoes, ones that haven’t been sprayed to stop their seeds from sprouting. You can also grow potatoes from organic, store bought potatoes if you let them sprout in a dark, cool place. And finally, you can get seed potatoes from nurseries or specialty organic growers.
Where to grow
Ambient temperatures of around 60 degrees Fahrenheit and full sun conditions with 6 to 8 hours of light will provide the best conditions for growing potatoes in containers. In order to have quick access to the smallest new potatoes, you may choose to grow potatoes on the deck. Grow new potatoes in a large five-gallon buckets set on the patio or in a pot outside the kitchen.
How to grow
You should plant your potatoes in containers after all danger of frost has passed. First make a free draining soil mixture and then mix in a small amount of time-release fertilizer. Fill the container with previously moistened medium about four inches deep. Cut each seed potato into two-inch chunks which have a few eyes on them.
You can plant small potatoes as they are. Cover the chunks with three inches of moist soil and plant them five to seven inches apart. After they grow seven inches, cover container potatoes with more soil and continue to cover the small plants until you reach the top of the bag. Each container needs to be kept well-watered, but not soggy.
You are free to harvest potatoes after the plants flower and turn yellow. However, you can remove new potatoes before flowering. Stop watering and wait a week once the stems turn yellow. Dump the container and sort through the medium for the tubers or just dig out the potatoes. Clean them and let potatoes cure for 2 weeks for storage.