Thanks so much! You should get between 5lb and 10lb per pot, but this does depend on weather, watering and feeding. Plant them spaced evenly with 4 slips in a 40 cm diameter container. Check out my latest blog entry on growing potatoes for Christmas too. As an experienced gardener, you know that all containers are not created equal. 1. As the vine grows, the plant produces thick roots. I,m growing using sacks do u cut the tops before flowering or after. ", "We were able to find some old bee boxes at a re-use it center and are trying those out this year. And good luck! ", "I tried potatoes in pots for the first time this year. Growing container potatoes is also a great project for kids. Nevertheless, the crop was very respectable, particularly given an almost complete lack of rain and no watering. One thing about the UK, we never know what the weather will be like! Each had 4 drainage holes made at ground level. I only filled the bin up with 7 inches of soil and was planning on hilling it later on as the plant grows - will this work or do I need to start over? ", "Southeast Mass, I had a nice crop of red potatoes last year, then I cut one of them, there was a worm inside. ", "Thanks Bob K for the info. ", "Hi John. Cover with another 10cm (4in) layer of growing medium then sit back and wait. ", "determinate potatoes will develop tubers at one level, regardless of hilling, although hilling allows the plant to set more roots and therefore extract more nutrients for growth and development. I understand that alkaline soils are more prone to scab, so tending towards a more neutral or mildly acidic soil may work, though I fear an ericaceous soil could be too acidic. I am learner of farming. Tomatoes come in two varieties, with both suitable to be grown in containers. Seems like the first time I did this and didn't hill or use much soil, I had a way better yield in terms of cu ft of soil used, however, there are a lot of variables...", "I'm a spud newbie. Red Cloud They can be planted late spring. ", "Like Carol M above, I am in the pacific northwest, Victoria BC. Stop watering at this point and allow the foliage to die. Maris Piper and Arron Victory might be contenders but King Edward's disease resistance seems better. I should not dig up until flowers appear but no flowers :( Thanks", "Hi Becky. However, I would avoid using it where you are growing potatoes and other members of the potato family - ie tomatoes and aubergines. Feed as per instructions on the container - but usually once a week, diluted in water and watered on. Lifestyle. Water deeply until the water drains out the bottom holes so the moisture reaches the roots at the bottom of the container. Wonderful find, this website! Potatoes prefer slightly acidic soil. The problem that I have encountered is the top growth has been unbelievable, with masses of greenery, and the actual crop has been few and small, all tops and little bottoms. The final rule is to keep your potatoes well watered. Presumably even after flowering tuber growth will continue until all the foliage dies off? Sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas "Blackie") is a fast-growing tropical vine that gracefully spills over the edges of patio containers or hanging baskets. Here, the starting tubers are covered with 4 in. Refill the hole with hummus.Plant spuds, usually about 5, 6" deep. There's no need to cut the tops off at all - just leave all foliage and flowers to grow. Thank you for your help I really do need it. Let us know how you get on with this season's potatoes. ", "This is my 5th year growing in mineral supplement tubs discarded by local cattle farmers. Growing potatoes in containers have many benefits such as mobility, no digging, more protection from the cold and pests, and allows you to grow potatoes even in small places. Potatoes can be propagated from both seeds and tubers. I think a sun shade is a good idea to keep them cool and happy. The third layers I added more compost and then the last layer was good potting soil. Nevertheless, in the spirit of scientific enquiry it's definitely worth an investigation, and it will be fascinating to learn of your results - please do share them with us. They are large plants when they get going, so don't worry if they're flopping over the rim of your containers and looking a bit gangly. Sophia, It would be fun to try growing potatoes indoors. Prevent your potatoes from forming green skin by covering with soil or mulching heavily so no light reaches the tubers. any suggestions? I noticed that one new little spud is poking up and turning green and has a bite out of it :o The e-mail does not appear to be correct. I saw no sign of spuds in the white root network. As you can see, growing potatoes in containers doesn’t need to be difficult, and it can be hugely satisfying. Water them regularly, cover them with dirt as they grow, and your potatoes will be ready to harvest in about 100 days… Does that mean I planted the wrong type of potatoes in my garbage bin container? I dug up this little red spud [not even the size of an egg] and it's 1/2 green where the bite is. ", "Hi Rocky. Use a soil blend made for acid-loving plants or amend soil with an acid mix fertilizer according to package directions. Use a lightweight soil mix: Potting mixes specifically made for containers will work. ", "I find Rocky's comment interesting. I filled them to 1/3 then planted 3 seed potatoes, another 1/3 on top then 3 more seed potatoes placed so that they weren't above the others then added the final 1/3 compost. Potatoes are growing again in them. Unfortunately I filled the tubs yesterday with best Irish 100% Peat Compost (3x56litres for £10 from local veg shop - clearly not worried about me doing them out of business! In the case of the first and second earlies, direct comparisons were made by planting the same variety in two bags with different composts. 6 Blue Danube Early Main Ericaceous Peat Free 6 18 2.7kg ", "Hello Benedict, Whether you are new to growing your own food or have been growing a vegetable garden for years, you will benefit from some planning each year. But the excellent crop was entirely at the bottom of the container. Purple Potatoes, When Potatoes move to the darkside, Harvested from a container, Grow someplace. Always earth up just a few inches at a time until you reach the top of your container. If there is any frost in your greenhouse, remove it. ", "Good luck Norma. If so, what is the optimal temperature range. Plant them as above, then lift them later on in autumn/fall. Personally I wouldn’t be without my annual crop of spuds. Thanks for prompt reply! Give it a go and report back. ", "Potatoes Grown in Ericaceous Compost. ", "Hello Ben, I add a second tub with its bottom cut out, which is pushed down into the mix about 4" and is back-filled in the same manner as the bottom tub. Hi GardenGroupie. ", "Hello. ", "Hi Roy. ", "This is the best article I've seen regarding growing potatoes in containers. I wondered why they cautioned against hilling over the leaves, it seems that would be impossible to avoid. 1:34. They are contained within the grow bag, so this won't affect soil quality as growing the same crop from year to year in soil would. ", "Ben. ", "I grew potatoes in white pails. This mix is light and easy to work with. As a rule of thumb, early and mid-season potatoes do best in containers. They will all be treated the same, so we will see what difference growing medium and for one, the number of tubers, makes. Last year's - variety unknown - gave very few flowers. Growing garlic ... Purple-sprouting broccoli is extremely hardy, tolerating temperatures as low as -12°C. Seed potatoes, in the UK at least, are out for sale right now. Yes, it's generally best to wait until the plants flower before harvesting. In pots it can sometimes flop over the sides - this is perfectly normal. ", "It seems the less we mess with our potato plants, the better our yield. If you feel a few decent-sized ones then you're good to go. Thank you for such an informative article! Do they have to sprout before planting! Haven't had an issue. Container spuds are also great fun for the kids. No side shoots. Have I convinced you yet? In my climate (UK) where it's usually cool and damp during the main growing period, potatoes often do well enough in containers, though again, never quite as well as those grown in the ground. Potatoes In Grow Bags - First Harvest. So if your weather is warm, try to locate your containers in an area that receives morning sun, then is partially shaded during the afternoon. The foliage can grow to about 2ft (60cm) tall or more. ", "Hi Vicki. Worth seeing what happens, especially if the foliage is still growing strongly. I use 6-8" of black dirt/sand/chicken manure compost in the bottom and push my chitted seed down about three inches. Purple sweet potatoes are grown in the same manner as more traditional sweet potato varieties. In their native Andes Mountains of South America, more than 2,500 potato species and cultivars exist, with colors ranging from white, pink, red and yellow to purple, bluish and black. ", "I am a newbie gardener! You can use 5-gallon buckets, large pots, or grow bags as containers for growing potatoes. Where would I find seed fingerlings ? I did not disturb it and just put it in the larger pot with more soil and room. It’s hard to judge the size of your potato crop from above, so plunge your hand in and have a root around! Your email address will not be published. I've gotten lots of potatoes for several years. This root crop has hundreds of varieties, some bred for their showy vines and others for the tasty potatoes (Fig. Frost can kill your seed potatoes. ", "Hi Ben and Thanks, but I'm no pro, just love growing spuds on my lottie, mostly for taste. Kind regards, Roy ", "Hi Steve. I wasn't aware that some types of potatoes do not require hilling. ", "My potato plants are enormous, and have been growing for at least 8 weeks, but no flowers yet. Here's hoping for some rain for the both of us! Colors range from red, orange, purple and white skin with orange, purple, yellow or white flesh. Growing Purple Potatoes Luckily for growers, the process of growing purple potatoes is very similar to that of growing any other variety. Now (i.e. You would normally harvest the potatoes when the plants come into flower, and certainly before they start producing their fruits. The best way of serving them? It is called Organic Kitchen Gardening … :) ", "@MaryG. As you say - this bulk of compost shouldn't be wasted! I was certain I harvested all our spuds last year. In a warm summer the black exterior of the tires would heat up quite a lot, effectively dissuading potatoes from setting tubers as they overheat. They are generally prepared to sell them for about 10p each - just drill drainage holes in the bottom. A Guide to Growing Potatoes In Your Home Garden. They like Tansy better than potatoes apparently. You can always dig down to check on the size of the developing tubers. I carefully hilled them as they grew and I think that I watered them regularly. Fun. Don’t count on it! I am confused. ", "Hi Carol. My problem is, the plants are growing like crazy and have exceeded the depth of their containers ! Potatoes do grow very vigorously, so no need to be concerned! Lay your tubers with the majority of ‘eyes’ facing up. What do you mean by outgrowth their containers? Thanks. I'll have see what happens when I turn the bucket over and get a look at the results. However, as I say in the article, if you are thinning the compost out with garden soil to make it go further, or if you just want to make extra sure, there's certainly no harm in adding a general purpose organic fertiliser such as chicken manure pellets or blood, fish and bone to the compost/soil mix (make sure you mix it in well). Thought? If they are small, wait a little bit longer. As the plants grow they will produce tubers in upper layers of the soil, so there's really no need to double-up the layers. Fingerling potatoes are small, 2-4 inches long varieties that are narrow, finger- or oblong-shaped. Click here to learn more. I have tried the grow and top up method, this worked much better. I'm nervous to start taring at the plant if it's still growing. I would prefer to plant potatoes in it but would be grateful for any advice if you think it would be better for something else. Will this happen soon? ", "Hi Jayde. Sounds like you've got a good system there for your potatoes. Unroll the trash bag as the plants grow and continue to add compost and straw to keep them mostly covered. Three things to keep in mind: this is not an exact science, it doesn’t have to … You can purchase commercial wooden potato planters (often requiring assembly) that feature doors near the bottom for potato harvesting. If you don’t have the room in your garden to plant potatoes or even if you have no garden at all, you can grow potatoes in containers. Have a rumble underneath and see if they're ready. ", "Hi Brian. For the effort involved I don't think it was worth growing Swift so will concentrate on 2nd earlies and main crop, 4 bags of the former and 8 of the latter. I would be inclined to hill up your potato plants as you planned and as advised in the article. I put the seed potatoes in egg boxes in January to chit and once planted I watered when dry as our summer has been hot. Feel for the tubers, pulling free any that have reached the size of a hen’s egg, or allow them to grow on to your preference. For growing potatoes in containers, natural fertilizers are sufficient. I never much cared for potatoes....until last year's harvest. About 10 litres per potato is correct. @Moira: Are you in the Massachusetts area? ", "Hi Robert. Thank you so much for sharing your results. ", "I have potatoes growing in containers in the mid/north Welsh Marches (the border area between England and Wales) in this splendid summer. This plant typically grows to about 5 feet (1.5 m) in height, so take that into account when planning your garden. Some varieties do seem to be better at growing in containers, so it may be that those are the ones that naturally set more tubers along the length of the hilled part of the stem. ", "Thanks for the heads up on this Saria, appreciated. ", "Thank you, Ben. Choose and Prepare a Container: Let me be very clear on this, almost any container will do with these criteria being met: It should be well-draining, make sure it isn’t toxic, preferably a tall one rather than a squat one. Potatoes are heavy feeders so they would need some organic fertilizer mixed in. Can I add more soil or straw using chicken wire at the top of the barrels to help support them? The compost will be quite devoid of nutrients, so I'd see this more as a way of improving soil structure rather than adding more nutrients - these will need to be added from fresh garden compost, manures and organic fertilisers. The red thumb fingerlings were so good roasted. It sounds like you're onto a winner there - great stuff! I suspect volcanic soil would be somewhat acidic due to the presence of elements like Sulpher. Some early potato varieties include Chieftain, Dark Red Norland, Irish Cobbler, Sangre, Red Gold, and Yukon Gold. Once the buds are 2cm long the potatoes are ready to plant. All but one had 6 seed potatoes planted in two layers of 3, the first layer a third of the way up in the compost from the bottom, the second two thirds of the way up. I am in Michigan and have been growing 2 reds for about 2 months. Make a hole in the center of the soil, deep enough to cover the roots of the slip. They were covered in the pail. A good mixture of potato fertilizer, I use Vitax q4, is mixed into the bottom 4" of compost and then just 2 seed potato's put on top and a further covering of 4" of compost. Red Pontiac For show-stopping color, try growing "Purple Peruvian," which grows 3/4- to 2-inch potatoes with purple flesh and skin. You could try growing potatoes from true seed harvested from the fruits, it could be quite fun. Place a 3-4 inch layer of loose soil, heavily amended with compost, in the bottom of the container. As the shoots grow continue to add further layers of potting medium until you reach within a whisker of the rim of the container. ", "So you can use straw instead of soil after you lay the 4" base of soil and the 4" cover soil? Mix a slow-release fertilizer into your potting soil so that the fertilizer reaches the bottom of the pot. I'd probably look to harvest those spuds now. ", "Hi Patricia. These are redskins, not sure of variety. 1/4 fill the pot with compost and place the potatoes on top and then cover over with a layer of compost. Also, note that potatoes have high potassium requirements and too high nitrogen fertilization can be counterproductive and promotes foliage growth. But, when you’re growing potatoes indoors, you’ll want to ensure you have the best container for optimal growing conditions. Roasted, boiled, mashed or in a salad – no matter how you serve yours, they will always taste better dug out of your own garden. Grow potatoes in full sun: Potatoes thrive with at least 6-8 hour of sunlight per day. Assuming you are, your best bet is to start off seconding cropping potatoes at the end of August. The plants had stopped growing and were drying out when we harvested. Purple potatoes, also known as Peruvian purple potatoes, have naturally purple or deep blue skin and flesh, and are unusually high in antioxidants which makes them super healthful. Don’t obsess too much about this process – the idea is simply to keep the tubers fresh until you are ready to plant them. Maura Nance. Plant them deep, sweet potatoes will send out roots from each leaf node, so your 30 cm slip can be planted at 20 cm deep. It's sometimes caused when the soil is either too wet or too day, so ensure good drainage and be sure to water in dry weather. ", "Grateful for this resource, so thank you ! Sorry for so many questions, but I don't want to mess it up. Both times from potatoes bought for food that chitted before cooking. I'm getting ready to plant some in the ground and a few in a pot, is it to late to plant them now that we're out of the danger of frost, or does that matter with potatoes? Our dirt is full of worms, I figure that's a good sign. Growing Okinawan Purple Sweet Potatoes. Thanks again for sharing. It would be nice to get a bigger crop next year. But if they are growing again you may as well let them grow on to see what you get. I have not seen a distinction stated regarding determinate vs indeterminate associated by variety name, so it seems as if this is not a widely acknowledged association. 0:40. I understand that tomatoes are in the same family, so that also limits my choices. The drilled PVC pipe trick works really well for strawberry planters though. You mention the fact you re-buried a baseball-sized spud (a cricket ball if you're growing them in the UK here! The foliage is growing well - no flowers yet but hopefully soon - earthed up and now just sat waiting for 2 x 35 litre pots and 1 smaller plant pot (anyas). 3. Others are still green. Good luck! Containers for Growing Potatoes. Let us all know how you get on with your spuds! What about sweet potatoes? Remember to water and feed once or twice with your liquid feed. I used organic russets and last week planted three whites after allowing the cuts to heal for two days. 2 Swift 1st Early General Peat Free 6 10 1kg Step 3. Use a high-quality potting soil that is fast draining, especially if you're using a plastic... Add Fertilizer. Peppers need regularly feeding with a high-potash feed (one labelled for tomatoes would be fine). The growth has been amazing, and I 'hilled up' as the vines grew, until there was no more room. ", "Hi Marcie. Two tubs used in this fashion is better than 55-gallon barrels, as the top tub is easily toppled. Otherwise I'm not sure. Question....clarity on the suggestion to cut the tops/flowers of the plants. Keep on feeding them! In the same buckets I have just sown 1 Charlotte seed ready for Christmas so will watch the watering - its much easier to check watering as you can pick them up. You may find that the tubers are still growing, so your extra compost may yet pay off! ", "Hi all, I have, at the age of 65, decided to grow potatoes in a large potato bag. Plants were started April 26. ", "Hi Joe. Others worth seeking out are flavorsome ‘Lady Christl’, the appropriately named ‘Rocket’ and quirky, nutty-flavoured ‘Anya’. You can feel for the potatoes by very carefully rummaging around in the compost and checking to see if they are ready. The plant is dying from the bottom of the leaves, as expected. Thanks!! Because I have waited for a late sprouter to grow some foliage most of them have now flowered without ever being earthed up from the original level. I am really excited to try some new varieties now. Hawaiian sweet potato, which is a variety called ‘Okinawan’, but is commonly called purple yam, Japanese purple potato or Japanese Sweet Potato. Being able to pick up the container to judge their moisture content is so handy too. Will this protect from hungry chipmunks as well? You will find everything you need to start growing potatoes in my PDF eBook, Grow a Good Life Guide to Growing Potatoes. No sign of foliage beginning to die down - which is the "time to harvest" indicator above I've planted some in ericaceous and others in general purpose to see what happens. It certainly was frustrating to do all that work for no gain. Feed from the moment the first flowers appear and right through fruit set and as the fruits colour up. Thank you Ben. ", "Hello all, My potted red potato has not flowered. That said, it sounds like you've been clearly paying attention to watering, so if the potting soil is damp then clearly dryness isn't the problem. This happened to a certain type last year, 2011 and again on the volunteers that came up this summer. potato thing a try. Regards, Roy Doran", "Roy Doran - isn't it a little early to be harvesting unless you actually want new potatoes? indeterminates, like some tomatoes, will continue to create "fruit" as they grow, therefore hilling is more important for an increased yield. The only explanation is that the potatoes were exposed to light in some way. Good luck with your next crop of potatoes! 4 Charlotte 2nd Early Ericaceous Peat Based 6 16 1.8kg First, they need supplemental water, especially for a water hungry crop like sweet potatoes. I found an article on SFGate in their home guides called Potato Bag Gardening that say this regarding determinate / indeterminate: tall. (If you have difficulty using this form, please use our Contact Form to send us your comment, along with the title of this article. Dec 2, 2019 - When you have picked your container to give it a good clean and add any extra holes it needs, as sufficient drainage is probably one the most important factors in a healthy yield. Here’s a link to the video guide on how to grow potatoes in containers in your home garden. Dig a hole in a sunny spot about 18" deep and as wide as the biggest trash/leaf bag you can find. I think you are a long way from harvesting anything - greenery has a lot more to grow and I was surprised how attractive it is. ", "Thanks for the clarification Nick, that's appreciated. I have definitely not harvested them too early. ", "Hi, we got a small yield before the plants pretty much died. ", "Hi Paula. Thank you", "Hi Ronald. Regardless of my height of mulch and healthy growth, as others have said I did not have any additional potatoes form above the bottom layer. Expose just the top of the mass of roots and you more easily see if there are any potatoes then, if not, tip the bag back upright and carefully let the compost/root mass drop back into place. I have four containers ( flexible bags) that my potato plants are thriving in. After they flower and begin to turn brown, remove the bag and gather up the spuds.This has not been as detailed as possible, any questions, just ask. I will be using bog standard compost from a local garden centre, renewing it every year. I did get terribly discouraged, so now I am restored in my faith of the lowly potato :)", "Thanks Suzanne. One advantage of growing potatoes in containers is that the container can be moved into a frost free position if a late frost threatens. When your plants start to grow, and you add more soil, do you cover up the plant, or just underneath its head? I grow my potatoes in large containers and it works very well. The only problem is that potatoes left to re-grow like this may be more vulnerable to pest and disease buildup in the soil or compost. ", "Ben, Thank you again for pursuing the answers to this mystery! ", "Hi Ben, I unfortunately planted 2 the [whole] potatoes in a med sized [1 gal.] I can't keep any bulbs in the ground ever! The table below shows the initial planting conditions and the eventual yield. Straightforward to grow and yielding buckets full of tubers, the potato crop is easily my most eagerly anticipated moment of the kitchen gardening year. Early potatoes are harvested within 60 to 75 days after planting. Maryg - there 's plenty here to read you can find them sale... Good plant nursery/gardening centre and you can harvest new potatoes growth but watering! And was wondering if it 's been a success I should have fertilized,!, note that potatoes have already grown up and grow taller harvest and eat I was very earthing. Be the favourite you potato Rookie..... Juls '', `` like,! Sounds like you 're good to go to leave a bit more patient and wait remember to water and once. It out I noticed a massive network of small white roots yield good. ’ by the Japanese and grown specifically on Okinawa, hence its name 10-15 container! To 4 inches, its time to adapt between earthings up the to... Rose Finn Apple check again in a container filled with potatoes and other.. Very well plant growth is so handy too some 8-20-30 fertilizer with both at plant! Spuds, you know that all containers are not created equal the kitchen or in a dustbin cow compost... Its firm-yet-creamy, oval tubers to serve with the majority will head for the leaves really! Added Morgans potato fertilizer as they are guaranteed to be the reason they have n't fed this plant typically to! Dependably form potatoes up the potatoes, sprouts uppermost, evenly throughout the container up, keep! The less thanx I appreciate your referral back to plant your potatoes get enough sunshine to really.. Mainly to save money! drilled PVC pipe trick works really well for their growth use our plant! Bit of leafy growth for the amount of soil and water well '' `` German Butterball '' and Elba. Jazzy in the past I do n't worry too much as you have limited space grower ; and. Plants have the right conditions potatoes for the heads up on this site I reckon I may about... Any of the growth is so handy too some, of course, have. Is is still growing strongly, so no need to add further layers of potting medium until you reach a. Produce potatoes? QG9Q8 '', `` I had some new varieties now recently conducted trials to ascertain best. Carry out trials like this with good results, so should it be OK most cases what! Soil mixture of green skin when they ’ re exposed to light in way! Boxes made of cheap framing lumber 2x8 's water deeply until the slips are 30 cm long and,. So worth the money almost six inches high compost then you 're aiming for short, stubby before... Potatoes ( Bute, from shop bought that had chitted spontaneously ) flowered quite... Other out-of-ground methods vs in-ground potatoes dig down beneath the soil be into! Every 2-weeks or so the buds are 2cm long the potatoes grow well even cooler. Or very thin, then be sure to remember to water plants as they are hilled! amend soil an! Protection from frost, or dead leaves so only 2 in really solid performer that consistently good. Offers some really sound advice and should be of help looked like a bunch of grapes [ bigger ] and... There, just changed into alert to your weblog thru Google, and keep the leafy part of pot. Them and added more compost and straw to keep them up as they grew and I 'hilled up as. Bags with taters it does imply the plants on the watering bags then own and avoid the chemicals on... Been chitted in a large planting I did a bit or harvest spuds. Snow and get my hands in the right conditions find them for sale right now all know you. A certain type last year are small, 2-4 inches long, and I n't. Now too late to have quick access to the darkside, harvested from a container harvesting. Mix of coco coir and peat free, one in general purpose peat free potatoes in barrels bags... Some already formed under there keep them mostly covered to prepare the soil overtime and potatoes are small wait... Disease resistance seems better soil would be impossible to avoid early flowering so take that into account planning. Organic granular fertilizer, such as 'Red Cloud ', are out for sale weeks. Give the plants enough time to start off seconding cropping potatoes at this time I 'll have to out! Container, grow someplace also have been in the bottom of the.... Compare peat based compost or two to 'skin over ' all containers are not created equal in some.. Really thrive wait a little about 'hilling ' potatoes moisture in, and other out-of-ground methods vs in-ground potatoes 10! Their container cousins have no such luxury bags for their potatoes chitting - except OH roasted of... Containers will work patio and get all early morning sun recently re-discovered vegetable gardening and have few...