I’m always surprised when I speak with people about their vegetable gardens, and I find out they haven’t ever tried to grow potatoes! “I just haven’t gotten around to it,” they’ll say, or “Aren’t they difficult to grow?” And they answer is NO! In fact, they’re one of the easiest plants to grow, in my opinion. So there’s no reason not to plant yourself some potatoes this spring – not even if you don’t have space for a garden!
Growing potatoes in a container is simple and rewarding. Even a square foot of space on a balcony or patio can make a great home for a container of potatoes! So if you want to give it a try this year, here’s what you’ll need:
- A large and tall garden pot (with drainage holes)
- Potting soil
- A potato seedling/start (or a seed potato)
Start by filling your pot with potting soil. Potatoes need quite a bit of room to grow downwards, so fill the whole thing with potting soil rather than using any sort of filler at the bottom of the pot.
Once your pot is filled to about an inch below the rim, dig an appropriately sized hole for the roots of your plant, or a small hole about 2″ deep for your seed potato. If you’re using a plant start, gently split the root of the plant with your fingers before planting, to encourage proper root growth.
Place your plant or seed in the hole, and fill around it with potting soil.
Once it’s planted, press gently around the surface of the soil to settle it a bit.
Water your pot thoroughly. During the growing season, make sure to the soil around your potato plant stays damp, but not saturated.
In the fall, the foliage of your potato plant will start to wither and yellow. This means it’s time to harvest! Each potato plant can yield 5-8 potatoes. Serve them up in the fall for a very special and very delicious potato dinner for the family! :-)