Growing Potatoes in Containers

What to do with those sprouting potatoes… and how to grow potatoes while maximizing your garden space? In this article are numerous cool ideas for starting potatoes indoors, how to make your own potato grow bags, and how to grow them in different containers.

If you’re in a warmer climate, this may not be for you, as it’s best to grow potatoes in the ground in nice loamy soil when it’s out of the freeze zone.

BUT… potatoes occupy a lot of space for a long time. So if you’re looking for alternatives that keep potatoes from hogging garden space while keeping them easier to harvest, you’ll enjoy these ideas.

Photo by Aimee Ray via Flickr

Photo by Aimee Ray via Flickr 1)

Sprouting potatoes? What to do


Why grow your own potatoes? Well for one thing, potatoes are one of those veggies that are good to eat organic, but buying them organic can be expensive. They are a good use of garden space as a single plant can yield up to five pounds of potatoes. Also, they’re fun to grow. This article will tell you how you can turn that scary tangle of sprouting potatoes under your sink, into a meal (or ten!).

A single potato plant can yield up to 5 pounds of potatoes.

Timing: Count backwards from when you wish to harvest your potatoes. Most varieties need between 17 and 19 weeks from planting to harvest. Add another two weeks for “chitting”. Chitting is a way to help the potatoes store up solar energy which makes them more likely to produce a big crop. Exposure to indirect sun hardens the sprouts so they are less likely to break. Also, the green in their skins is bitter and discourages pests from eating your seed potatoes in the ground.

Sprout your potatoes: Potatoes must go through a natural dormancy before they can sprout again. This can be anywhere from four to six months. UNlike most crops, they are not sensitive to day-length but have an internal timing that can only be altered slightly to suit the farmer’s planting cycles. If you wish to delay sprouting, keep potatoes in a cool, dry storage area. If you wish to hasten their sprouting, increase the temperature and moisture of their storage place. Layering them in damp leaves, in a tub kept in a heated part of your house will do the trick. The ideal sprout-length is about ¾ of an inch (10-15 mm). The longer they become, the more likely they are to break when you plant them.2)

For containers to use for sprouted potatoes, please visit page 2.

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