How to Grow Potatoes in Pots

Potatoes taste best when freshly harvested. Follow these steps to learn how to grow potatoes in deep pots or bins.

Potatoes Need Water to Develop Healthy Tubers

Potatoes Need Water to Develop Healthy Tubers

Large, leafy potato plants and developing tubers need a reliable supply of water to produce a good havest. Water pots regularly and never allow compost to dry out.

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 1: Sprout Seed Potatoes

Put Seed Potatoes in Egg Cartons for Sprouting

Put Seed Potatoes in Egg Cartons for Sprouting

In late winter, place seed potatoes in egg cartons with buds, or eyes, pointing upward. Stand boxes in a cool, light place indoors for about six weeks to produce sturdy, dark sprouts.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Sprout (“chit”) potatoes before planting. In early spring, place seed potatoes in egg boxes, with the end with the most eyes facing upward, and set them on a cool windowsill. Plant when the shoots are ¾in (2cm) long.

Step 2: Plant Potatoes in Large Plastic Bin

Potato Planting in Large Plastic Bin

Potato Planting in Large Plastic Bin

Fill bin with compost. Evenly space five potatoes on the surface, with shoots pointing up. Cover with compost and water well.

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

From mid- to late spring, make drainage holes in the base of the bin and fill a third with compost. Evenly space five potatoes on the surface, with their shoots pointing up. Cover with 6in (15cm) of compost and water well.

Step 3: Earth Up Potato Plants As They Grow

Earthing Up Potato Plants as They Grow

Earthing Up Potato Plants as They Grow

Add compost around potato plants in stages as they grow until bin is filled. Known as earthing up, this encourages more tubers to form and prevents them from turning green and poisonous on exposure to light.

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Add compost around the plants in stages as they grow until the bin is full. Known as “earthing-up,” this encourages more tubers to form, prevents them turning green and poisonous on exposure to light, and reduces frost damage.

Step 4: Harvest When Ready

Potato Crop Ready for Harvest Once Plants Bloom

Potato Crop Ready for Harvest Once Plants Bloom

Potatoes should be ready to harvest when the plants flower. Empty the bin and harvest tubers all at once or allow plants to continue growing and pick through soil to take out all tubers.

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

With consistent watering, potatoes should be ready to crop when the plants flower. Empty the bin and harvest the tubers all at once or allow plants to continue growing and pick through the compost to take what you need.

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