Gardening 101: Planting Potatoes in a ContainerBy
If you have limited garden space…planting your potatoes in a container is a fun option. I’ll be planting potatoes both in my garden and in a container, just so that we can have as many potatoes as possible!
There are a variety of ways to plant potatoes in a container. For me, the easiest way is to use an old rubbermaid garbage container. (Hint: remove garbage first.)
Here are the simple steps:
- Poke or drill several holes in bottom of garbage can.
- Scoop about one foot of soil into the container.
- Push five whole seed potatoes into the soil, spread apart evenly.
- Make sure the potatoes are completely covered by about two inches of soil.
- Water the seed potatoes.
- Sit patiently and wait for them to grow. You may want to take up knitting.
- Once the plants have grown to 7-8 inches in height…scoop more soil into the container. The soil level should be about three inches from the top of the plants.
- Water the plants as needed. As soon as the plants begin to flower, be sure to water generously and consistently.
- Each time the plants reach 7-8 inches above the soil level, scoop more soil into the container, maintaining the soil at three inches from the top of the plants.
- At the end of the summer, dump out the contents of your container (which will, by that time, weigh approximately 368.4 pounds). Dig all around the dumped out soil and gather potatoes.
- Jump and cheer each time you find a potato. Have an “I found the biggest potato, neener, neener, neener” competition.
- Go make mashed potatoes.
Don’t ask me how many potatoes you’ll be able to grow using this method. I’ve read that you can grow several pounds of them. Last year when I first tried doing this, I didn’t do a very good job of continuing to fill my container with soil like I was supposed to…therefore I didn’t have a very high yield. This year…I’m planning to do better!
By the way, with the exception of poking the holes in my container (because I had done that already last year)…this process took only ten minutes. That included digging up soil, planting, watering…and yes…stopping to take a few picture. (Wonder what my neighbors were thinking? Weird lady. Takes pictures of her dirt and trash cans. Weird, weird lady.)
A few more things you might be wondering about…
How should I poke holes in my container? Well…I had the kids stand back while I went to town with a pitch fork. But a much safer and more effective way is to use a drill.
What kind of soil should I put into my container? I dug up some good soil from the compost area in our backyard. You can use packaged soil from the store…but keep in mind that you’ll need quite a bit. I remember being surprised last year with how many bags of soil it took.
Does my container need to have the left-side handle missing? No. Your potaoes will grow just fine in a container that has both handles attached.
Will you show us updates on your blog as your potato plants grow? Absolutely!
Will I get dirt under my fingernails? Yes. When you push the seed potatoes under the soil, you will get dirty. But don’t worry. It will feel good. You’ll feel like a good farmer. You’ll feel like you’re working hard to feed your family. You’ll feel like you accomplished oodles of work because you got dirty. (Don’t tell anyone it took ten minutes.)
Oh…be proud of those dirty fingernails! See…I was so proud of mine I took a picture for you. (Weird, weird lady)
Do any of you have experience planting potatoes in a container? Any of you planning to give it a try this year? Anybody want to send me a picture of your dirty fingernails?