Container Potatoes

Container Preparation

Any medium size container that holds at least two or three gallons of soil can be used. Examples include baskets, 5 gallon FOOD GRADE buckets (drill plenty of holes in the bottom and lower sides & fill the bottom inch or two with gravel), Grow Bags or large plant containers/nursery pots. Make sure there are adequate holes for excess water to drain.

Fill the bottom of each container with a few inches of potting soil, which will be where potato roots will grow. The potatoes will grow upward from the level of your original potato piece (seed). That is the reason for adding more soil as your plants grow. Do not use soil from your yard in a container. It will become compacted and hard – 2 things potatoes hate. Mix in a scant handful of all-purpose or organic fertilizer. Place the container where it will get sunlight but not too much radiated heat from a wall or patio.

Plant the Seed Pieces

Cut your seed potatoes into chunks with at least 2 sprouts/eyes on each chunk. Smaller potatoes can be planted whole.

Plant your potato seed pieces in the soil. How many pieces you plant will depend on the size of your container. You can plant 4-6 seed potato pieces in a 10 gallon container or 2-3 in a 5 gallon container. Water well to get the plants started. Continue to water as needed to keep plants moist, not wet.

Cover Plant Stems as They Grow

Once plants begin to grow, gently pile new soil around the lower stems to keep them in total darkness. Continue weekly until the containers are almost filled. Continue to water down deep around roots, but do not keep the plants wet. 


When the leaves and stems start to turn yellow its time to cut back on the water. Your plants are finished growing. You could also move your containers to a more shaded spot – especially it they are in full sun and it’s hot outside. When the stems are totally yellow, you can harvest your potatoes!

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