Many people can be put off growing potatoes, thinking they need a lot of room to grow them successfully.
I admit I used to think like this and dedicated one of my four beds at the allotment to just growing potatoes.
But after trying potatoes in tubs and other small containers, I realised that this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Where to grow your small space potatoes
You can grow potatoes in regular old pots as long as they are large enough.
This means you can grow potatoes in backyards, balconies and more.
As long as the space gets some sun, you can grow potatoes in it!
Grow bucket fulls of spuds in, err… buckets.
In the photo above, a flexible bucket is used, but you can also use the rigid type.
This can actually be a cheaper way of growing potatoes rather than pots.
Some buckets can be bought from your big stores for as little as 99p, which is cheaper than an equivalent plant pot.
Bags are another great choice and have a benefit over tubs in that they can be folded away when not in use.
I grow potatoes in canvas bags on my allotment. I scatter them around my pathways to save space.
- Grow bags are made of thickened and breathable non-woven fabric, environment friendly and BPA-free.
- The plant bags help prevent root circling and rotting, naturally air pruning "burns" off the exposed roots to promote the plant's healthy growth.
- The sturdy handles with X shape sewing on both sides of the grow bag make lifting and moving more convenient and easier without any worry of the handle being ripped off.
You can also grow potatoes in bins. In the above photo, they are growing in a compost bin, but regular bins work well too.
Your average black bin is commonly used to grow spuds, but they take a little filling.
This is why I prefer bags or pots, as you are not wasting soil that the plants are going to need.
These potato towers look like a really great idea.
I have not tried them yet, but I plan to build one this year using pallet wood, so watch this space.
The idea behind them is to build a square or rectangular box out of wood.
You can then remove some of the slats from the bottom when it is harvest time.
This allows you easy access to gather up those spuds!
Planting Potatoes In Pots
So now you have a good idea of what you can plant potatoes in, you will want to know how to plant them.
As it turns out there is actually a bit of a trick to planting potatoes in containers.
To start with, you want to fill your chosen container between a third full with compost.
Then place your seed potatoes at this level.
Now you want to add a little more compost, so your potatoes are covered. Maybe go five to 10 centimetres above the spuds.
When green shoots appear, you can add more compost to cover them up. The potatoes in the photo above need more compost to cover up more of the leaves.
This allows you to mound your potatoes up like you would with ones in the ground.
This is great as it stops light from getting to your potatoes and stops them from turning green and inedible.
If you are growing in a non-standard container, ensure it has drainage. Buckets, bins and tubs for example, won’t have drainage holes so make sure you add some!
Water container potatoes regularly. They love water, and as they are in tubs, they will dry out quicker than those in the ground.
Keep filling your container with compost until you reach the top.
If you are using a really deep container like an old dustbin, then fill the bottom with larger sticks and logs to save money on compost.