You cannot beat the taste of freshly dug potatoes from your own garden. If you do not have the space or believe it is just too difficult, there is a solution for you. Try growing potatoes in a container in a sunny spot on your patio, backyard, or balcony. Container grown potatoes are more disease free and easy to harvest.

There are two types of potatoes for the potato grower; determinate and indeterminate. Determinate potatoes are considered fast-growing and produce tubers at the soil depth just above where the seed was planted. Indeterminate potatoes are classified as slow-growing or late harvest and produce tubers all along the stem where soil exists. Indeterminate varieties are preferred for containers, so the yield is worth the effort. Indeterminate varieties include Carola, Nicola, German Butterball and Elba potatoes. If these varieties are not available, use any late season type.

Purchase seed potatoes from the local garden center or a mail order source. Do not use supermarket potatoes that may have growth suppressant applied to them. Seed potatoes should be the size of a chicken egg. Cut in half if necessary.

To get started you will need a container of at least 7-10 gallons. Covering potatoes as they grow is not necessary in containers. Fill the bag or container with good quality multipurpose soilless mix and compost to around 1" below the rim. Carefully plunge potato tubers into the container with the potato eyes and any shoots pointing upwards, to a depth of 5 inches from the soil surface. Plan on one seed potato for every three gallons of soil. Water them, place the container in a bright, frost free location and wait for them to grow. Feed potato plants every other week with a balanced vegetable fertilizer and water when the soil begins to dry out.

After approximately 10 weeks of growth the plants will blossom. You can harvest new potatoes usually about two to three weeks after plants flower. If the potatoes are too small, be patient and wait. After the plant’s leaves and stems have withered, the potatoes will be ready to harvest and enjoy.


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