How to Plant Seed Potatoes in Containers

Overview

Containers make it possible to garden in areas where space is limited or the soil is unsuitable. Using buckets and bins as mini-gardens creates a suitable growing environment for each vegetable and simplifies watering and caring for the garden. Although root vegetables are a bit more difficult to grow in containers than above-ground crops, a potato plant can be grown in a large bucket as long as time is taken to attend to its specific needs.

Step 1

Select a container with a depth of at least 16 to 18 inches.

Step 2

Drill four to six holes evenly spaced around the bottom of the container for drainage.

Step 3

Fill the bucket ¼ to 1/3 full with lightweight potting mixture. Make your own by combining equal amounts of commercial potting soil, peat moss, compost and perlite.

Step 4

Mix 2 to 3 tbsp. of 5-10-10 fertilizer into the soil mixture. Mix the fertilizer in well to prevent damage to young roots.

Step 5

Place one seed potato in the soil and cover with 2 to 3 inches of soil. Plant small seed potatoes whole. Cut larger potatoes into sections so that each section contains at least two eyes.

Step 6

Irrigate the soil until water runs free from the bottom of the container. Place in a sunny location that receives six to eight hours of direct sun a day.

Step 7

Add 2 to 4 inches of soil mixture around the base of the plant when they are 4 to 6 inches high. Repeat the process as the potato plant grows.

Step 8

Soak the soil when it feels dry 1 inch below the surface of the soil.

Step 9

Harvest the potatoes a week or two after the plants have bloomed. Check for potatoes by gently digging under the plants with your hands.

Things You'll Need

  • Seed potato
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Drill, 1/2-inch bit
  • 5-10-10 fertilizer
  • Potting soil
  • Peat moss
  • Perlite
  • Compost

References

  • U.C. Davis Extension: Grow Vegetables in Containers
  • Ohio State University Extension: Container Vegetable Gardening

Who Can Help

  • University of Illinois Extension: Potato
Keywords: grow container potatoes, potatoes in containers, grow potatoes

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.