How to Plant a Whole Potato in a Container


Potatoes are suitable to a variety of container types. One of the prime benefit of container-grown potatoes is they are easy to harvest with minimal damage to the tubers. Container gardening also takes up little space and can be done in areas with no suitable garden beds such as on an apartment balcony. Potato plants are grown from small potatoes called seed potatoes. While larger seed potatoes are cut apart, smaller varieties such as the Irish potato are planted whole.

Step 1

Fill a 10-gallon or larger plastic tub or other large planting container 2/3 full with a quality growing soil. Make your own growing mix by combining one part peat moss and one part compost. Use containers that have pre-drilled drainage hole in the bottom.

Step 2

Mix 2 tablespoons of slow-release 10-10-10 analysis fertilizer in with the soil. Container gardens have little nutrients so fertilization is a must.

Step 3

Make a 4-inch deep hole in the soil and set the potato inside with at least one of the growing eyes facing up. Cover and lightly firm the soil over the potato.

Step 4

Water the soil in the container until the excess moisture drips from the bottom of the container. Check the soil in the container daily and water thoroughly when the top 1 inch of soil feels dry.

Step 5

Add more soil to the container as the plant grows until the container is filled to the rim with soil. Always leave at least the top two sets of leaves above soil level.

Step 6

Harvest the container-grown potatoes once the vines die back in fall. Turn the container upside down and dump out the contents onto a large tarp. Pick the finished potatoes out of the soil then place the old soil in the compost pile.

Tips and Warnings

  • Potatoes may produce green, tomato-like seed balls. Do not eat these at potato seeds are toxic.

Things You'll Need

  • Container
  • Compost
  • Peat moss
  • Fertilizer
  • Tarp


  • University of Arkansas Extension: Irish Potatoes
  • Cornell University: Potato Growing Guide
Keywords: container gardening potatoes, planting seed potatoes, grow a whole potato

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.