You might want to learn how to grow potatoes in container if you do not have large garden. Potatoes are staple food that used almost daily for cooking. Thus, growing your own potatoes will give you the freshest ingredients to use. It has the best flavor that you will surely enjoy more than a store bought one.
Why You Should Learn How to Grow Potatoes in Container?
Growing potatoes using pots or containers actually gives a lot of benefits. So, even if you have a garden, you might want to try this method as well.
1. Prevent soil contamination
When you grow potatoes inside pots then you will use fresh soil each time. This means you can prevent soil contamination that can cause diseases or pest that came from previous planting season. You also do not need to do crop rotation.
When learning how to grow potatoes in container, you will also learn that you can move the pots around. You can place it in area with a lot of sunlight anywhere around your house. You can also move it when the climate change to find a new suitable spot.
It is very easy to take out the potatoes when it is time for harvest. You can just flip over the container and dump all of the content out. Then you can take the potatoes from between the soil without having to dig or shove them.
4. Save from pest
If there are soil pests in your garden such as voles, gophers, chipmunk or moles that dig around the garden. Then using containers to grow the potatoes will be a nice solution to use. The pots will protect the potatoes from those pests by keeping it out of reach.
Potatoes Varieties to Plant in Containers
There are a few potatoes varieties that you can plant inside pots. First is early potato type that can grow the crops at once and mature quicker. This variety only need 65 to 80 days until mature so you can harvest them around 6 to 7weeks after planting them.
The size of this potato is small but the texture is delicate and the flavor is sweet. Varieties that you can use from this type are Chieftain, Irish Cobbler, Red Gold, Yukon Gold and Sangre.
The next one that you can use is fingerling potato type. This type also small in size around 2 to 4inches long with narrow oblong or finger shape. They are available in different colors such as red, purple, orange, or a white on the outside with orange, yellow, white or purple color on the inside.
They have firm but moist texture with earthy and nutty flavor that is mild. Varieties that you can use from this type are French Fingerling, Banana, AmaRosa, and Pinto.
Choosing the Containers to Grow Potatoes
You need to choose the containers when learning how to grow potatoes in container since not all pots can be use. They need to be large in size so the potatoes have space to spread the roots and make tubers. Here are some of the containers that you can use:
1. Large size pot
You can use planter pot to grow the potatoes in. However, they should have at minimum 16 inches of dept and diameter. Usually 10 gallons pots with 41cm height suit this measurement. You can grow around 4 to 6seeds inside this container.
2. Grow bag
If planter pots are not your style, then you can always use fabric grow bag. This material will prevent from overwatering also allows more air flow around the roots. However, you need to pay more attention since this material will dry quicker, thus you might need to water it more frequently. You can grow around 2 to 4seeds inside 5gallons container or around 4 to 6seeds inside 10gallons container.
3. Recycled material
Those who want an ecofriendly option can try to recycle buckets to grow the potatoes inside. Choose one with 5gallons size then make a hole on the bottom using drill as drainage. You can grow around 2 to 4seeds inside this container.
4. Self-watering system
If you want something with advance technology, then self-watering system is the way to go. This system is created with enclosed containers that can prevent evaporation and have automatic water supply for the potatoes. This system allows you to keep the soil moist constantly.
The system will water the potatoes when needed thus it can help to prevent drought or overwatering. However, when learning how to grow potatoes in container in this system you need to choose containers that are deep enough.
Choosing the Right Soil Mixture
To plant the potatoes, you will need to use the right soil mixture. There is potting mixture that are specially designed to be used for containers that you can purchase. Or you can try to make your own mixture by combining vermiculite or perlite, peat moss or coconut coir and compost with good quality. Use 1:1:1 ratio for them and made as the amount needed.
Choosing Fertilizer for Potatoes
To help the growth, you need to put organic fertilizer into the container when plating it. Then to take care of it, you can give another fertilizer once every 14days. Spray the fertilizer on the foliage at early morning so all of the nutrient can dry and be absorbed before noon heat.
How to Water Potatoes
Watering is important especially if you grow them in container. Water will evaporate quicker on containers since the insulation is not as good as on the ground. The potatoes will only grow when there is enough water so make sure to water them frequently.
How to Plant and Harvest Potatoes
When learning how to grow potatoes in container put 6inches potting mixture inside the containers. Add some fertilizer then plant the seed potatoes around 6inches apart. Add another 6inches of potting mixture then water them frequently. Once the plant grows around 6inches tall, add more potting mixture. Repeat the process every 14days until container is full.
When the plant has bloomed you can harvest them as needed. Stop watering when the foliage had turn yellow since they won’t grow anymore. Dump everything on the ground and take out the potatoes for last harvest.