Potatoes in Containers / Buying Seed Potatoes

bsntech(5b)February 27, 2010

Hello all,

Was looking to get some of your opinions of planting potatoes in containers.

I went to our local farm store today since they just got their Kennebec potatoes in a few days ago. Very impressed - only 31 cents a pound!

So for the first question. Since they sold the potatoes by the pound, I opted to get the smaller potatoes instead of large potatoes. The smaller potatoes had 3 - 4 eyes on them on each side of them - so I can cut them in half or thirds. The larger potatoes also had maybe 6 - 7 eyes on them - but were mostly all clustered together so I could still only maybe cut them in thirds or fourths. Therefore, I was able to get more eyes for the price with getting the small potatoes. Was this a wise decision - or is it better to get the larger potatoes? I wasn't sure if this is the same kind of thing like saving seeds - where you want to use the seeds from the better producing potatoes (therefore getting the larger potatoes as seeds to be used to get larger potatoes).

So, it was just under $3.00 with tax for 8.5 pounds.

We then went to the dollar store right down the road and I found these 20-quart wash-tubs for $1 each. I got home and put about 10 holes in the bottom of each. My thought is to plant a potato in each of these. The bins are about a 14" wide at the top and about 10 inches deep. Do you believe these will work OK for planting potatoes? I plan to put the seed potato almost at the very bottom (maybe an inch or two up) and then fill the container half-way. Then once the potato plant needs "hilling", I'll then fill the container the rest of the way up.

Here is a link that might be useful: BsnTech Gardening Blog

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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

I'm doing potatoes in containers also, and I think those in the picture will work great. Mine are mostly 3 gallon...


    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 4:44PM
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I'm doing the same thing. Tilting the pots helps to get the sun down in there until the potatoes have grown and you've filled them all of the way up.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 6:36PM
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Thank you for the replies.

I figured these would work well. Too bad they are $1 each otherwise I'd have 30 of them! There are many places around the yard where I could put these (or on the driveway) without making a raised bed - but $30 is a bit extreme to grow potatoes :)

Here is a link that might be useful: BsnTech Gardening Blog

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 10:24PM
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I did potatoes in containers last year. I used large (big tree sized, maybe 20-30 gal?) nursery pots. I put a layer of straw in the bottom to help retain moisture, added a few inches of compost, nestled the potatoes into the compost and mulched with straw as they grew.

My production was NOT good.

When I dug the potatoes, the compost was dried out but because the straw on top and on the straw on the very bottom seemed moist, I thought the rest was too.

If I were to do the pots again I would not use just compost and would do a lot more depth for the planting medium.

Please keep in mind that I live in a dry climate (though we did get a lot of rain last summer) at high elevation (7000') so you may get much better results than I did. I hope you do.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 2:52AM
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What does "hilling" mean from the OP?

I've never grown potatoes.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 7:25PM
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Hilling in this case means adding additional soil to cover some of the green leaves as the plant grows.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 6:26PM
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I had good success with potatoes in pots last year. My pots were a little larger than what you have and I planted 3 or 4 in each. Used only compost in the pot and watered and fertilized well. One advantage with the pots was that I could start them early in the green house and then take outside when it had warmed up. We had good nugget potatoes from one pot by the end of May!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 10:55AM
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How deep would you say your compost was (how deep under the seed potatoes)? Did you hill yours with more compost?
I'm a little tempted to try again -maybe with just one pot this time to see if I can get a better result.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 2:04PM
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The compost was 3 or 4 inches under the seed potatoes. I didn't fill the pots with compost right away but added it as the plants grew. Potatoes do need regular water once they are growing, probably more so when they are in pots.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 10:53PM
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I think I might have been better off hilling the pots with compost than straw (though I'll still use straw for in-ground potatoes).

Last year was my 2nd year with potatoes. I did one bin in 2008 but DH overwatered (and killed) them while I was out of town. We got an unusual amount of rain last summer and when I'd try to check the moisture in the pots it was misleading b/c what I could feel was wet but it wasn't wet enough farther down. :-(

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 1:59AM
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I am searching for a thread that talks about the two types of white taters.
1 only grows taters on the bottom of the stem, the other will grow up the side of the buried stem & is the ones that give you 200-1000% per the buzzzzzzzzzzz.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 2:36PM
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defigart(8B Vancouver, Washington)


Did you ever find out what these potatoes are?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 10:02PM
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Does anyone grow potatoes in their SFG boxes? I am new to SFG but it seems youd need pretty tall boxes to support them! Would love to hear some experiences! Thanks :)

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 11:47AM
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This year I plan to grow "garbage bag" potatoes. I am looking for a source for the blue/purple (inside) potatoes without paying exhorbant shipping costs. I live in N. VA. Can you buy those types of potatoes in stores, such as Asian food stores?

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 9:24AM
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snibb(Salt Lake City)

I've grown potatoes in my SFG for years. Done right you should get 5 pounds per square.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 3:13PM
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This year will be my first to try potatoes, I plan on making a circular container out of wire 2X3 inches, 4foot hi.
A light material around edges to keep soil in, the develop the growth as it matures.
I got this idea out of a gardener's book, sounds good.
Hopefully it will work, I have a friend who grows enough potatoes each year for his entire family, he will help me...

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 2:54PM
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I just found this about planting potatoes in a container.
I watched 3 hours of this fella's you tube video's last night.
This one is interesting for anyone growing potatoes in a pot..
I'm gonna try it anyway

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 1:08PM
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I notice that you have the same kind of helper that I have with my potato containers. If you want a little fun break, watch the video of my cat helping with out potato pots. And don't worry, I'm not a spammer, this is rated G.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gardening with cats

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 3:16PM
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