It may surprise you that you do not need a large plot of land to grow your own potatoes. In fact, potatoes can thrive in all types of containers, including planters. So, no matter where you live, you can utilize just about any space to grow delicious spuds. Here is how to get started:
Begin by finding the best size planter for your potatoes to flourish. You will want to ensure that it is durable with a proper drain hole for excess water to be filtered out. Planters should be about 2 feet tall and be able to hold upwards of 15 gallons.
Since drainage is the most important thing to be aware of when growing potatoes, you will want to choose a potting soil not a garden soil. This is because potting soil allows water to be drained more efficiently than garden soil. To make sure your potatoes grow strong and healthy, add a slow-release fertilizer to the potting soil. Fertilizers will put any nutrients back into the soil that may have been lost, which is especially important to do for potatoes growing in planters.
You do not have to start completely from scratch when you are ready to plant your potatoes, all you need to do is wait for the eyes or shoots of their potatoes to sprout. Afterwards, you can cut the potatoes down to golf ball size, making sure to leave some of the eyes on each piece. You will know the prepped potatoes are ready to plant when they are no longer wet from being cut and have dried over. Placing them in a cool, dark cabinet or container will help speed up the process.
Potatoes require about 6 hours of direct sunlight each day, so place your planter in a sunny spot to ensure they will get plenty of sun. Stick your prepared potatoes eyes up into your planter, making sure there is room for a few inches of soil to be placed on top. Do not add too much soil to the top of them because they will need to be able to stay warm enough to grow on the surface.
Water your potatoes as they grow, making sure to keep the soil moist but not wet. Once your potato plants have begun to grow, you will want to “hill” them, meaning you will carefully pile dirt on about 1/3 of their exposed stems. Remember that no potato should be exposed to the open sun, as this can cause them to turn green, so it is important to hill your potatoes periodically to avoid this from happening.
Exactly when your potatoes will be ready to harvest will depend largely on the type of potato they are. For growing potatoes in planters, early and mid-season varieties tend to grow the best.
Once the leaves have started to turn yellow, you can either tilt the planter over and sift through the potatoes or simply dig them out by hand within the planter.
Potatoes can be grown in any container you choose, so long as it is big enough for them to grow and moisture can be drained out of them properly. The planters you choose can range from anything from a canvas bag to more stylized and weatherproof options – it is all up to your preference!
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