Sunday, 10 April 2016


Click here for the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop

Potatoes are easy to grow in containers, and I much prefer this method in my garden.  The advantage of container grown potatoes is that they do not take up so much space as when planted in the ground, and you can tip the container up to release the potatoes rather using your fork which inevitably pierce the potatoes as you dig.
Firstly you need to select a suitable container.  I use an old plastic dustbin, but you could use half a barrel, larger container or builders’ bag.  The key is to select a large, deep container that will hold enough soil to support your crop and to drill holes in the bottom to allow free drainage.  Main crop potatoes will require a larger container that first and second early varieties.
Potatoes like a water retentive, fertile soil so use a good quality potting compost or a mix of multipurpose compost and organic matter such as well rotted farm yard manure, leaf mould or homemade compost.
Fill the container up 20 cm high and place chitted seed potatoes on top of the compost.  A large 40 cm container will usually take 3 potatoes; a dustbin around 5 tubers but a smaller container will take an only single potato. From each seed potato you will achieve a crop of 15-30 potatoes. Cover the potatoes will 15 cm of soil and gently water.
Within a couple of weeks you will see your potatoes sprout.  Keep earthing up your potatoes by covering the green shoots with soil until the compost is 5 cm below the top of the container.
You will need to keep your potatoes well watered as containers will dry out quicker than bed grown potatoes, and they may need watering several times a day in hot weather. .  Feed your crop with a liquid plant food weekly.

Early potatoes can be harvested from when the plants stop flowering onwards, whilst main crop potatoes when the vegetation has withered and died back. Harvest your potatoes by gently tipping the container and releasing the potatoes.  Leave your potatoes to dry before storing them in a cool, dark place.

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