Grow potatoes in pots
How to get extra early potatoes, by growing in pots
Last year I decided to make a small experiment, to get my own fresh potatoes early in the season, by growing them in pots. And the result – better than expected, and I did my first harvest already in end of April (which is very early for being in Sweden, zone 7).
In this post, I share how I did it, and off course, the method of growing in pots work in general, not only for the pre-season.
/Jenny at Gardenize
How to grow potatoes in pots using Gardenize
To remember all the steps, I made use of my Gardenize Events history. By searching on potatoes, I can recall all the steps I took, and when I did what, I just wish I made even more detailed notes, and added more photos. That is my note-to-self for coming season.
1. Choose right variety
First, I chose a variety that has a short development time and can be harvested early in the season. This I do because, the potatoes I grow in pots, I have less patience with. And it is easy to forget to water the pots that dry out faster than if you grow in traditional beds in the ground.
It is good to know that many of the early potatoes, are not so good for long term storage. But that is all right I think, as I grow these to eat nice and fresh. 🙂
It is also important to use potatoes intended for reproduction. If you use potatoes from the grocery store, they might be treated with chemicals, to avoid starting to grow, and they might also have diseases.
2. Start indoors
Start the process indoors, by placing the potatoes on a tray, and spray them with some water to get the moist. After a few days you can see small sparks of life showing all around, and you can proceed to the next step – planting.
3. Plant in pots
When it is time to plant:
- Fill large pots, with holes in the bottom, with high quality soil, to around half.
- Place two potatoes in each pot
- Cover with soil, and make sure to have room to add even more soil over time, as the plants start growing.
It is important to keep covering the plants, so you don’t get green potatoes. Potatoes that turned green are actually poisonous and should be thrown away (or re-planted next year), and that is a pity right … And by making sure the little babies are not exposed to the sunlight, you will do fine.
4. Where to put the pots
For two weeks I let the pots stay indoors, in front of window with lots of sun. And when the night temperature starts to be stable above 0 C/32 F, I moved the pots outside, to a sunny spot, where the wind is gentle.
Depending on your climate, the perfect spot off course varies.
Make sure to set reminders to water the plants regularly and add more soil as the plant grows. Keep the soil moist, but not wet. It can also be good to turn the pots 90 degrees to get an even temperature inside.
5. Blooming time = harvest time
Most varieties of potatoes, develop flowers, and when these start to bloom, you can gently start scratching the soil to feel if you have some fresh potatoes coming below.
Some varieties don’t grow flowers, so for these you need to get your fingers dirty and simply check manually for treasures to harvest.
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