02 January 2013

The Patio Potato

How to Grow potatoes in a pot

End of the season before frost
I wanted to grow potatoes, but owning a townhouse I do not have the space for a garden.  The solution that I came up with was to try to grow them in a container.  I had no idea how this would turn out so, I started small.

I purchased a single seed potato from a garden center.  Cut the potato into about four or five good size chunks.  Each piece of the original seed potato had an eye on it.

I put the seeds in the bottom of the pot and covered them with about three inches of peat moss.  Once the vines got a good start and were well rooted I pinched off the leaves from the bottom of the vines and added more peat moss.
As the vines got taller I would occasionally pinch off the bottom leaves and add more peat moss.  I did this a few times until the pot was completely full.  As you can see from the picture the vines eventually grew much longer.  I could have used a much taller pot.

After our first hard freeze, the veins died back (second picture.)  I laid out a tarp and tipped the pot out.  We busted up the clump and dug all the potatoes out.  The plants grew roots out of the steams from the bottom of the pot to the top.  It grew potatoes from the bottom where the original seed was planted all the way up as I added peat moss around the stems.
Overall, I was happy with the yield.  One seed potato produced thirty nice sized Yukon Gold Potatoes.  Yukon Golds are not as large as Russets anyway, more of a medium size.

Thirty potatoes from one seed and in one pot, I think is pretty good.  I am a little proud of myself.  However, I am also potato greedy. Next Spring I will try to increase the number.  I am going to try a larger container, maybe a trash can or something I build.  The idea is still to try to grow potatoes vertically to limit the space needed to get a lot.  I am going to try more than one variety as well.



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