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Potato containers, how to

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Potato containers, how to

Post  Drpepperz on 5/10/2014, 4:24 pm

Here is a little tutorial on how i plant my potatoes! 

NOTE: When i talk about dirt i mean a 4/1 mix of top soil and compost mix or Mel's mix.

1st, you need a container, I like milk crates and 5 gallon buckets because they are easy to move around.


When using a milk crate, I put newspaper at the bottom to make them easier to fill. You can use whatever material, I've seen people line them with geotextile too. If using a 5 gallon bucket, replace that step by drilling holes in the bottom for drainage.


Then you cover the bottom with about 2" of dirt, divide the area in 4 and put a potato seed in each section.


Cover the seeds with another 2" of dirt and wait until you see all 4 sprouts sticking out, they you cover them again and so on until the bucket is full.


Once it's full, you let the leafs grow and keep an eye for any leafs that are turning brown or not getting sun, cut them so maximise the good use of energy from the plant. Once the leafs die, just dump the container on a tarp, harvest your potatoes and put the dirt back in the container with some fresh compost for next spring!

Hope you like my little "how to"!!

Cheers for now!

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Re: Potato containers, how to

Post  yolos on 5/10/2014, 7:05 pm

What about the holes in the side.  Does dirt fall out the sides or do you also line the sides with newspaper.

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Re: Potato containers, how to

Post  lyndeeloo on 5/10/2014, 7:17 pm

I put some in 5 gal buckets, never thought to use milk crates. Nice idea Drpepperz! How many potatoes do you generally get out of a 5 gal. Bucket planting. This is my first time growing potatoes and I'm amazed at how quickly the plants shoot up and need to be covered again.

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Re: Potato containers, how to

Post  Drpepperz on 5/10/2014, 9:09 pm

It's actually my 1st time doing the container potatoes so i have no clue what kinf of a yield i'm going to get!

AS for the side hole iI used those for tomatoes and they were allright, if I see i have a problem i'll put more paper on the sides

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Re: Potato containers, how to

Post  jimmy cee on 5/10/2014, 10:20 pm

This is my first attempt at potato's.
Sitting on a cement slab I laid down some plastic so the slab wouldn't drain moisture away.
Dropped 5 inches of M.M. planted potato's about 2 inches deep, then added 5 inches of compost on top.
Watered and after 2 weeks growth is coming up and out.
I fit weed barrier around, it should allow the areas to breath.
Cut the right one down to same as the unit on the left.
Thats all I know for now, wait and see..

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Re: Potato containers, how to

Post  Jmichelle on 5/11/2014, 7:40 pm

Here is a pic of my potato experiment. I've planted some Yukon Gold, and some sort of red potatos in 15 gallon smart pots filled with a mixture of garden soil, compost and peat moss. They are taking off and growing beautifully. I don't know if I will get potatos but the plants are growing fast. So far, so good. If this goes well, I may add more next year. Keeping my fingers crossed.




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Re: Potato containers, how to

Post  sanderson on 5/12/2014, 4:02 am

Nice, healthy looking plants. How many per container?

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Re: Potato containers, how to

Post  Jmichelle on 5/12/2014, 10:56 am

@sanderson wrote:Nice, healthy looking plants.  How many per container?

The max per 15 gal container was 5, but I only planted 4 per container.

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Re: Potato containers, how to

Post  lyndeeloo on 5/12/2014, 9:11 pm

Jmichelle, very nice. I hope my potatoes do that well.  affraid It makes me so nervous to keep covering them up with soil. I planted russets and red norlands.

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Re: Potato containers, how to

Post  jimmy cee on 5/12/2014, 9:23 pm

Theyer'e very purty

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Re: Potato containers, how to

Post  Drpepperz on 5/13/2014, 8:25 am

went down to 3c last night in Quebec city! (37f)  affraid I tucked in my container with warm blankets to be sure!  What a Face

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Re: Potato containers, how to

Post  Jmichelle on 5/13/2014, 9:19 am

@lyndeeloo wrote:Jmichelle, very nice. I hope my potatoes do that well.  affraid It makes me so nervous to keep covering them up with soil. I planted russets and red norlands.

Thank you!
They are growing super fast. I had to go online several times just to be sure I was covering them up correctly. I was thinking "surely I'm putting too much soil on these.

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Potato Containers

Post  VJ72584 on 5/13/2014, 7:36 pm

I grew some potatoes in wire cages lined with landscape fabric last year. I think I had three or four of those and two squares planted in my raised bed with a high hat.  Those in the cages produced some potatoes, but they were smaller than the ones in the raised bed. I wondered if may it wasn't getting enough water in the cages. They seemed pretty dry at the bottom when we emptied them.

This year I put a small box alongside my kitchen stairs.  After I cut up the potatoes, I had more than I needed but some pieces did not have good eyes on them. I put them back in the bag and forgot about them. Last week I noticed the cut pieces had started to sprout so I dug out a cage from last year and filled it. It was the only spot I had and it is already pretty hot here - so we'll see.


You can barely see the cage back there, but this is what the raised bed potatoes look like now.  The tomato in the bucket is going to an elderly person in an apartment with a small patio area. Hopefully it does ok.

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Re: Potato containers, how to

Post  Drpepperz on 5/13/2014, 8:01 pm

less space might be the reason for the small potatoes? How small were they?
Your raised bed looks awesome! It's still freezing up here in Quebec!

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Re: Potato containers, how to

Post  VJ72584 on 5/13/2014, 9:16 pm

There were a lot of potatoes that were the size of a kiwi or small lemon. Others were average size and some small as golf balls.  My sister in law canned all their small potatoes. I did not realize you could can them, but they were great.  Canning is on my list of things to learn. 

Maybe the amount of space makes a difference. I hadn't thought of that.  I just assumed the water wasn't getting to the bottom because I had added soil a couple times. Also it is so warm here already I wonder if the temperature is affecting it being above ground. Can't wait to see what I harvest this year.

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Re: Potato containers, how to

Post  AtlantaMarie on 5/14/2014, 8:06 am

Hi VJ.  Two things -

First - that raised bed looks great!

Second - you can download the USDA canning guidelines from their website.  It's several volumes and covers everything.  You might also look at the National Center for Food Preservation.  They're based at Univ of GA.  Great source of info.

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Re: Potato containers, how to

Post  Jmichelle on 5/14/2014, 9:28 am

VJ72584, Very nice! I want to try a cage next year. I saw videos of people planting the potatoes in those tall plastic laundry hampers/baskets that have the holey sides. I thought about trying to grow in one of those containers, but I thought I would start out small first then upsize next year. Your plants look awesome!

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Re: Potato containers, how to

Post  Drpepperz on 5/16/2014, 11:48 am



Well at least one bucket is on the right track!!

That one isn't as opaque as the other buckets i used I'm thinking that might be the reason it's picking up faster than the others...

Should I cover the leafs now or wait until they grow a little more?

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Re: Potato containers, how to

Post  jimmy cee on 5/16/2014, 1:22 pm

I threw these in 3 weeks ago yukon golds they are.
 I know absolutey nothing about doing potatos....or much else for that matter....LOL....

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Re: Potato containers, how to

Post  VJ72584 on 5/16/2014, 8:34 pm

I add dirt after the plants are 6-8 inches tall and cover about half of the plant. Still potatoes are determinate or indeterminate just like tomatoes.  Some grow only at the bottom where they are planted.  I think those are determinate potatoes.  In that case its wasted time to add soil.

We had a blast digging them up last year.  Like unwrapping a gift.

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Re: Potato containers, how to

Post  Drpepperz on 5/16/2014, 10:22 pm

@VJ72584 wrote: Still potatoes are determinate or indeterminate just like tomatoes.  Some grow only at the bottom where they are planted.  (...)  In that case its wasted time to add soil.
I never knew that! Shocked 
I just looked up my potatoes (Yukon gold) and they are determinate...Should i just dig them out, fill my buckets and replant them??? thinking

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Re: Potato containers, how to

Post  jimmy cee on 5/17/2014, 7:29 am

DR
Thats my situation now, the plants look so nice I can't pull them out.
I'll just enjoy what comes along

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Re: Potato containers, how to

Post  Drpepperz on 5/17/2014, 8:55 am

@jimmy cee wrote:DR
Thats my situation now, the plants look so nice I can't pull them out.
I'll just enjoy what comes along
Yeah...that's what i want to try and avoid since my "canadian potatoes" just started growing...

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Re: Potato containers, how to

Post  VJ72584 on 5/17/2014, 9:52 am

I wouldn't dig them up. I might even add soil once just to be sure that they are covered well while they grow. You can still get a lot of potatoes.  I can remember my grandmother "hilling" potatoes in a traditional garden.  Just to be sure they remained covered while they grew and we had potatoes that lasted all winter. My brother planted determinates last year in a box for the first time.  We didn't find out about the difference until later. He said he just had them at the bottom of the box but there were a lot of them.

Can't wait to see our harvests this year! I'll definitely post my results and I hope you will too. Learning as I go...

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Re: Potato containers, how to

Post  Drpepperz on 5/22/2014, 9:03 am

@VJ72584 wrote:I wouldn't dig them up. I might even add soil once just to be sure that they are covered well while they grow. You can still get a lot of potatoes.  I can remember my grandmother "hilling" potatoes in a traditional garden.  Just to be sure they remained covered while they grew and we had potatoes that lasted all winter. My brother planted determinates last year in a box for the first time.  We didn't find out about the difference until later. He said he just had them at the bottom of the box but there were a lot of them.

Can't wait to see our harvests this year! I'll definitely post my results and I hope you will too. Learning as I go...
I've got a few containers going so I think i,ll experiement Smile

Here's a prettier take on the poatato container I've been seeing on FB lately...might try it too Wink


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