Simple Steps to Success: Fruit and Vegetables in Pots ,
Potatoes Need Water to Develop Healthy Tubers
Large, leafy potato plants and developing tubers need a reliable supply of water to produce a good havest. Water pots regularly and never allow compost to dry out.

Step 1: Sprout Seed Potatoes

Put Seed Potatoes in Egg Cartons for Sprouting

Sprout (“chit”) potatoes before planting. In early spring, place seed potatoes in egg boxes, with the end with the most eyes facing upward, and set them on a cool windowsill. Plant when the shoots are ¾in (2cm) long.

Step 2: Plant Potatoes in Large Plastic Bin

Potato Planting in Large Plastic Bin

From mid- to late spring, make drainage holes in the base of the bin and fill a third with compost. Evenly space five potatoes on the surface, with their shoots pointing up. Cover with 6in (15cm) of compost and water well.

Step 3: Earth Up Potato Plants As They Grow

Earthing Up Potato Plants as They Grow

Add compost around the plants in stages as they grow until the bin is full. Known as “earthing-up,” this encourages more tubers to form, prevents them turning green and poisonous on exposure to light, and reduces frost damage.

Step 4: Harvest When Ready

Potato Crop Ready for Harvest Once Plants Bloom

With consistent watering, potatoes should be ready to crop when the plants flower. Empty the bin and harvest the tubers all at once or allow plants to continue growing and pick through the compost to take what you need.

13 Comments About this How To

  • Tom Braak
    I used to grow potatoes on a bed of compost within a wire enclosure wrapped in burlap (for shade on the sides). As they grew I put clean straw over them. When I wanted a potato I would reach through the straw and pull out a clean potato - as they would grow in the straw, not the compost. One could do it in a pot as you mention here. My cage was three feet tall, three feet wide, and about 8 feet long. Final harvest involved removing the cage and picking through the straw.

    Posted 1 year ago

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  • cathy s
    I just did this exact thing and the dirt is already at the top and the plants continue to thrive. Can't wait to harvest my own Yukon Golds!

    Posted 1 year ago

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  • Shelley Webb
    We do every year. Sometimes we get great results; other times not so much, but I guess that's true of any harvest.

    Posted 1 year ago

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  • Lorraine Kavanagh
    I've plated cut up potatoes with many eyes as u did here & got some potatoes last year. I shall try it you way this year. Hoping it isn't too late. :0(

    Posted 1 year ago

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  • Bonnie Maravilla
    I did not know potatoes could turn green and poisonous ion exposure to sunlight!

    Posted 1 year ago

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  • Charlie
    Always a lot of fun. You never know just what you have until you dump the container. Have grown potatoes this way for several years. I have always cut my seed potatoes into pieces with eyes, let them callous over for a couple days and then planted. Do you think you get more by planting the whole potato? That compost idea sounds interesting to.

    Posted 1 year ago

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  • Cyndee Wenzel
    Sounds awesome I would do this in my apartment but the stems and leaves of potatoes are very poisonous to animals (cats and dogs) not sure about children. Also onions, garlic, all root veggies. So be careful around pets. And I just researched and yes the stems and leaves of potatoes and tomatoes are poisonous.

    Posted 1 year ago

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  • Connie Causey Nunez
    we plant in old tires to start our potatoes...as they grow we add more soil. Stack tires to the height you feel is safe and just keep earthing up. When ready to harvest just knock down the tire tower. It should be full of potatoes

    Posted 1 year ago

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  • Sara Dodging Squirrels Huff
    Connie I have heard that for many years, People say they get tons of potatoes like that, I will be doing the container potatoes though because I do not have the tires.

    Posted 1 year ago

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  • J. d. Brown
    One summer I planted sweet potato vine in a flower bed., for its beautiful light green color. In the fall, I dug it up because it would not make the winter. I was shocked to find a nice crop of sweet potatoes. They were great!

    Posted 1 year ago

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How to Plant Young Crops

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Correct potting is essential for crop growth. Follow these steps to create the most prosperous environment for young plants.

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