Growing Potatoes in a Container for Small Space Gardening

From Kayla:

I’m trying something new this year: Growing potatoes in containers!

Most resources say not to use commercial potatoes for planting because they are sprayed with chemical to prevent sprouting. However, some long-forgotten potatoes in my pantry sprouted quite well! They would have been composted anyway, so I decided to try growing them in a container.

I chopped up the potatoes, tossed them in a drain tile, covered them with dirt, and forgot them.

Two weeks later: Plants!

Supposedly I cover these leaves with dirt and wait for them to peek through another six inches. I will continue doing this until potatoes grow out the top.

Potatoes are tubers which means they are bulging underground stems. The whole container will be filled with potatoes this way.

I was so happy with the success of this experiment that I got a BIG barrel from a car wash to grow seed potatoes. It’s gone well so far. They are almost ready for their second covering.

It’s early enough in the season for me to grow a barrel with my students. What a great technique for anyone with limited space!

7 thoughts on “Growing Potatoes in a Container for Small Space Gardening”

  1. I did this last year in an old mineral feeder container and it worked very well, adding soil as they grew. I did not have any potatoes bugs and I do not know if it was because of the using a container or I was just lucky. I am doing it again this year in a larger container.

    Good luck

  2. II’ve tried to grow potatoes the past 2 yrs. the 1st yr I had a bag of seed potatoes which I shared w some people and planted some. My harvest was 1 large potato, and a small one and a few seed sized.. I saved and planted the following yr the seed sized.. My harvest was a Handful of tiny little potatoes! this year I’m trying it again.. I garden w raised beds. I started my seed potatoes at the lowest part of the bed. (ground level) II’ve been adding dirt to fill inn around the leaves,, allowing the plant to grow up out of the dirt. So far they are up about 6-8 in. I will be interested to see how yours turn out.

  3. Melissa Garcia

    I have planted old potatoes from the grocery store several times. Usually with more success than the seed potatoes. Have a batch coming up now. Good luck.

  4. Found your site looking for recipes! I was so impressed I have persuaded my kids to try it, we have a suitably large half barrel and have . Like one of the comments above I had very poor results with seed potatoes in the past. I think this will work well

  5. I’ve seen old tires laid down around the potato plant, then filled with dirt, then as the potato grows up through the dirt, another tire and another layer of dirt, etc. They had about seven or eight tires stacked up by the end of the growing season. They said harvesting was very easy – they just pulled the tires down off the stack and there were the potatoes.

  6. Do you cover the whole plant with dirt or just around the plant? I guess I’m wondering if you cover the leaves and all of the potato plant? I would think the plant would die if it was completely covered.

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