Potato sprouting, getting ready to plant soon!

How to Grow Potatoes in Your Container Garden PAL (Plant Along)

Growing potatoes is so easy and fun! If you live in an apartment, you can grow a container on your deck. I grow my potatoes in containers instead of my garden bed, this allows more space for the plants that do better in the beds.

What I like about growing potatoes:

  • They are a good starter plant for new gardeners
  • Potatoes can be grown pretty much anywhere, in a container on a deck/balcony or right in your garden beds
  • This is one of the first vegetables I plant, this gets me excited for fresh veggies!
  • Kid friendly! They are great to do with your kiddos!

Let's get started...

What you will need:

  • Seed potatoes (I get mine at my local nursery in the spring)
  • Container - you can use anything! Bigger and deeper is best, but I have grown them in old storage bins. I like these Novelty Tubs, or the Smart Pot cloth pots to grow potatoes - they are big, deep and look nice.
  • Potting soil

When to plant:  In early spring - I aim for the Friday before Easter, this is what all of the prior generations of my family did.

You can also plant a late crop in the summer. 

Step #1: Sprouting 

Seed potatoes in a bowl starting the sprouting process

1 to 2 weeks before you are ready to plant your potatoes, put your seed potatoes in a warm (60° to 70°) location with plenty of light. Mine are on my kitchen table next to the window.

I aim to have my potatoes planted in their pots by Good Friday. You can also plant a late crop later in the summer.

Now we wait and watch them come alive!

Two weeks later...(said in a silly cartoon voice)
Your potatoes eyes are now sprouting!

Potato sprouting eye

Step #2: The Potato Cutting
Use a clean sharp knife and cut your potatoes into chunks. Each chunk should have 1 or 2 eyes (eyes are the sprouts).

Cut seedling potatoes, laying out to dry the cut portion.

Now we will leave them to sit out for a couple more days. This allows a callous to form over the cut portion. This callous helps prevent your potatoes from rotting when planted.

A few days later...(in the same silly voice as before)
Your potatoes should have formed a callous on the cut edges.

Calloused seedling potatoes, ready for the garden!

Step #3: Planting Your Potatoes:
Put a couple of inches of soil at the bottom of the container you have chosen.

A layer of potting soil in a container waiting for potato sprouts

Place potatoes cut side down, eye side up. I space my potatoes a couple of inches apart, because I like small potatoes. If you want bigger potatoes plant them further apart.

Potato sprouts planted eye side up

Now cover your seedlings with a couple of inches of soil, and water. Place containers in a nice and sunny location!

Planted potatoes with a couple of layers of soil on them

Now that your potatoes are pushing through the soil, it is getting closer to the next step!

Potatoes starting to break through the soilPotatoes starting to push through the soil

Step 4:  Layering With Soil

Potatoes ready for their first layering of soil

Now that your potatoes have really broken through the soil, it is time to add a layer of soil.

Just add soil to cover most of the sprouts pushing through. You will repeat this step every time they sprout above the soil a couple of inches. Repeat soil layering until you have reached the top of your container.

Potato sprouts with their second layer of soil.
A few days later... (still got that silly voice going on?)

They are ready for another layer of soil! Make sure you are keeping them watered!

Potatoes ready for a layer of soil
Little girl watering potatoes

This will be the third layer, some are shooting up really fast!

Potato sprouts ready for their second layering of soil

We have added our last layer of soil to our potatoes! If you haven't reached the top of your container yet, just keep on layering until you get there!

Potatoes with their last layer of soil we made it to the top
Now we keep them watered, and watch them grow! I can't wait until you start getting flowers on your potatoes! 

I will continue posting pictures and directions as our potatoes grow! Make sure you follow us on Instagram or Facebook to get the latest progress!

In the meantime get out in the garden and get some home grown dirt therapy!
Back to blog

Leave a comment