Growing Potatoes in Containers:
Potatoes are the all-time favorite and most used vegetables in the kitchen. Potatoes grow in almost all the seasons. Growing potatoes in containers could be an easy task, but you need to grow them in large containers as the potatoes grow underground and need more space in the soil. A homegrown potato has amazing taste and texture are very different from those you get from the supermarkets. Growing potatoes in containers could be fun and interesting project for kids. Potato plants grow amazingly fast and produce good yields.
Scientific Name for Potatoes: Solanum Tuberosum.
Potatoes in Indian languages
- Tamil – Uralaikilangu.
- Malayalam – Urulakihangu / Kizhangu.
- Telugu – BangaalaDumpa / Urlagadda / AluGadda.
- Kannada – Aalugadde.
- Hindi – Aloo / Batata.
- Bengali – Aloo.
- Gujarati – Batata.
- Konkani – Kook / Batato.
- Marathi – Batate.
- Oriya – Alu.
- Punjabi – Aloo.
Growing potatoes in containers will save you the garden space and reduce the risk of pest and diseases. Select the best seed potatoes that are disease free and have less mature days. Potatoes take 70 to 120 to mature.
Top 10 Countries of Potato production
- The United States.
Advantages and Disadvantages of growing potatoes in containers
- Advantages: There are many advantages in growing potatoes in containers, you can healthy nutrition rich potatoes using good quality soil and natural fertilizers.
- Disadvantage: The main disadvantage of potatoes in containers is you should take more care of watering, container should be maintained the good moisturizer levels to get better yields.
Choose the best seed potatoes for growing Potatoes in containers
Seed potatoes are called tubers, these potatoes are not for consumption. Table stock potatoes are also used as seeds, but they don’t have good yields.
There are four varieties of seed potatoes, choose your variety depending on season you plant and maturing duration.
- First varieties of potatoes you plant in February and harvest them around may.
- A second variety of seed potatoes can be planted around march and harvest them in June or July.
- A Third variety of seed potatoes can be planted around April and harvested in August or September.
- A Fourth variety of seed potatoes are planted in July and harvested in November or December.
Each variety has different options to choose depending on taste and preference.
Where do you get seed potatoes for growing Potatoes in containers?
- You can buy seed potatoes from local nurseries or online.
- Keep seed potatoes in dark and dry place till the buds appear. Once buds appear they are ready for planting.
- If you don’t get seed potatoes, use supermarket potatoes.
- Take some good quality potatoes and place them in cool, dark and dry place till the buds appears. When potatoes start budding it is the signal that they are ready for planting.
- While planting, keep the only 2 to 3 buds on potatoes and remove other buds.
- For more yields, you can cut the seed potatoes into two halves and plant separately. But make sure that each halve has 2 to 3 buds.
Choose the Container for growing Potatoes
- You need large containers to grow potatoes. Large the container more the potatoes.
- A potato plant requires approximately 10-liter container to grow.
- Potatoes can be grown in any type containers, growing bags, polythene bags, sacks, tires, big plastic pots, barrels, buckets, plastic bags etc. Large, black plastic colored buckets are recommended for potatoes. Black colored plastic containers are more recommended as they hold moisture for long periods.
- The main thing you should concern is plant should get sufficient space and a good drainage system in the bottom.
- And you should make sure the container has more drainage holes. Excess water harms can harm seed potatoes spoils them, so drainage holes help to drain out the excess water.
Soil for growing Potatoes in containers
- Soil you choose should be loose and light.
- Soil you select should be rich in organic matter.
- Soil you use for growing potatoes should be acidic, with pH levels 5 to 7.
- You check the N-P-K levels of the soil to know about its fertility.
- A perfect potting mix for growing potatoes in containers- Equal parts of good quality potting soil+ multipurpose compost (gives tuber a good organic material) + handful of fertilizer to get good nutrients (use organic fertilizer bone meal, fish meal or chicken pellets).
Sowing the seed potatoes for growing Potatoes in containers
- Take the container with minimum diameter 12 inches in diameter.
- Before you plant the seed, check the soil condition. Soil should be warm and soil temperature should be 4 °
- Cover the bottom of the container with small stones which help to drain water away without stagnating inside the container.
- Fill the container soil upto 5 to 6 inches.
- Now sow the tubers 2 to 3 tubers on the soil bed with eyes facing upward.
- And cover the tubers with 5 inch soil and water lightly.
Sunlight requirement for growing potatoes in containers
- Potatoes require 6 to 7 hours of sunlight daily.
- So, place the container where it sunnier.
Water requirement for growing potatoes in containers
- Regular require watering at regular intervals.
- Soil should be kept moist. And it should not be wet.
Ideal temperature to growing potatoes in containers
- Potato is a cool season crop, the temperature required depends upon the variety you choose.
- The ideal temperature should 7°C to 26 °C
Caring tips for growing potatoes in containers
- Potatoes in pots require special care when they start growing. When your plant grows up to 5 to 7 inches high, the distance between the soil and lower leaves increases. So, cover the stems with soil till inch distance left to reach the lower leaves. Instead of soil you can manures or organic compost to cover.
- This process will help the plant to get good support and supply of nutrients.
- Make sure that the container doesn’t get overfilled.
- Potatoes should be watered consistently by testing, moisture levels of the soil.
- In summers, plant requires more water, so water twice daily in dry climates.
- You should add extra fertilizer if the leaves are slightly yellow or if planting are not growing well.
- Should check pH levels of the soil consistently. If the pH levels are low, the leaves look yellow or weak.
- You should check pH levels in soil using litmus paper, if you observe low pH level add some compost or manure.
Fertilizers requirement for growing Potatoes in containers
- You need to feed the potato plants with natural fertilizers and well-rotted manure.
- An organic liquid fertilizer should be given for every two weeks.
Pests and Diseases in growing Potatoes in containers
- Beetles, Aphids, Flea beetles are the common pests that infect your container plants.
- These common pests are controlled by insecticidal spray, soaps, or organic fertilizers.
Post harvesting tips in growing Potatoes in containers
- Stop watering two weeks before you harvest the potatoes.
- Plants show a signal for harvest by turning their leaves and stems into yellow color.
- By the end of the growing season, potato plants will grow, bloom, wither and die.
- Plants het fully withered to indicate the harvesting time.
Harvesting your Potatoes in containers
- Potatoes should be harvested before the plants gets dry out.
- You should not use a spade or sharp instrument.
- First, you should pull out all stems and leaves and dig in and find the potatoes in soil wearing hand grouses.
Storing container grown potatoes
- Wipe the dust and dirt from the potatoes without washing.
- Store in cool, dry place and in a dark place to keep them fresh for long periods.
- Wash them only before cooking.
Bottom line of growing potatoes in containers
It is one of the best ideas to grow potatoes at home. You can grow these organically as well. it saves you the money and provides you best value.