How to Grow a Container Potato Garden

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

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This spring the Mangin family (that’s us) decided to plant a garden! I grew up with my dad having a huge garden and I have fond memories of weeding it, going out to cut swiss chard before dinner, harvesting squash, and I’m 100% sure I hated every second of those chores as a kid. LOL  Isn’t it funny how we can tweak our memories over time! So we planted a medium sized garden and so far- so good!  One thing I really wanted to try was potatoes!!  I went to our local Agway and they were super helpful in teaching me all about growing spuds! Today I’m gonna share what I learned!

So, first things first… did you know potatoes don’t grow down into the ground?? That’s right, they actually grow UP!  What the What??  I was seriously confused and shocked by that info!
It was recommended that for a potato rookie like me, that I try a potato container garden first.
You can use a plain, plastic trash barrel, but I had a metal bucket on hand. Any container that’s a few feet deep will do.
Since my container wasn’t intended for plants, I drilled some holes for drainage…
Next, I ripped up some old newspapers and put them at the bottom.  Potatoes like really damp soil, so the paper will help retain the moisture better!

I bought Yukon Gold potatoes because they’re my very favorite for mashed potatoes.  Did you know that mashed potatoes are in my top 3 favorite foods??? Yup! And it was always was a tell-tale sign when I was preggers because I would want potatoes 24-7!  One time we hadn’t told Eric’s parents yet that we were expecting baby #2, but I went and ordered Baked potato soup, mashed potatoes, and a baked potato for dinner at a restaurant.  Ha!  I think it was a tad obvious!

If you want to grow potatoes, you can’t just use store bought ones- they can introduce disease to your whole crop.  You have to buy seed potatoes (you can use store bought ones and grow your own slips, but it’s super complicated sounding and seed potatoes cost like a buck!)

Add 2 inches of dirt on top of your paper- potatoes like really loose soil, so don’t use hard rocky stuff.
Each potato should have some eyes and you’ll want to plant them with eyes facing up!  My spuds had really sensitive eyes, so I loaned them my shades. (#cheeseballblogger)
Layer another 2-3 inches of loose soil over your potatoes and you’re done… for now…
Your potatoes will begin to grow and once your shoots are about 3 inches tall, you’ll add more dirt to cover them up again.  I told Kira and Callen it’s like potato hide and seek.  They helped me plant these and we’re excitedly waiting for our little shoots to be tall enough to “hide” them again!
So, if my pals at Agway are right, later in the season we’ll be harvesting our first potato crop! This was such a fun and quick project that the kids and I had a blast doing.  I definitely recommend giving it a whirl!
Have you ever planted spuds?  Any potato lovers like me out there?


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The comments +

  1. Shelley says:

    I love container gardening but never thought to expand beyond herbs & flowers. I’m so going to plant myself some potatoes now! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I just harvested potatoes I planted in an old bucket. I have two more pots and a grow bag…I will give them another week. I am so excited. I accidently grew potatoes in my compost pile years ago and I always wanted to deliberately plant potatoes ever since. This is so easy and fun to do. My plants flowered and grew potato seed pods that everyone thought were tomatoes.

  3. Tonia says:

    Hi. I love this idea. Did it work out for you? How long do you keep covering and do you actually harvest them right in the container? Thanks so much!


  4. Lynn Coulter says:

    Great idea, planting spuds in a container–much easier than digging up a lot of hard soil. I’m going to pin your image to the Home Depot Garden Club Pinterest board and link back to your post. We want to share this one with our Garden Club members!

    • Monica says:

      Thanks for stopping by Lynn and for sharing our potato garden idea! Can’t wait to host the NYC Garden Party this weekend! #SpringMadeSimple!

  5. Jaimie says:

    FYI when harvesting potato’s out of a container grab a friend, lift and dump! It’s fun to play hide n seek in the soil and you won’t stab your potato’s accidentally with a shovel or fork. Best to dump it on your compost or into a garden bed so you can re use the soil.

  6. LoisG says:

    Where do you buy seed potatoes ?

  7. Melissa R. says:

    Umm, how often do I water and when do I harvest? Would like to do this with my grandchildren this summer. Full sun or partial?
    Thank you!!

  8. Jake Greg says:

    I am wondering if you would push them down and pack the dirt on top or if I would just loosely lay the dirt on top? Along with that I was also wondering how long I let the potatoes grow for?

    -Jake Greg

    • Monica says:

      Hi Jake-
      I didn’t pack the soil down much, I just let the rain and weather do that naturally. I’d google how long to let them grow. I took mine out a tad too early I think! 🙂

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