Patio Potatoes: How to Grow Potatoes in Patio Containers
Potatoes are a very versatile vegetable and many cooks consider them a staple in the kitchen, but did you know that you don’t need a farm to grow them. With a few supplies and the following simple steps, you can have home grown potatoes from your patio.
You will need a few supplies, including good soil, a container to begin the sprouts, toothpicks, water, a potato and a container to plant them in.
The first step is to grow the sprouts. Cut a potato in half, you can use one or both halves. Insert toothpicks into the sides of the potato (to help suspend the potato in the plastic container), fill the container with enough water to cover the potato, all but about an inch on the top. The potato will absorb a lot of water, so make sure to refill the container daily.
Place the container with the potato in a window that gets plenty of sunlight during the day. It is helpful to put it in a window that gets a lot of morning sun.
Eventually, the potato will have sprouts on the top and roots on the bottom. Leave the potato in place until the roots have grown enough to almost fill the container. Once the roots are large enough, remove the potato from the plastic container to plant.
The potato can be planted in almost any type of container, such as the large plastic tubs used for storing decorations, large clay pots or plastic garbage cans. The container needs drainage holes on the bottom, so if using a clay pot, buy one with that has a hole in the bottom or puncture holes in plastic containers. The container should be placed in a sunny area of the patio or deck.
Fill the container with about two inches of soil or enough to bury the potato so that only the sprouts are exposed. There should be enough soil to cover the entire roots of the potato and the top of the potato, except for the top sprouts. Add water until the soil is moist and continue to water daily or whenever the soil begins to dry. As the potato begins to grow and sprout more, you will need to continue adding soil to make sure the new growth is covered. Each time you add soil, leave about two inches of the stem emerging from the soil.
The potatoes will grow on the bottom of the container, so the deeper the container is, the more potatoes you will be able to harvest. As the potato grows, there will be a green leafy top and as the potatoes mature, the tops will gradually wither and turn brown, which is the time to begin harvesting the potatoes.
Dig through the container until you find the potatoes, wash and store them in a cool,dry place until you are ready to use them. The potatoes will continue to grow, so remember to check the container daily for new potatoes.