25 May 2011

How To Grow Your Own Potatoes (In containers - no digging!)

Learning how to grow potatoes the easy way with no digging! Growing potatoes is easy when you know how. There are lots of varieties of potatoes to grow such as King Edward's or Maris Piper potatoes. Potatoes grow from seed potatoes and are ready to harvest in 12-28 weeks in a sunny position. Learn how to grow potatoes with this easy to follow guide complete with pictures.

1. Buy seed potatoes at the end of winter. Lay them out separately with their 'eyes' uppermost in a cool, dry, light place or windowsill. They'll take about six weeks to sprout shoots.

2. Make holes in the base of a large container, such as a bin or a large mesh sack. Add some crock, gravel, or stones and fill the container with a 10 cm (4 in) layer of soil.

3. In spring, once the potatoes have sprouted short shoots, they are ready to plant. Carefully place five potatoes  on top of the soil with the shoots facing upwards.

4. Add a little more soil to cover the potatoes by a further 2.5cm 91 inch) layer.

5. Once the shoots re-appear cover them with more soil so they are just buried. This is called 'earthing up'. Keep repeating this until the container is full.

6. Keep the soil watered especially in dry weather. Remove any weeds. Use a general purpose fertilizer every couple of weeks.

7. Flowering shows that the potatoes have reached a good size, so you could lift some. Early varieties can be lifted as 'new potatoes' in early summer.

8. Otherwise wait until the leages die abck in autumn. Now tip over the container and enjoy finding the potatoes buried in the soil. Look carefully.

Last year's potaotes looked like this:
We got ours free from Potatoes for Schools where you can pre-register for your free seed potatoes and free grow bags. Join in with the activities too. Open to all schools, nurseries and childminders. It's also a good site for resources and seed suppliers in the UK.

Potato Peelings
Here's something for all the scrimpers and savers. Instead of throwing away or composting your sprouted potatoes, use them again. Peel the sprouted potato and use them potato in cooking if it's still good and then plant the peeling and they will grow the same as the chitted potatoes will.

Potato Planters

Gardman 7505 2 Pack Potato Tubs    Gardman 7505 2 Pack Potato Tubs

Potato Ricer
OXO Good Grips Potato Ricer  OXO Good Grips Potato Ricer

Grow your own Potato Books
Ultimate Potato Book: Hundreds of Ways to Turn America's Favorite Side Dish into a Meal  Ultimate Potato Book: Hundreds of Ways to Turn America's Favorite Side Dish into a Meal

How to Grow Potatoes: A practical gardening guide for great results, with  How to Grow Potatoes: A practical gardening guide for great results, with

Where do I buy seed potatoes?

Plants By Post  12 for £1.99

Primrose 12 for 2.95

Thompson and Morgan 5 tubers from £2.49 (more expensive but has a greater range of seeds and plants)


  1. Hi Sarah...I enjoyed your informative post.

    Thanks for sharing... I heard that Potatoes are very easy to grow and your post shows just that.

    Where are the best places to purchase seed potatoes?

  2. Hi, potatoes are so easy to grow in containers or pots. You can buy seed potatoes from local nurseries, garden centres or even eBay! Thompson and Morgan are a favourite as they have lots of varieties to experiment with. You can also use potatoes that have started to to sprout that you have left over in the cupboard and put them in pots or in the ground and they will grow. If you pull them early you will have new potatoes or leave them longer for jackets.