Want your own land but worry about no place to grow vegetables? Well, we're here to tell you what to do (probably anyway). Container growing is a convenient way to grow your own edible garden, and it's much more than strawberries, lettuce leaves and exotic herbs. You can easily grow staples like potatoes in even the smallest outdoor areas.
Contrary to what you might think, you don't need spreadsbackyardGrow tassels. With the right pots, enough soil and plenty of sunlight, you can grow the most versatile vegetable known to man, even if you only have a small patio or balcony. But before you start grilling meat or serving your own fries, there are a few secret tricks you should know.
With the help of some professional gardeners, we've put together this handy 6-step guide to growing potatoes in containers. From choosing the right container to using special tricks like "hilling," here's everything you need to know to get started.
Can you grow potatoes in containers?
The simple answer to whether you can grow potatoes in containers is yes, but you need the right conditions (such as sunlight) for them to grow (more on that later).
one of its best advantagescontainer gardeningThis is what makes it easy to grow what you want, where you want. "It's flexible and manoeuvrable, making it perfect for small spaces or those who don't have access to a traditional garden," he explains.Ahmad Zahid, gardener and founder of the Plant Bible. Even if there isn't constant sunlight somewhere on yousmall farm, a free-standing pot allows you to move the plant to different locations as needed.
You might think that because potatoes grow deep in the ground they need to be spread out in beds, but they can actually thrive inside containers. "Potatoes are extremely adaptable, making them a good choice for gardeners with limited space," he notesItamar Bendor, a plant expert and green lifestyle blogger. "Growing potatoes in pots not only maximizes yield in space, but also allows for better control of soil conditions and easier pest control." Here are six steps to get you on the right track.
1. Choose the right container
like any formvegetable container gardening, to successfully harvest potatoes in pots, you need to choose the right container. "When choosing a container for growing potatoes, it is important to choose a container that is large enough to accommodate the growth of the plant's roots and the tubers it produces," Zahid said. "A container with a minimum depth of 12 inches is recommended."
Your pots don't have to be limited to heavy plastic buckets. "A variety of containers can be used, such as fabric grow bags or even converted litter boxes," she saysTony O'Neal, founder of Simplify Gardening. In addition to being large enough, you should make sure your container has drainage holes to prevent your soil from flooding and causing your potatoes to rot. Mesh pots have the advantage that they can do this naturally and are lighter so they are easier to move.
These fabric grow bags are perfect for growing potatoes. They have a velcro window so you can watch the plants grow and easily harvest the potatoes when they are ready. The material also has excellent drainage and breathability and they are also 100% recyclable.
Bags of 2-Pack 10 Gallon Potato Grow Bags, Amazon
These fabric grow bags are perfect for growing potatoes. They have a velcro window to monitor the growth of the plants and easily harvest the potatoes when they are ready. The material also has excellent drainage and ventilation properties and is 100% recyclable.
2. Use well-drained soil
the most common kindContainer gardening mistakesWhen it comes to growing potatoes, it is waterlogged soil that causes rot. To avoid this, you need not only sufficient drainage holes in the pot, but also the right soil. As Zahid puts it, "Potatoes need well-drained, nutrient-rich soil to thrive, so a mixture of potting soil and compost or aged manure is ideal."
According to Tony, adding some perlite or vermiculite to your mix can help - some of the best non-polluting substancesPotting mixes for container gardening- Drains better and provides the right nutrients that vegetables need. You also need to consider the acidity of the soil. "The ideal soil for growing potatoes in containers is a slightly acidic mix with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5," he adds. You can try it with oneA soil pH meter, like this one from Amazon.
Mix this perlite into your potting mix to better aerate your soil. It also helps drain potatoes grown in containers, helping you avoid wet pots that can lead to rot.
3. Plant the potatoes at the right depth
Although they need plenty of room to grow, potatoes don't need to be planted as deep as you might think. But if you plant them too low, the tubers may be exposed to the sun.
According to Itamar, the correct depth is about four to six inches. "When you plant, be sure to bury the potato seeds with the new shoots facing up," he adds. This will form the leafy part of the plant you see on the ground.
4. Place the container in a sunny place
We all know that sunlight is essential for plants, but potatoes need a lot of sunlight. "Place your container where it receives at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day," notes Itamar. Below this, you may find that your performance suffers. If you have limited space, it is best to choose the sunniest spot in your hometallor terrace.
5. Keep the soil moist
To add insult to injury, even though potatoes love the sun, your potato plants must be kept moist at all times. This means you have to make sure they don't dry out, but you also have to be careful not to go too far in the other direction.
"Keep the soil constantly moist, but avoid overwatering, as this can lead to disease problems," says Itamar. "Potatoes also like cooler temperatures, preferably around 60 to 70°F, so avoid overheating. By thenHow to water plants in containers, frequent watering helps regulate temperature, so stick to a schedule to keep your plants happy.
6. Consider using the "hilling" method.
Last but not least, you can use a little trick called "tilling" to keep your plants healthy for a better harvest. With this gardening method, the element is in the name.
"As the potato plant grows, gradually add soil to the pot until it reaches the top," explains Zahid. "This helps promote the growth of additional tubers and prevents them from being exposed to sunlight, which can cause them to turn green and become toxic."
What are the challenges of growing potatoes in containers?
There are some common problems you may encounter when growing potatoes in containers, especially when they are grown close together in a small space. Besides the danger of flooding pots, Tony says some of the most common challenges include pests, diseases and foliage support.
"Overcoming these challenges includes checking regularly for signs of pests or disease, using organic or chemical controls if necessary, and providing adequate foliage support," he says. "I have a unique wooden frame that hangs about 18 inches above the pots to support the foliage and hold drip irrigation." You can make your own on a smaller scale with some bamboo sticks or garden twine.
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Another potato growing jargon is "chitting". This step should be done before planting, simply by placing the seed potatoes in a cool, well-lit area for a few weeks. "This promotes germination and gives your plants a head start on growth," says Itamar.