Have You Ever wondered how to Grow Potatoes Indoors In Containers?
Growing potatoes indoors IS possible. Learning how to grow potatoes indoors is a special skill that you can start today. It can be a fun and rewarding gardening project, especially if you have limited outdoor space. You can also enjoy growing potatoes while it’s still cold outside.
In this post, I will share:
- A step-by-step guide on how to grow potatoes indoors
- The right containers with good drainage to use for growing potatoes
- Tips for planting, caring for and harvesting potatoes from the comfort of your home.
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1. Choose the Right Potato Variety:
Select healthy seed potatoes varieties suitable for indoor growing. Look for container or small-sized varieties, often referred to as “new” or “baby” potatoes. For best results, choose varieties adapted to your grow zone. Little container potatoes are the cutest and tenderest potato. They taste great, too!
Examples include fingerling potatoes or small red or white varieties. These might be different types of potatoes to you but they will grow into delicious potatoes later on. I adore the yukon gold potatoes as well as any of the blue potatoes varieties.
2. Gather Materials:
- Potatoes with sprouts (known as “seed potatoes”)
- Large containers or grow bags with proper drainage holes
- High-quality commercial potting mix
- Full-spectrum LED grow lights or access to a sunny windowsill
- Fertilizer suitable for potatoes
- Watering can or spray bottle
3. Chit the Potatoes:
Chitting is the process of encouraging the new potatoes to sprout before planting. Place the seed potatoes in a cool, dark place with good ventilation for a few weeks until sprouts emerge. This is a good idea to do to increase the germination rate with cool temperatures during the winter months.
4. Prepare Containers:
Whatever container you choose to grow potatoes in, make it a deep container. A good option is to just purchase potato growing bags. You could also use a 5-gallon bucket but it must have drainage holes in the bottom.
Fill the containers or grow bags with well-draining potting mix, leaving a few inches from the top. Potatoes need loose, well-aerated soil for optimal growth.
5. Planting Potatoes:
Plant the sprouted seed potatoes with the sprouts facing upward. Bury them about 4-6 inches deep in the soil.
If using a large container, you can plant multiple seed potatoes, ensuring they are spaced a few inches apart. Potatoes must have enough space between them for a bountiful harvest.
6. Provide Adequate Light:
Place the containers in a location, such as a south-facing window with access to at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. You can use a full-spectrum LED grow light if natural light is insufficient. Potatoes require ample hours of sunlight or light for proper development.
If using grow lights, place them a few inches above the top of the soil. It’ll be like having them in full sun and the potatoes will grow and thrive in the right conditions.
Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Soggy soil is not good for any container plants – but especially container-grown potatoes. Water whenever the top inch of soil feels dry. Ensure proper drainage to prevent water accumulation and diseases such as spider mites.
Once the potato plants have established themselves, begin fertilizing with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. Follow the recommended application rates in regular intervals on the fertilizer packaging. Fertilize as necessary according to growing conditions.
9. Hilling (Optional):
If space allows, consider “hilling” the potato plants just as you would with garden-grown potatoes. As the plants grow, add more soil or straw around the base, covering the lower stems. This encourages the development of more potatoes along the buried stems and you could get more pounds of potatoes this way.
10. Monitor Growth:
Keep an eye on the plants for any signs of pests or diseases. Remove any damaged or yellowing leaves. Potatoes are ready for harvest when the plants flower and the foliage begins to yellow and die back. You can also tell when new potatoes are starting to stick up through the surface of the soil.
Harvest the indoor potatoes when the foliage has died back. Gently dig around the base of the plants to unearth the potatoes. Be careful not to damage the potatoes themselves.
12. Cure and Store:
Cure the harvested potatoes by allowing them to air-dry in a cool, dark place for about two weeks. Once cured, store them in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated area. They will keep for quite a while in a cool dry place and you could be enjoying homegrown potatoes into early spring.
Now You Know How To Grow Potatoes Indoors
Growing potatoes indoors can yield a small but satisfying harvest. It’s a great way to enjoy homegrown potatoes even if you don’t have access to a traditional outdoor garden. Adjustments to the process may be needed based on the specific conditions of your indoor space. I hope this post has opened your mind to new indoor vegetable growing options.