Most of us don't have the space for a vegetable plot in our gardens. However that doesn't mean we can't enjoy the experience of home grown produce. Potatoes are great for growing in containers and ideal if you are short on space as they can be grown on balconies or on a patio. We've recently grown our own potatoes which have turned out brilliantly. 

Growing potatoes in  containers is really easy to do. Below I'm sharing with you on how to grow potatoes in a container. They are ideal for if you are a beginner when it comes to growing your own fruit and vegetables.

The container
You can buy specialised potato bags or barrels. However a large plastic pot that is at least 40 litres will also do, just make sure it has adequate drainage at the bottom. We personally opted to use potato bags and they worked well for us.

 Tips for growing your potatoes 

1. Potato seeds
Potatoes aren’t started with traditional seeds or seedlings. Instead they are generally started from seed potatoes. You can buy potato seeds from garden shops. In terms of the best types of potatoes for growing in containers, look for smaller varieties. Larger varieties won't have room to grow to full size in pots.

2. Chitting 
Chitting is another word for sprouting your potatoes. This is where you speed up the ageing process of the potato by exposing it to light and warmth before planting.  Put your seed potatoes somewhere warm (8-10°C) and light so the eyes of the potato will sprout. The sprouts should be small, knobbly and green/purple in colour.

3. Planting
Potatoes can be planted outdoors in containers about 2 weeks before your last frost date. In the UK that's usually around March/April time. Place your chitted seed potatoes, sprouts up, on top of your compost. As a rule of thumb use one potato for a 25cm (10”) wide container and three in a 40cm (18”) container. Then cover the spuds with another 15 to 20cm of your compost mix. Water your potoes regularly.

4. Growing
After a couple of weeks dependant on sunshine and temperature you should see your potatoes start to sprout through your compost. Keep adding more compost to cover until about 2inches below the top of your container. You don't want compost that is soaking wet but moist for potoes to grow. 

5. Harvesting
Once they have fully flowered it means they are ready for harvesting. If you've growin them in small containers, simply take the top off the plant, remove some compost and take your homegrown spuds out. Store them in a single layer in a cool dry and dark place. Enjoy!

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