How best to grow potatoes in a planter

Growing potatoes in bags is a great way of getting a useful crop from a small space. If you have a greenhouse or polytunnel then you can also get a very early crop by starting them off in February. There's no earthing-up required, no digging and minimum mess. You can simply plant your seed potatoes in the planter, and wait for them to grow. Salad potatoes known as first or second earlies grow well in bags inside the greenhouse or in a frost-free part of your garden. You can use chitted or un-chitted seed potatoes

Step 1

Quarter fill the potato planter with a good quality multi purpose compost.

Step 2

Set 2 or 3 seed potatoes (do not use more than this as you will only end up with very small potatoes), chits or eyes up, into the compost and cover with another 15 to 20cm layer of compost.

Step 3

Water well, two to three times a week, to ensure the compost never dries out. Once shoots break through, roughly every seven to 10 days, cover over with more compost, until the bag is full.

Potatoes like a lot of water. You don’t want the compost soaking wet but it should be moist all through.

Once the bag is filled, feed weekly with a liquid tomato fertiliser instead of watering that day.

Step 4

Once the plants flower, this is the indicator that the tubers are forming and may be ready. Scrape some compost out and if the tubers look OK, empty the bag and harvest your crop. Not all varieties flower so check bags according to the type of potato grown.

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