Eating fresh, tender, organically grown potatoes will spoil you, and there are many delicious varieties you can find at your farmer’s market and a few grocery stores. They come in a range of tempting colors: purple, bluish, rosy red and gold. If you’d like to try growing your own, here’s a really easy and fun way to grow your favorites in a container at home.
You don’t have to have special seed potatoes. If your potato sprouts, it will grow. It helps if it’s fresh and hasn’t been in storage for a long time, or sprayed with any sprout inhibitors. That’s why getting them from a local organic grower is best, if you can. But you can also order seed potatoes from Wood Prairie Farm or Seed Savers Exchange.
You Will Need:
A 12 inch pot (measurement across the opening of the pot)
1 -3 Small fresh potatoes, sprouted
Assembling Your Potato Container in Three Steps:
1. Fill the pot with potting soil one third full (soil based potting mix).
2. Mix in a small handful of organic fertilizer, such as Dr. Earth or EB Stone.
3. Place one to three small sprouted potatoes in the center and cover with about 2 inches more of the potting soil.
When the plants are about 6 inches in height, add more soil up to the leaves. Do this until the container is filled with soil up to the rim. Water the container and allow the plant to grow. Keep the pot damp but not soggy. Make the pot gets enough sun, but not so much that the plant wilts (I had my pot in shade part of the day).
Harvest the potatoes when flowers begin to open or the foliage turns yellow and begins to die back. Enjoy your fresh potatoes and save one or two to start your next container!
Instructions from the American Horticultural Society book, Plant Propagation, A. Toogood editor.
For more on growing potatoes in containers go here.
Photos: Patricia Larenas, Urban Artichoke