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Growing potatoes in containers
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Agric
Posted 9/3/2011 23:17 (#590)
Subject: Growing potatoes in containers



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You need about 10 litres of filled container per seed potato so, for a 40 litre container use 3 to 5 seed potatoes. The more seed potatoes per volume the smaller the crop's individual tuber size will be. Expect a yield of 0.75 kg to 1.5 kg per 10 litres of filled container.

Fill container to a depth of 30 cm, place potatoes on surface, add a further 15 cm of filling. As the potatoes grow to about 15 cm above surface add more filling leaving about 8 to 10 cm of plant showing until you get to top of container. Tomato grow bags mixed with soil or John Innes (soil based) potting compost (between 25% and 50% of the latter in the total mix) is probably the most optimal / cost effective growing medium.

[Note for nonmetricians: 1 foot = 30 cm, 1 gallon = 4.5 litres]

Keep containers moist but not sodden. You will need to water at least daily in hot, sunny weather once plants are well grown. Sufficient water is most important from the 'marble' stage (when potatoes are about 1 cm diameter) onwards. Drying out followed by wetting causes the potatoes to split. If you use fertilisers go for a high potash type (eg tomato fertiliser) or perhaps a seaweed based one if you prefer organic.

A couple of years ago I wrote a brief article about some potato basics:
http://www.off-grid.net/2008/03/01/self-sufficient-veg-potatoes-101...

(I never got round to the mentioned 2nd and 3rd articles).

This is a good site with info on growing potatoes in tubs:
http://www.suttonelms.org.uk/POT1.HTML

My guesses of what might do well in containers from our list of seed potatoes are:
Blue Belle
Vivaldi
Elisabeth
Maris Peer
Piccolo Star
Blue Danube
Cabaret
Opera
Rodeo
Smile
Setanta
Kestrel
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We are part of the rapidly expanding worldwide Transition Towns movement. The Black Isle is a peninsula of about 100 sq miles ENE of Inverness in Scotland, UK.


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