How To Grow Potatoes with Potato Recipes
How To Grow Potatoes
How to Grow Potatoes in Containers
Growing Potatoes in a small garden takes preparation and thought.. They can take up a lot of your garden space because they grow into large plants.
In this article I give you a detailed description of how I do it. I also give you some useful Vegetable Garden Tips on how I use my small space in the garden to grow vegetables
There are a few potato recipes in this article too.
If you only have a small garden like myself you can still plant and enjoy a good crop. Grow them in containers like bags, baskets or pots.
Preparation of the Seed Potatoes a few weeks before you plan to plant them out is essential for a good crop.
When to Plant
There are three distinct times to plant out your seed potatoes. I have outlined each one below.
Early Seed Potatoes
- You can plant early seed potatoes in containers in late February to March.
- Keep the tender shoots protected from frost by covering the soil with straw or a plastic sheet.
- Early potatoes grow quickly and you can harvest a nice crop of new potatoes in about eight weeks.
- You will know it is nearly time to pick your potatoes when the flowers begin to bloom.
- Wait a couple of weeks and then lift them.
- Only harvest what you are going to eat for the next couple of days.
- The potatoes left in the containers will still continue to grow.
- The early potato called Elisabeth is recommended as the best for growing in containers.
Second Early Seed Potatoes
- These can be planted from March to April .
- They will take more time to grow.
- They will be ready to be harvested in about fourteen to sixteen weeks.
- You will get a better yield from these Second Early Potatoes.
- The potato called Gemson is recommended for very good results.
Main Crop Seed Potatoes
- You can plant these in April or early May and will take the longest to grow.
- They take about eighteen to twenty weeks until they can be harvested.
- The main crop yields the largest amount of potatoes.
How to grow in containers, pots and bags in a small garden
There are a variety of containers that can be used.
You have a choice of specially made barrels, large pot or buckets or even large supermarket bags.
If this is your first time planting potatoes I would recommend you find something in your garden that you can use for free.
If you enjoy growing potatoes then you can buy some better containers next year. The container should be at least fifteen to twenty inches in depth and a bit wider at least in width.
A large bag will be these measurements in depth so the wider the bag you have the more seed potatoes you can plant.
Last year was my first time growing potatoes and I used three buckets that were already in the garden.
I Planted Three in Each Bucket
I grew a lot of potatoes in each bucket but they were very small. So the lesson I learnt here was that less is better.
When you buy seed potatoes you will notice they have very small sprouts or eyes coming out of them.
You want to encourage growth of these shoots before they are planted.
This Process is Called Chitting
- Put them with the eyes facing up onto a plate or flat surface.
- Place this in a sunny, light and warm place.
- If planting in February or March this should be in your house.
- It should take about four to six days for the shoots to grow.
- Use the best of the seed potatoes to plant out.
- This will be those with at least two to three sprouts on them.
- This gives them a head start in the growing process once they are planted outside.
How to Grow Potatoes in a Small Garden
Step by step instructions with photos
Whatever container you are using you carry out the same steps.
- Make sure the containers you are using have good drainage.
- Add compost to the pot so that it fills only a third of it.
- Place the seed potato with the shoots facing up.
- It depends on how large your container is on the amount of potatoes you plant.
- Remember you need to leave room for them to grow.
- Once planted cover the potato until only the shoots are above the compost.
- Water the pot to settle the plant.
- When the shoots are about ten inches high cover them again with more compost.
- When they grow bigger do the same again until there is no more room.
- Water when needed.
You will know they are ready to harvest when the flowers have been blooming for a couple of weeks.
You can test to see if they are at the size you want by gently removing some of the topsoil and having a look.
Leave to grow to maturity and pick when ready.
Have you grown your own potatoes before
Vegetable Garden Tips
When you are filling the containers for planting potatoes use newly bought compost.
Always replace the soil in the containers each year of planting as this will reduce the risk of disease.
You can recycle last years compost in another part of the garden.
Why you Should Buy Seed Potatoes
This is a common mistake a lot of people make
I did not want to spend money buying seed potatoes so I took some from the bag I bought in the supermarket and used them.
My crop was not too bad as you can see from the photos when I harvested them. But there were not many to each bucket.
It would have been more productive if I had bought the seed potatoes
Why not plant some potatoes in a pot or plastic bag this year.
As you can see from the above instructions and photos it is very easy to do.
You do not need very much room at all to grow this versatile vegetable.
I intend growing an Early Seed Crop and a Main Crop this year.
There are many ways to cook and eat potatoes. They can be eaten hot or cold so I have written a recipe for each
Potato Salad Recipe
- Four medium sized potatoes
- Three scallions or spring onions
- Fresh Parsley
- Peel the potatoes and cut up into small squares
- Put in a pot and add water
- Bring to the boil and simmer for twenty minutes
- Remove the water by putting through a colander
- Leave until cold
- Chop up the fresh parsley very finely
- Remove the outer leaves from the scallions and the root at the end.
- Cut into very small pieces.
- Add the chopped parsely and dice scallions into the potatoes.
- Add a tiny bit of salt to your taste
- Add the mayonaisse and fold in gently
- Place in the fridge for at least an hour before serving
You can also mash the potatoes as the above recipe and then add the spring onions and parsley. They both taste the same ans the only difference is how the potato salad looks on the plate when served.
How to Cook Mashed Potatoes
it is quick and easy to make mashed potatoes.
It only takes half an hour including preparation time.
Mash can be added to most meals and is very versatile.
- Prep time: 5 min
- Cook time: 20 min
- Ready in: 25 min
- Yields: Serves four people
- Four medium size potatoes
- Large knob of butter
- Small amount of milk
- Peel the potatoes and cut them up into small pieces. I usually cut small potatoes in half and larger ones in quarter
- Place in a pot and add water
- Bring to the boil Simmer for twenty minutes
- Remove the water from the potatoes by passing through a colander.
- Put the cooked potatoes back into the pot. Add a large knob of butter and a quarter cup of milk
- Use a potato masher to mash them. Serve with vegetables and meat to create a tasty meal.