Potatoes are a staple in many people's diets. You might imagine that you need a lot of space to grow them. In truth, it is possible to grow at least a few within your home – you don't even need to have any outside space. All you will need is a large container, like a barrel, sack, or large bag that you can fill with your growing medium, some seed potatoes, sunlight and water. With a little effort and a little ingenuity, you can grow far more indoors that you might ever have imagined.
Containers for Growing Potatoes Indoors
Potatoes can be grown in many different large containers. A large barrel, bucket or bin that has been previously used to store food or drink might be ideal. Large sacks or purpose-made grow bags can also be used for this purpose, if placed on trays that will allow them to be watered without making a mess inside your home.
Where to Place Containers For Growing Potatoes
The containers in which you would like to grow potatoes should be placed in a sunny place that does not get too hot. A sun room, porch or conservatory might be ideal, as long as there is adequate ventilation, though any sunny room that does not go through extremes of temperature would suit.
Choosing Seed Potatoes
While it is possible to simply plant potatoes that have been bought from a store, this is not a good idea as these potatoes may be more likely to suffer from disease. It is better to buy specialist seed potatoes from a garden centre, plant nursery or online.
Planting Potatoes Indoors
When thinking about how many seed potatoes to place in a container, a good rule of thumb to remember is that each potato will require around 10 litres (2.5 US gallons) of space to grow into. Typically, grow bags are designed for around three seed potatoes each. Each seed potato can provide a harvest of around 5-10 tubers, depending on variety, and a number of other factors. Put a few centimetres of soil/ compost or other growing medium into your containers, then place your seed potatoes with eyes or chits (little green shoots) upwards and cover over with soil (around 10cm or so more).
Caring For Your Potato Plants
As your plants grow, mound up soil/compost around them to encourage the formation of more tubers under the soil. Do this a couple of times, until the soil level is close to the top of your containers. The first tubers will generally be ready to harvest when the plants come into flower. Simply feel around in your containers to harvest the tubers for use in your kitchen.