How to grow potatoes in a pot

How to grow potatoes in a pot

Short on space? Why not grow your own potatoes in a pot? We show you how.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
At its best
At its best

Plant is not at its best in January

Plant is not at its best in February

Plant is not at its best in March

Plant is not at its best in April

Plant is not at its best in May

Plant is at its best in June

Plant is at its best in July

Plant is at its best in August

Plant is not at its best in September

Plant is not at its best in October

Plant is not at its best in November

Plant is not at its best in December

To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do To do in March

Do To do in April

Do To do in May

Do not To do in June

Do not To do in July

Do not To do in August

Do not To do in September

Do not To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

Potatoes grow surprisingly well in a pot. It’s the ideal way of growing them if you’re short on space – you can even grow them on a patio or balcony.

Growing potatoes in pots is especially suited to first early and second early potatoes, which grow fast and are at a premium in the shops.

Potato types explained

Compared to growing potatoes in the ground, growing potatoes in pots is less labour-intensive. You don’t need to prepare the soil, or weed. Plus, your crop will be less vulnerable to slugs and other soil-based pests. All you need to do is top up the compost from time to time and water regularly.

Choose the largest pot you can find – an old plastic pot that is at least 40 litres, or even a dustbin, is ideal. Make sure it has some drainage holes at the bottom. Be sure to plant prepared, chitted seed potatoes from a reliable supplier. Place in a sunny, frost-free spot. Harvest your potatoes when the plants start to flower – empty the pot to reveal your crop.

Here’s how to grow potatoes in a pot.

Potatoes grow surprisingly well in a pot. It's the ideal way of growing them if you're short on space.
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You Will Need

  • Chitted seed potatoes
  • John Innes No. 3 compost
  • Well-rotted manure or garden compost
  • Large pot
  • Watering can

Total time:

Step 1

Line the bottom of the pot with a 10cm layer of John Innes No.3 mixed with a little well-rotted garden compost. Put four chitted seed potatoes on the surface and cover with another layer of compost mix. Water well.

Covering the potatoes with compost
Covering the potatoes with compost

Step 2

Put the bags in a sheltered spot that gets sun for at least half the day. Keep the compost moist and when the shoots are 15-20cm tall, cover them up to their tips with more compost and water thoroughly. Continue to add compost at stages as the stems grow.

Adding more compost to the pot
Adding more compost to the pot

Step 3

Water regularly during the growing season – potatoes like plenty of water. Avoid using rainwater from a butt in the summer as this can contain blight spores. Soak the pot thoroughly every two or three days, allowing the compost to almost dry out between watering to promote steady potato formation.

Watering potato plants
Watering potato plants
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