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Growing Potatoes in Containers

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Growing Potatoes in Containers
Potatoes
Photograph © Kerry Michaels

If you’ve never had a freshly dug potato you are in for a total treat. Like tomatoes the taste and texture of fresh is very different than those you buy from the store. By growing your own potatoes, you also have the opportunity to plant unusual varieties that are hard to find. There are several advantages to growing potatoes in containers. It is easier to protect them from the critters that love them and you also don't have to worry so much about weeds.

It's also a really fun project to grow potatoes in containers with kids because potato plants grow stunningly fast and most kids love eating potatoes.

The only disadvantage I see in growing potatoes in containers is that you have to be more vigilant about watering. It is very important to keep your soil moist, not wet, but damp. Check the soil moisture level often and when you do water, make sure to water deeply - until water runs out the bottom of your container.

I grow my potatoes organically in container gardens. It’s simple and fun. By growing potatoes in container gardens, it’s also easier to protect them from the critters who seem to love potatoes as much as I do and will go through almost any fence to get at them.

I have grown potatoes from seed potatoes, ones that haven’t been sprayed to stop their seeds from sprouting, and I’ve also grown potatoes from organic, store bought potatoes that I let sprout (some even by mistake), in a cool dark place.

You can get seed potatoes from nurseries or specialty organic growers. My favorite is Wood Prairie Farm, which is an organic, family owned farm in northern Maine. They carry 16 varieties of organic seed potatoes, including, Russian Banana Fingerling,’ ‘Cranberry Red” and ‘All Blue,’ to name just a few.

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