Home Grown Potatoes (The Best Method)
Potato Planter Growing Guide
from initial set-up through to eventual harvest
In addition to our famous Tomato GrowPots, the Potato Planters (or Potato Grow-pots) are an innovative planter designed to enable the layering up of potatoes in a unique and easy to manage way.
Made from 3 ‘collars’ and one ‘base plate’, the collars are placed on top of each other to extend the planter upwards as the potato plant grows – mimicking the layering process.
Holds approx 60 litres of compost.
Follow these guidelines for planting your potatoes in our Grow Pots.
- First earlies: around late March
- Second earlies: early to mid-April
- Maincrops: mid- to late April.
Sprouting (or Chitting) Potatoes
- Place seed potatoes in a bright (but relatively cool spot).
- Sit them in an egg box, to keep them upright.
- Wait for dark green or pinkish stubby green shoots to appear.
Once the shoots appear, they are ready to be planted in your Potato Grow Pot.
We advise planting 4 or 5 seed potatoes in to the potato planter.
Setting Up Potato Growpots for first use
Easy to assemble and get going, the first stage is to plant three seed potatoes 10cm apart, into the first ‘collar’ with the ‘base plate’ unit attached to the bottom.
Cover the potatoes with 10cm (4″) of compost and water them thoroughly, then place the Potato Pot in a warm and bright location.
Next Stage of Potato Growing Process
As the shoots appear and grow approximately 5-10cm add a further 10cm of compost to cover the shoots.
As you approach the top of the first collar, lock into place the second collar and repeat the process.
Watering Potato Plants
A watering ring at the top of each collar enables water to get to the lower areas of the planter as the higher level collars are attached, ensuring a bumper yield of potatoes.
TIP: Continue to water regularly, preferably daily and feed with a liquid feed, if you choose.
Monitor and Water the Potato Planter
You need to keep a lookout for the plant to reach the soil level, as shown in the picture below. Once the plant starts to poke through the soil, cover it with more soil to entice further growth and add the next tier when appropriate.
Managing the Potato Planter
This system provides the potatoes with the maximum light during the early stages of growth, as well as providing an easy method of harvesting as each section can be removed one at a time.
How many potatoes per plant can I expect?
You have a wide choice of potato types, including russet, red and yellow varieties. Potatoes also come in early, late and mid-season varieties that vary in length of time to harvest. Potato yield varies by variety and growing conditions.
On average, you can expect about five to 10 potatoes per plant.
When to Harvest Potatoes
Choosing when to harvest will depend on the type of potato you have planted. As a guide, consider these time scales:
- Early Season potatoes take 60–70 days
- Mid SeasonPotatoes take 80 days
- Late Season Potatoes take 90 days +
Tip 1: With the early season, wait until the flowers open or the buds drop. The tubers are ready to harvest when they are the size of hens’ eggs. This is an indication the potatoes are ready to harvest. Some of our potatoes were a little small and could have done with a bit more time, but they were perfectly usable, tasty and ideal for a potato salad.
Tip 2: When using the potato grow-pot / potato planter, the plant will become big and as it exceeds the third tier of the growpot. the branches will need support. As the plant grows, the soil supports the branches but as the plant grows beyond the top layer, there is no support. Use a cane to support the plant as to avoid it snapping.
Tip 3: Before removing the plant from the grow pots, lay out a tarpaulin and lay the potato plant onto it, before removing all the potatoes. It will save a lot of mess and it will be easier to tip away the remaining soil. You could also add this used soil to a flow bed or raised planter.