Growing potatoes in a raised bed – is that possible? Solanum tuberosum is actually notorious for taking up a lot of space. However, this guide proves the opposite. Cultivating potatoes in raised beds is not only feasible, but also has numerous advantages. However, there are important things to consider when growing, such as the time of sowing. The gardener will find all relevant measures as well as step-by-step instructions in this guide.

Build a raised bed

Firstly, a raised bed is perfect for people who only have limited space available, and secondly for older enthusiastic gardeners who do not want to bend down when growing potatoes. Since Solanum tuberosum is a flat-rooted plant, it can be cultivated under these conditions without any problems.

Required material

  • garden soil
  • Compost
  • Hornspäne
  • Organic potato fertilizer as you like
  • wire
  • rabbit wire
  • pond liner
  • four Euro pallets


  • Arrange pallets in a square on edge
  • tie the edges together with wire
  • Lining rabbit wire to protect against voles on the floor
  • Line the side walls with pond liner
  • Distribute horn shavings and organic potato fertilizer over the rabbit wire (can be done in autumn of the previous year)
  • Mix compost with garden soil
  • Fill the substrate up to 40 cm below the edge of the pallet
Tip: To ensure that earthworms get into the bed from below and regularly loosen the soil, the gardener does not also cover the ground with foil.

Space-saving alternative

  • pull up a jute sack on four iron poles
  • Prepare and fill in the substrate according to the same principle
  • to harvest, remove the iron bars and pour out the jute sack

plant potatoes

  • When: New potatoes in March, other varieties in April or May
  • Planting distance: 20 to 25 cm
  • Planting depth: approx. 10 cm
  • Quantity: no more than 12 tubers
Note: The more space the individual potato plants have, the higher the harvest.

Missed the date in spring? No problem, potatoes can also be planted in the raised bed until July. Accordingly, the harvest date is then postponed until late autumn. If the first night frosts appear in October, this will hardly damage the tubers. On the contrary, they lose starch and taste all the sweeter.

strain choice

Whether gardeners grow their potatoes in raised beds or in the conventional way outdoors is irrelevant when it comes to choosing a variety . Anything that tastes best is allowed. However, special seed potatoes from the trade are recommended for beginners, as their cultivation is most likely to succeed thanks to their undemanding nature. Organic potatoes are also suitable, where the gardener can be sure that the tuber has not come into contact with pesticides.

To ensure that the tubers you choose will produce a crop, it is advisable to germinate them beforehand. No additional measures are required for this. The process happens all by itself when stored in a dark cellar. To help, the gardener puts individual potatoes on a plate and places it in a warm place for a few days. When the tubers form small sprouts, they are ready to go underground.

Care after planting

Solanum tuberosum is quite undemanding if the basic conditions such as the location and adequate pest protection are given.


Potatoes have a very high water requirement. The gardener should always keep the substrate moist, but at the same time make sure that there is no waterlogging. Permeable soil is therefore essential. It is best to water the potatoes in the early morning hours.

The raised bed should be in a sunny spot. The more light and heat the plants get, the greater their thirst for water.

pile up

Around five weeks after planting the tubers, the first greens appear on the surface of the earth. Now the gardener has to pile up soil and completely cover the young shoots with substrate. Since the tubers will grow at a high rate from now on, this measure is necessary every one to two weeks, namely whenever a green shoot appears on the surface. The gardener continues this until the substrate is flush with the edge of the raised bed.

Note: With the constant piling up, the gardener intends that instead of leaf axes, roots form throughout the bed. Edible tubers only grow later on rhizomes.

If the gardener follows these instructions, he gets a layer of soil about 40 cm thick, which is equipped with potato roots through and through. This simplifies the early harvest.


Although potatoes are one of the most consuming plants, if the substrate has enough nutrients, no additional fertilizer is required. Occasionally, the gardener can incorporate some vegetable scraps called bokashi into the soil.

Tip: Potatoes are heavy feeders, so they need a very nutrient-rich substrate. Instead of constantly enriching the soil with fertilizer, it is advisable to change the crop rotation after a year’s cultivation. Suitable successors are, for example, medium consumers such as carrots, strawberries or chard, as well as weak consumers such as peas, lamb’s lettuce or radishes.


Depending on the variety, the potatoes are ready to harvest three to four months after planting. The green that is now appearing on the surface of the earth should already have completely dried up. Now it’s time to dig. The gardener can tell whether the time has really been right for the harvest with a simple peeling test. If the skin comes off simply by rubbing it with your fingers, you should delay the harvest for around two weeks.

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