However, for those home gardeners who do not own their own garden, there are methods of growing potatoes. The ideal methods for this are in a sack or pot, which can also find a place in a corner of the terrace or balcony. In this way, high yields can be achieved even in the smallest of spaces. And that with only a few tubers at the beginning. The following article explains how it works and what should be considered during cultivation.

Suitable potato varieties

Virtually any type of potato is suitable for growing in pots. So you can choose between floury and firm cooking varieties as well as between the colorful varieties. If you want to grow different varieties, you can place several pots or sacks next to each other if there is enough space. The following potatoes are particularly suitable for growing on the terrace or balcony:

  • Linda (boiling)
  • best-known variety on the market
  • Red Emmalie
  • known as a good sack potato
  • Blue Anneliese
  • high yields in the bucket
  • Pink pine cones
  • La Ratte (firm cooking)
  • Golden Wonder (mehlig)
Tip: Before you put the potatoes in the ground, you should definitely let them germinate in a warm, dry, bright place. For this purpose, the potatoes are spread out on a windowsill so that they do not start to rot. Pre-germination should begin about four weeks before planting, i.e. around the beginning of March.

Cultivation in a bag

A commercially available plastic sack made of strong PVC fabric is suitable for growing potatoes in sacks. These bags are permeable to air and a lot more stable than a classic foil bag. For example, large sacks of rice are ideal here. To ensure that no soil-water mixture gets onto the patio or balcony floor and leaves unsightly brown stains, it is advisable to place the planting bag on firm foil before filling it. Slits of one to two centimeters long should be made in the lower area of ​​the plant bag so that the excess water can drain off. Then proceed as follows:

  • Roll up the planting bag to a height of 30 centimetres
  • Expanded clay layer three to five centimeters high
  • then fill in 15 centimeters of soil
  • Mixture of garden soil, sand and compost
  • alternatively mix vegetable soil with sand
  • use four seed potatoes
  • keep an even distance
  • Fill in the soil until the tubers are covered
  • pour well

Further care in the plant bag

After planting, the soil should always remain evenly moist. After about two weeks, the potatoes should have grown about 15 centimeters. When the plants have reached a height of about 30 centimetres, the planting bag is unrolled accordingly and another 15 centimeters of fresh soil are refilled. Then proceed as follows:

  • keep piling up every two weeks
  • Plants form more roots on the shoots
  • this is where more potato tubers grow
  • after six weeks the sack is completely unrolled
  • Plants grow out of the top of the sack

After another six weeks you should be able to harvest the potatoes. You can expect a harvest of around one kilogram of potatoes per plant in the sack, which results in around four kilograms with a planting sack containing four seed potatoes. The heat in the planting bag greatly promotes growth and this is how the big harvest comes about.

Tip: Appropriate seed or seed potatoes are available in stores. You can purchase a few of these so that you can later look forward to a rich harvest with the methods presented here.

Cultivation in the pot

In addition to the planting bag, a bucket is also suitable for growing potatoes in the smallest of spaces. A tall, dark-walled container on plastic is required for growing in pots. This allows the earth to warm up well from the sun’s rays and the yield increases. Several holes for water drainage should be drilled in the bottom. A container with a capacity of 10 liters is sufficient for one seed potato, and 15 liters for two potatoes. For more seed potatoes, the container should be chosen correspondingly larger. When planting, proceed as follows:

  • Place bucket on collecting plate
  • otherwise there will be unsightly stains on the floor
  • Layer of expanded clay or gravel about ten centimeters
  • above that layer of earth about 15 centimeters high
  • Garden soil with sand and compost
  • alternatively potting soil with sand
  • Depending on the size of the pot, put the seed potatoes on top
  • cover lightly with soil
  • water well

Further care in the pot

Sweet potato in the pot

If small seedlings of about ten centimeters have formed, you have to refill new soil. After that, only the upper tips of the leaves should be visible. This is now repeated until the soil in the pot has been filled to the brim. Several layers of potatoes can form under the ground. The soil in the pot must not dry out. On frosty nights, which can still be the case until May after the ice saints, you should cover the container with a plant fleece. Otherwise the young leaves above the ground could freeze to death. About 100 days after the first planting, the potatoes can now be harvested.

Note: Table potatoes that have already been harvested ready to cook are not approved as seed or seed potatoes in retail. However, if you leave them long enough, they will begin to germinate. It is not forbidden that you use these table potatoes for your own purposes and plant them as seed potatoes. However, the yield here is often lower than with appropriately labeled seed or seed potatoes.

potato tower

The so-called potato tower, which can be placed in a corner, is suitable for a garden. The advantage here is that there is no need for a large garden bed as the potatoes grow upwards in layers. In addition, the bed has to be changed every year after the potatoes have been planted, which can also be omitted here, since only new soil has to be used. The potato tower is the XL variant of the methods described above for growing potatoes in pots. The potato tower should be built as follows:

  • Bamboo or plastic mat or fine wire mesh
  • one meter high and 1.5 meters long
  • Close roll with cable tie or wire
  • secure with bamboo sticks in the ground
  • cut small holes in the wall for mats
  • Put hay on the ground
  • then layer of soil of 15 centimeters
  • put in about seven to eight potatoes
  • next layer of earth
  • next layer of potatoes in a gap to the lower tubers

A total of 50 liters of soil are required. Garden soil can be mixed with sand and compost here again. There is also space for around 30 seed potatoes. There is a higher yield if you put a layer of hay between each layer of soil. The potato tower is filled with soil and potatoes layer by layer up to the top. The upper plants grow upwards out of the layer of earth, the plants lying in the lower area grow laterally out of the tower.

Further care in the potato tower

If not enough plants grow out at the side, you should make more holes so that the potatoes can find a way here. Using chicken wire makes it easier for plants to grow outside. When tending and harvesting, the following should also be observed:

  • Keep soil evenly moist
  • water during dry periods
  • when leaves wither, it’s harvest time
  • harvest two weeks after wilting
  • Potatoes get fatter this way
  • simply open the tower to harvest
  • Divide the earth carefully
  • Potatoes fall out by themselves

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