The Q&A Archives: Planting Potatoes in Containers

Question: I want to grow potatoes in a container this year. Can I use either a plastic or metal barrel? Would I drill holes in the sides and bottom for drainage and for the vines to grow through? How much soil/compost must be in the bottom of the barrel? Do I just add more compost as leaves develop? Any fertilizer? How much water? I I have heard of using old tires to do this but I really want to use a barrel. Thanks. Barbara Crowe Custer, WA

Answer: An open top, non-translucent plastic barrel or 1/2 whiskey barrel should work well as long as the drainge holes are o nthe bottom. You can't plant more than 2 plants per barrel. Start with about 6" of soil and add compost or straw as the plants grow.As the potatoes start keep them well watered and sidedress with seaweed or fish emulsion or a 5-10-10. Make sure the potatoes grow in a dark environment, any green potatoes can be inedible.

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