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Growing Potatoes in Containers: The Harvest

Growing potatoes in containers can be fun, relatively easy, and inexpensive. Don’t have a large plot of land to plant seed potatoes in the ground? Not a problem. Containers make growing potatoes of all varieties possible, even if you have a tiny garden or live in an apartment. 


You knew there would be a “but,” didn’t you?  There is a learning curve even for this pioneer crop. 

My First Harvest

After growing potatoes in containers (I used grow bags for easy hilling — this is an Amazon affiliate link that might give me a small commission if you buy them), I just had my first harvest after 10 weeks of growth. The total yield so far is 16 gorgeous purple potatoes. I can’t wait to try them. Andy is already searching for the perfect recipes to highlight these creamy, dreamy potatoes.

Was this a great harvest? It wasn’t bad on my first try, but most plants only supported two new potatoes. They should have supported at least three or four new potatoes.

Growing Potatoes in Containers: My Mistakes

Why did I have trouble growing potatoes this first time? I made some critical mistakes that hindered the yield. The good news is these mistakes are easy to fix for the next planting.

First, I planted too many seed potatoes too closely. Looking back at my planting article, I planted nine seed potatoes in the grow bag. I should not have planted more than three. Why? As the seed potatoes developed their root systems, they tangled. This was also true of the plant stems. So, some of the plants (essentially) strangled each other and failed to produce potatoes. 

Second, I should have given the plants more depth in which to grow roots. If you watch Epic Gardening’s YouTube channel, you’ll see that his bucket has a substantial lower tier to allow for strong root and shoot development. The bucket makes harvesting more challenging but provides much more space for the potatoes to develop.

Third, I planted them very late in the year. If you are growing potatoes in containers, you can start them early in the year because you aren’t worried about the ground being too hard. And in Venice, we don’t have frosts. Also, containers allow you to move with the sunlight to give the plants more light throughout the day. I left them in place, which may have impacted the yield.

Replanting Potato Plants

As I harvested the existing plants, I noticed that a couple of plants had very young potatoes still attached despite the 10 weeks. I removed the spent plants to give the active plants more room, watered them, and added more soil. Will this work? I’m not sure. But it felt like it was worth giving them another few weeks to see what would develop.

Click here for more articles on growing vegetables and fruits in container gardens.