Container Potatoes
Outdoor Living|Backyard & Outdoor Living 54
DON'T LET A LACK OF SPACE STOP YOU FROM GROWING THIS POPULAR VEGGIE
Jennifer Stackhouse

Each potato plant produces several kilograms of potatoes, so even one or two plants will provide enough for many family meals.

Down the road from me is a huge potato field. All summer I watched the plants grow until they began to die back in autumn. One night a huge harvester moved in, while a procession of trucks carted the freshly dug potatoes to the local food processor.

We live in the heart of a rich agricultural region in north-west Tasmania. Potatoes are one of the main summer crops here. Despite the local potato bounty, I grew my own (organic) potatoes in part of my vegetable garden and have enjoyed a long harvest of fresh spuds with more to come. Freshly dug, they are simply delicious.

But what if you don’t have a paddock or even a large veggie patch to grow your own potatoes? You can grow potatoes successfully in small spaces. You won’t be able to grow vast amounts, but you’ll reap a decent harvest and be able to enjoy the taste of fresh, home-grown spuds. Each potato plant produces several kilograms of potatoes, so even one or two plants will provide enough for many family meals.

If you get your timing right, you may even be able to grow the potatoes for Christmas dinner or some other family occasion. Potatoes are planted in late winter or early spring (later plantings are made in frost-prone areas) and take four to five months to mature. Small, tender new potatoes can be harvested before the main crop is ready by burrowing gently around the base of the plant, searching for small potatoes.

HOW TO PLANT

Potatoes are grown from seed potatoes (immature tubers), which are available from garden centres, hardware and produce stores or can be ordered online from organic mail-order specialists.

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