Potatoes! I have grown them!
Back in April, I noticed that a potato in my kitchen was starting to grow eyes. I don't know what made me think to do this, but I decided to cut the potato up into about 6 or 7 small pieces and stick them into the dirt in one of the containers on my balcony. In less than a few weeks, I noticed that the potatoes had started to sprout! I was thrilled that my expiriment had worked, but I also had no idea what to do next.
So, I just let them grow! I would water frequently, and I noticed that because my balcony faces north, the plants never flowered. But, I still felt pride and excitement every time I would glance up and catch the potato leaves out of the corner of my eye. This weekend, I decided to grabble (yay, new word!) around in the dirt to see if the potatoes were ready to be harvested, and they were! I got about a dozen small potatoes from cutting just one up!
I definitely learned a thing or two through the whole process, too:
Next year I will plant the pieces in shallower dirt, maybe around 5-6 inches in the bottom of the container and add dirt around the stems as they start to grow. I think this will encourage more potatoes to grow.
I will also only plant 3-4 pieces per container rather than planting all 6 or 7 in the same one. Again, I think this will encourage a bigger amount of potatoes per pot.
Potatoes really do grow anywhere. If you wanted to try this at home, stick to the tips above and don't feel shy about planting them where the sun shines directly on the container. If you plant them in the sun I bet you will get some pretty little flowers as summer marches on!
Next time I will feed my growing potatoes with compost tea. I din't think to do it this year, but this will help the potatoes be as nutrient-dense and healthy as possible.
You can start grabbling around in the dirt around late summer. If you find a potato towards the top, gently pull it out (without removing it from being attached to the stem) and if it is still green, put it back in the dirt (green = poisonous!) and if it is not green, you know you can harvest the whole pot of potatoes because the older ones at the bottom of the container will be ready too!
Do you have any other tips or advice for growing potatoes in a container? I'd love to hear any input in the comments below!