Love Apple Farms: Planting Potatoes in Pots

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Love Apple Farms

Hi Pam: In Wisonsin, you shouldn't be planting out potatoes until mid May. Only use certified, disease-free potato tubers. Don't try to use potatoes you've purchased from a grocery store or super market. We like to buy our potato tubers from


Hi...what an interesting site!

I'm in Wisconsin and looking at planting some fingerlings via your 15 gallon pot procedure. Any idea on when to plant these or even if they would be a good go out here?

Thanks a ton.

Love Apple Farm

Hi Sarah: I would not cut those, if the seed potatoes are egg sized. You want to chit them first, which is leaving them in a single layer in a warm, light-filled room until their eyes start to sprout. Then plant them.


Love your post! I bought some seed potatoes today and am very excited to start our first potatoes with the kids. We plan to use our 15 gallon tree containers ( like yours ) my question is: did you drill holes on side or just rely on the drainage holes that are already there? Also, my seeds are very small - egg size. Would you cut those or plant whole? Thank you!!


July 12th in Santa Barbara and I'm going to do this! I wouldn't think it's "too late" here seeing as our local organic Island Seed & Feed store is selling the potato seeds. Now I'm going to look for that 15 gallon container. The info on 5 tubers per pot was exactly what I was looking for - thanks!

Love Apple Farm

No, it's not too late!


Is June 19 to late to plant my second crop of potatoes in Western Washington?

Love Apple Farm

Katherine: You do not want to cut them and then just plant them. They should be allowed to callous over their cut before planting so as to prevent them rotting underground. Go ahead and cut them now before you leave. Place them all on a single level, and put them in the shade. Plant them when you get back.


Great article! Very helpful-- I am sprouting some seed potatoes I bought from Seed Savers' Exchange, but will not be able to plant them as soon as I'd hoped (going out of town). I haven't cut them yet, but they do have green buds at the eyes. Do you think they'll rot in the two weeks that I'm gone, or is it safe to wait to plant them when I come back?

Barbie S.

Hi there, this is Barbie S. from March, my potatoes look awesome! I used a few from the store just to try them out to see what will happen and I also bought some seed potatoes. I kept them inside all nice and warm and put them outside when there wasn't any sign of frost. I just got done covering them with more dirt! Totally stoked! The next time I chime in with you I'll report how many I actually got out of the buckets. Thanks for your help!


Thanks for your article. I've been researching growing my tubers in containers (I'm thinking the large bags of soil with drainage holes poked in the bottom). In all my research, I've seldom found posts that have the detail I was looking for. Thanks again!

Love Apple Farm

Karey: Once they sprout out of the soil, they need sunlight. Yes, I know that it's tough to have the sun get down inside the pot. They would love it if you were able to put the pot on something that tilted it south a bit. A long two by four perhaps on the ground? Or a brick? We don't do that here, but if I had all the time in the world, I would do that.


I just put the first potatoes in the 4" of soil and the other potatoes are chitting. At this early stage of continuing to add soil till they're at the top of the pot do they need any sunlight? Of course with the tall pot they'd only get a bit of overhead each day, but I put them out of the way for now in my greenhouse, so no sunlight will reach them. Is that ok till they're to the top and then set them out in the light?

Cheryl Z

Thanks for the informative article--for several years (10+) I have simply bought organic potatoes from our co-op, pre-sprouted them, and planted them on top of the garden, covered with well-rotted leaves/soil. Always get a great crop. Last year I got brave and cut some of the larger ones, letting them scab over before planting. This year, I'm doing the same, but as an experiment, with half of them, I'm planting each in it's own quart pot, and into the small portable greenhouse on our deck. Then I hope to transplant these potato plants into the garden. We're in Minnesota, and our raised garden is somewhat soggy in the spring. Hopefully I will see a difference in the "potted" plants. I figure I do this with tomatoes and peppers, why not potatoes? If I'm very careful with the root systems (I'm a pro violinist with very sensitive hands....) there shouldn't be a problem. Another idea is to "pot" them in heavy paper bags (on trays) and then plant the whole thing in the garden.

Love Apple Farm

Tina: Yes you can grow them in a pot, as well. You ultimately need about one cubic foot of soil for each tuber you plant.


Can I grow Kennebec in pots and if so how large of a pot would I need, Was thinking of building a graduated planter box that you add layers (height) to as you need to earth up

Love Apple Farm

Barbie: Go ahead and give it a try...can't hurt. Potatoes used from the supermarket are not certified disease-free, so it's a gamble using them. They're very disease-prone, just like other members of the nightshade family (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants). Let me know how it turns out!

Barbie S.

I'm in Indiana, I can start these pots inside right? Then take them out after the last frost? I hate to mention it, but I had potatoes in a bag growing already because I didn't use them fast enough. See any harm in trying those starts? I just used regular buckets with drill holes, think that will do also? This is the first time I'm trying potatoes. So if I get a few or its a loss it's okay. I've got five buckets followed everything you did and now I can't wait to see what happens.

Joy Williams

Any Idea where to get 15 gallon pots locally?

Love Apple Farm

Matt: It depends upon the season you plant them in, and the size of the mature potato you are hoping for. The fingerlings we planted on January 31 should be ready for us to begin to harvest (small sizes) around mid May. I can harvest a few pots at a time, and leave the rest for another six weeks.


I was at your talk at the Eco-Farm conference.

How long until harvest?

Love Apple Farm

Joy: Yes, you do lose the plant. One shot at those potatoes!

Joy Williams

When you harvest the potatoes, do you totally lose the plants, or will it continue to grow for awhile. I'm trying to figure out how many pots I would need. ;)


Cynthia! I love this article. I've been wanting to plant my own potatoes but was completely clueless. And in pots too--that is the bomb! (As it'll free up my ground space for my precious tomatoes ^_^). Thank you very much.


This couldn't come at a better time I just ordered yukon golds and red ponitacs. I was wanting to do fingerlings as well but didn't know where to order them or to sure how to properly grow them. Every one I talk to gives different ways, I have heard stacking old tires, using hay/straw or just planting in a bag of soil. Next can you do one on carrots? I ordered some cool purple and other colors for my daughter but not sure the best way to plant them, container vs ground.

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