Are you trying to grow as much food as possible, but you don’t have much yard space? Not an issue! We’ll teach you how to grow potatoes indoors so you can cultivate huge crops of tasty tubers in no time.
Materials You’ll Need
A Container that Fits Your Space and Needs
Choose a growing container that fits with the space you have available. If you’re in an apartment, you can use an old recycling bin or five-gallon bucket. Alternatively, if you’re in a larger home, you can choose a large garbage bin, grow bag, or pre-made potato tower.
These are potatoes that are grown specifically for planting, rather than eating. You can find them at your local nursery, or from a trusted online source. Alternatively, you can use store-bought, organic, local potatoes instead.
Clean Stones or Gravel
You’ll use this at the bottom of your growing container for drainage. You can get these at a nursery or greenhouse, or just wash
Potatoes need “fluffy”, well-draining, aerated soil to thrive. Choose a potting soil that has a lot of aged compost, perlite, and vermiculite in it.
A Sunny Spot to Grow In
These plants need at least six hours of direct sunlight every day. Observe your space to determine where the sun falls for several hours in a row. That’s where you’ll put your container.
This will make it a lot easier to water your potato plants evenly. Fortunately, there are a number of different makes and models so you can choose one that suits your space perfectly.
Further Reading: Best Watering Can for Indoor Plants
How to Grow Potatoes Indoors Step by Step
Step 1: Prepare Potatoes for Sprouting
Put your seed potatoes in cardboard egg cartons, an empty cardboard box, or a sturdy paper bag. Then drizzle the container you’ve used with water so it’s damp, but not soaked.
Step 2: Let them Sprout
Place these containers in a warm, dark, damp location, like inside a cupboard or closet. The potatoes should sprout (“chit”) after two to three weeks, at which point they’re ready to plant!
Step 3: Prepare Your Container
If you’re using a bucket or pail to grow your potatoes indoors, drill 8 to 10 drainage holes in the bottom. Then wash it thoroughly with soapy water, and allow it to dry completely.
Step 4: Add Stones or Gravel
Pour in about 2″ worth of stones or gravel into the bottom of the container. This will help keep any excess moisture away from your growing potato tubers.
Step 5: Add Soil
Fill the container about 1/3 of the way with potting soil. Since potatoes develop vertically, as mentioned, you’ll add more soil as they grow.
Step 6: Moisten the Soil Thoroughly
Add room temperature water to your watering can, and use it to soak the soil really well. Potatoes need consistently damp soil to grow, and soaking it first will trigger their growing process.
Step 7: Plant Your Potato Chits
Plant potatoes that have about three root sprouts each. If your seed potatoes have more than these, rub off the extras so only three remain. Plant them 6″ apart, root buds downward.
Step 8: Cover with Soil
Pour enough soil to cover your seed potatoes, then add enough so there’s a 2″ soil blanket on top of them. This will give them the environment they need to thrive best.
Step 9: Water Well
Grab that watering can again and water the soil you just used to cover your baby taters. Just give it a brief sprinkle: you want the soil to be slightly damp to the touch, not completely saturated.
Step 10: Place the Container in Sunshine
Ready to start the growing process? Plunk that container in the sunny spot you chose earlier, and let the sunshine and water work their magic. You should start to see potato plant growth above soil level within a week or two.
Step 11: Keep Soil Levels High
Keep mounding your plants with fresh soil as they grow. This is what’s known as “hilling”. Continue this process as the plant develops, adding more until the soil reaches the top of the container.
Step 12: Harvest when Ready!
Your potatoes should be ready to harvest in 10-14 weeks, depending on the cultivar. You’ll know the tubers are ready when the foliage turns yellow and starts to shrivel up. Just pull the plant up and root around in the soil to collect your spuds for dinner!
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Indoor Potatoes Care Tips
Additionally, you’ll need to keep the soil consistently moist. Check the soil every two to three days to see if it feels dry to the touch. If it does, then water as needed.
Never let the soil dry out completely! It should always feel like a slightly wrung-out kitchen sponge: moist, but not soaked.
Don’t be alarmed if your potato plants start to flower. This just means that they’re successfully drawing in water and nutrients and are getting ready to reproduce. Just snip or pinch off the flowers when they appear. Doing this allows all the stored energy to go into developing tubers, rather than blooms.
Since you’ll be growing indoors, it’s unlikely that you’ll have to deal with many pests, if any at all. The only ones that may appear could be flea beetles or aphids. Use diatomaceous earth to fend these off, and treat the plants with an organic insecticide as needed.
Companion planting with indoor-grown potatoes isn’t recommended. That said, if you really want to try, go for herbs like thyme, chives, or chamomile rather than other vegetables.
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Potatoes that are exposed to sunlight will go greenish. This means that they’re developing high levels of solanine, which is toxic. It’s actually the poison that’s present in all plants in the nightshade (Solanaceae) family.
If you eat green potatoes, you’re likely to get some serious belly issues. As a result, you need to make sure the tubers are covered well at all times.
Once your healthy, happy potatoes are harvested, you’ll need to store them. You can store them in a cool, dark, dry place for several months. If any of them develop roots, that’s absolutely okay. Now that you know how to grow potatoes indoors, you can just put those rooted spuds in soil and start the process all over again!
Alternatively, you can cut them up and freeze them to use whenever you’re ready. They’ll stay good in the freezer for 6-12 months.
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