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Growing potatoes in pots

I have got some Charlotte seed potatoes which I received today (28 April). I have 2 x 40cm pots and 1 x 50cm pot, and some multi purpose compost. 

I'm unsure how to start. Some guidance says I should chit them before planting out. Some say that chitting is just a way of getting a head start while there is still a chance of frost outside.

Should I:

a) chit the seeds for 4-6 weeks until they have sprouts about 1inch, and then plant into pots roughly end of May/early June, or
b) plant outside now (the chance of frost seems unlikely?)

Whenever they are planted in the pots, I'm unsure how many seed potatoes to insert in each pot. This article says they only need to be spaced a hand width apart per layer (of earthing up). But other articles says only 3-4 seed potatoes per container in total. My pots are thinner at the bottom than at the top, so I could start with just one or two at the bottom then as it gets wider add 3 or 4 (or 5 in the 50cm pot) as I earth up? I don't want to end up wita

Any advice on when to plant out, and the number of seed potatoes per container, would be so helpful! :)
"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need"


  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    I've never grown potatoes in pots, so can't really help there.

    I can though clarify, chitting is just for an early start.

    It is fine to put them in now, without chitting, they will grow fine.

    It's not so much frost, (they go in fairly deep) it is more a case in the UK the ground is too wet in the early spring to put the spuds in, the soil is hard to work and there is a good chance they would just rot. So with chitting we steal a few weeks growth back in early spring. Not really much point in it now.

  • Thanks @GemmaJF! That's great to know I can just go ahead and plant outside without the chitting.
    "If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need"
  • SmudgeriiSmudgerii Posts: 185
    No need to chit.  

    But pots do bring their own issues, such as drying out and having big enough pots.  I’ve replied in your other thread
  • Thanks again. I'll just pop two seed potatoes per pot, and will make sure to keep on top of the watering.
    "If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need"
  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,464
    There'll be those, Francesca, who'll say you only need ONE seed per container?  People have grown spuds in old disused dustbins that have rotted bottoms, and they've managed to produce nearly a cwt in one.  Don't forget, you're talking about a ROOT vegetable, so the more space you allow for roots to develop, the bigger the crop?
  • Thanks @nick615, there really is a lot of conflicting advice! Should I only plant one seed potato per 40cm container then, to encourage more root growth and therefore bigger crop?
    "If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need"
  • pinutpinut Posts: 185
    Head over to the Gardeners Forum as they are doing a spud in a bucket growing competition there

    Seems like it is an anual thing.

  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,464
    Francesca_harper1985, there's an article entitled 'Take No Notice - The Facts & Foibles of Gardening' which says that, for every so called 'expert' opinion you get, there's someone with an opposite view.  It could have been called 'Take Your Choice' because that's what you have to do in the end.
  • That's very true! 
    "If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need"
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    edited April 2020
    Part of gardening is learning yourself! No point asking a traditionalist like me how many spuds one can grow in a bucket for example, my spacings are set in stone in books and spuds go in the ground  :)

    When I read conflicting advice, I just choose which was nearest to what I thought in the first place, right or wrong, then see what happens.

    Worst result, you put too many in and get lots of really tiny spuds.

    I would just go for one in in a container myself, I can't see there is a lot of room for the tops to develop if you put in two. I don't know myself any system that has two spuds grown together, but then again, maybe somebody has done it with great success.
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