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Spuds in containers help

Hi fellow Gardeners,

Due to busy job I am growing spuds, (Sharpes Express and Valor) in containers for the first time instead of growing in the ground . They are doing well but tips/suggestions would be most welcome!

Fertilization, watering, harvesting ect...there seems to be a lot of conflicting information out there on the web!


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 15,339

    Fertiliser should have been in the compost or soil before you planted.   Don't let them dry out. Potatoes in bags use a lot of water. If you want early potatoes, have a ferret around in the bag, removing the bigger ones as you go. If the tops start dying off, or they have flowered, the tubers are usually ready and you can tip the lot out.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • I grow mine in 30L pots. To start them off I half fill the pots with compost mix in a hand full of chicken manure fertiliser, and put 3 or 4 early crop or 2 main crop seed potatoes about 2 or 3 inch from the bottom, then just earth them up with compost as they grow until you reach the top of the container. They do need a lot of watering, especially if it's warm and dry, I would normally water everyday if so. Every week or so I'll give them a feed with liquid seaweed feed.

    I usually harvest earlies once they've flowered and main crops once the foliage has died back!  image

  • Crazy CatCrazy Cat Posts: 41

    Thanks for the replies,

    I agree with the watering- they do seem to suck up a lot more moisture; I have been giving a deep soaking twice a week- but not sure whether it would be better to do little water more often instead?

    Liquid seaweed - thanks for the tip, I have just been using generic growmore.

    Another question, I have read that removing flowers from the plants will help bulk up the tubers (energy goes to the tubers instead?)-  does anyone have any experiences with this or is it just an urban myth?

  • LoganLogan Posts: 2,532
    No you don't have to take flowers off
  • Never heard of taking the flowers off before!
  • BLTBLT Posts: 525

    I grow potatoes in container every time now. Earthing up is simple and harvesting a breeze, cropping is heavier and less soio pests.. I'm only just harvesting my early crop now and only dig then as needed. I have good sized ckean Charlottes in good amounts..    Less diseases too..

  • BoaterBoater Posts: 241

    I think you want the compost wet when you plant, but then don't water until the plants are established (or just enough to stop it drying out) and start actually using the water - presumably to avoid waterlogging the soil and making the seed potatoes rot. But once they get going they need plenty of water, I was probably a bit mean with my earlies but will be watering my supposedly christmas spuds more frequently.

    Fetrtiliser I don't know about, I followed instructions before to add fertiliser every 2 weeks, but my plants were green and bushy but when they died back there weren't many big spuds - trouble is I put 5 per bag which is too many so I don't know if my small crop of small spuds was mainly down to too much fertiliser, or overcrowding? Anyone got views on that?

    Either way I figured that the compost still had plenty of nutrients in it (I know I probably shouldn't have planted in the same compost, but the earlies were all disease free) so was planning to try without adding extra fertiliser during growing this time, although I did add some blood, fish and bone before planting just to be sure.

    My only experience of harvesting is to take the expected times with a pinch of salt and watch the plants for flowering or dying back before going for a rummage.

  • BLTBLT Posts: 525

    I wait for foliage die back before harvesting main crop potatoes, King Edwards type are my favs, but for earlies I choose a date like mid july end july time and harvest as I need them... They are wonderful. currently I am not buying potatoes, onions, shallots or garlic and I had a bowl full of Gardeners Delight tomatoes picked today. Wonderful taste of home grown..

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