Grow potatoes in a greenhouse easily and harvest your preferred varieties all year round plus keep them safe from frost. They will also do well on your porch, in grow bags, pots, large containers, and raised beds. You don’t even need so much space to do it.
If you want to start with three seed potatoes, a container that covers at least 24 inches tall and about 18 inches in diameter will do. Make sure that your favorite container has openings for drainage at the base, with a layer of rocks or broken pots, then combine your fertilizer. Easily grow your potatoes in these potato pots and planters and experience hassle-free harvesting! They simplify the harvesting and give your potato plants enough room to grow.
Get your hands dirty and learn how to grow potatoes in a greenhouse. Just follow these easy steps:
1. Planting preparation
- Depending on the space available you can plant potatoes in beds just as you would if you were farming an open field.
- Potatoes thrive in loose, well-drained soil so the beds you make should have potting compost or organic feed of very good quality.
- Cover and mix the soil in rotted or organic fertilizer at the base before planting your potatoes.
- Flexible bags make it comfortable for your potatoes to stretch freely without the limitations.
- Chitting is a simple method. Help the potatoes to sprout first before you set them in your greenhouse.
- This plant is very sensitive to frost. So it is important to use a frost cover, or heat the greenhouse to the appropriate temperature especially if there are indications that the weather may fall below freezing temperatures.
2. How to plant potatoes from eyes
- You can easily begin with seed potatoes.
- Choose seed potatoes with bulging eyes or buds.
- Examine thoroughly and cut off all symptoms of rot.
- Larger bulbs can be sliced in half just make sure that there is an eye on every piece.
- Allow at least 24 hours for cut exteriors to harden before sowing, or it may decompose in moist soil.
- Some gardeners allow the tubers to germinate before planting.
- Potatoes are best planted in rows which are three feet apart from each other.
- If you happen to have a rocky garden, simply place the potato seeds right on the ground. Moisten it with soil and compost mixture and hill them with leaves or straws as you go along.
- Cut bigger potatoes into the size of a golf ball. Make sure that there are a couple of eyes on each slice.
- Then leave them in a dark and warm place preferably 60°F to 85°F to help their eyes to pop.
- Give the potato a day or two to heal before planting. It should form a protective layer to improve moisture retention and rot protection.
- If a potato seed is smaller than an ordinary egg, there’s no need to slice it. You can plant it whole.
- Place them at least 12 inches apart, covering them with approximately 3 to 4 inches of soil. Ensure you bury the seed potato with its eye side up.
- Plant them in a warm spot of your greenhouse and water well, but never overfill it.
- If your potatoes are exposed to daylight, they will begin to photosynthesize and create a green color beneath their skin. This greening is poisonous to anything that consumes it!
- The real purpose of hilling potatoes is to improve the harvest. The hill is where your potatoes will develop. The best time to start hilling is when your plants attain a height of eight to twelve inches.
- Proceed to “earth up” every time the roots are up to 4 inches over your compost. If you are planting in a container, you must ‘earth up’ until you are up to 2 inches from the top of your container.
- When it starts to come out, you can already add organic mulch to prevent weed problems, cool the soil and preserve moisture.
- The used compost can be applied again for your remaining crops. Make sure to practice yearly crop rotation.
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3. Care tips to grow potatoes in a greenhouse
Your potatoes will decompose if they are over watered but they do demand a continuous amount of water, particularly when they are flowering and forming. Growing potatoes need to have considerably larger moisture demands as well. So ensure to water the plants regularly, especially when tuber-formation begins.
Maintain a moist soil when the potato plants begin sprouting until a few more weeks after blossoming. Do not water more than 1-2 inches every week right after planting because potatoes may not develop and may be prone to diseases.
It is better to use rainwater from a water butt instead of tap water. Tap water usually has a neutral to high pH or alkaline and potatoes develop in slightly acidic soil with a pH of 5.5. They usually develop scab in alkaline soils. If you don’t have a rain barrel yet, check out these ones!
Rake the surrounding soil to cover the tubers and to support the plant. It keeps your potatoes from getting sunburned which will produce solanine.
Another tip to get near-perfect skins for your potatoes is to put the compost into a shredder to make a fine blend. Also, potatoes don’t want to be close to actively decaying green matter.
Aphids are small pests that may carry virus diseases. They extract fluids from the leaves and stems of your potato, which may cause serious damage. Insecticidal detergent sprays are effective ways to control the infestations.
Potato scab is usually caused by high pH levels in the soil. Add some pine straw on top. This will be a natural antibacterial agent.
Colorado potato beetles can be handpicked or be eaten by birds. If you see more of them, you can apply some organic pesticides preferably at dawn or dusk to prevent hurting beneficial insects.
4. Dig in! – Harvesting your own potatoes
Potatoes, especially those of the early-maturing varieties take between 80 to 100 days to mature. Cut off the water supply about a week before the anticipated harvest date. This helps to ensure the soil in your greenhouse or planter is dry enough for harvesting.
After it comes into flower, you can early collect some “new” potatoes. The plant heads will die back eventually, and the whole crop can already be harvested. Dig gently and rather carefully to avoid puncturing the tubers. Simply turn over the filling of each container and separate your potatoes. Ensure you harvest all tubers before or as soon as the vines dry so that the tubers do not rot.
Harvest your potatoes on a dry day to simplify your job. A wet soil could mean that you will have to wait until the potatoes are air-dried before placing them into bags or boxes.
Dig lightly and make sure not to hurt the tubers and the potato skin. It should not be a hard task because of the loose soil.
5. Storing your organic potatoes
Store potatoes in a cool dry place preferably around 45°F to 60°F for up to a couple of weeks. This will let their skins to cure and will help them last longer. Brush off any remaining soil after curing. Do not wash them not unless you are ready to cook them. Washing them may reduce their shelf life. Place them in a dark and humid place with a temperature of around 38°F to 40°F. Do not put your potatoes near apples to prevent them from spoiling. Apples contain ethylene gas which makes them rot easily. Do not refrigerate.
Potato planters for growing potatoes hassle-free
Potato pots and planters make growing potatoes much easier. Placed in your greenhouse, your potatoes are safe from animals, pests, and diseases, but also give you the flexibility of moving them. Compared to other pots, these planters have openings that allow observing your potatoes as they develop and harvesting them without much digging. By using these potato planters, you don’t have to speculate whether your potatoes are ready to harvest or not. It won’t even hurt your plant’s “ball” which leads to a satisfying yield.
The depth of the planters is perfect for the necessary hilling and layering of soil and compost. It will protect your potatoes from the sunlight better than the usual ground. All the steps of growing potatoes can be way easier and more effective with these brilliant planters. Check out the potato pot and planter here!