Potatoes are one of the easiest veggies to grow, even if you're new to the gardening game. With adequate light and drainage, they'll sprout just about anywhere as long as they have loamy, slightly acidic, nutrient-rich soil.
When growing potatoes, you don't need a lot of room. If you're confined to a small garden plot or have no outdoor space, you can still gain a bountiful harvest. There are so many fun and creative ways to get your potato garden to grow.
Probably the most conventional on this list, planting rows of potatoes is a traditional, tried-and-true way to produce a quality crop yield. You can plant seeds, or go the quicker route of using potatoes that have already sprouted.
Place your rows approximately three feet apart, then plant your seeds or taters around ten inches from one another along each row. If you bury them about eight inches deep, you won't have to worry about hilling them, which is adding more soil atop the plant as it grows. This will keep your maintenance to a minimum.
Planting potatoes in raised beds is the preferred method for many gardeners. Following similar planting approaches to row potatoes, raised beds increase crop productivity. They allow for extra drainage while also accumulating fewer weeds. Plus, they're not difficult to construct. You can use wood, cinder blocks, bricks, rocks, or any sturdy material. Just set them up to your desired size and style, add some soil within this boundary, and you're good to go.
You can make a potato tower out of many things. Tires, wood, barrels, and other recycled materials all work well for growing these tubers in a limited amount of space.
Towers are a different style of raised bed. They allow you to grow entirely above ground in a concentrated area. The difference is that you periodically need to hill more soil on top as the plant grows taller. Incorporating a bit of mulch or fertilizer can't hurt, either.
Check out our article on how to make your own potato tower!
Vertical growing closely mimics tower growing. It has the same space-saving concept but can yield more potatoes. If you don't mind investing a bit of effort into the initial time and labor, your results will be fantastic.
Vertical growing requires some sort of wire or mesh fencing with large holes. Make it tall enough for you to access, then shape it into a tube a few feet in diameter. Tie the ends together, and install some rebar or other sturdy material on the outside for extra support. Line the interior and exterior of the cage with straw as you add layers of soil and your preferred seed; the foliage underneath will grow through the sides. Hill the top plants as needed.
An easy way to grow potatoes with minimal fuss is by using a wrapping method. In essence, it's very similar to a tower but designed to come apart.
An unprinted cardboard box is the best way to go for wrapping. Just open the top and bottom, set it on the ground, and plant. When it's harvest time, the box is degraded enough that you can easily rip the cardboard. Then simply pick out your potatoes from the loose pile. Chicken wire or other pliable fencing also works well — anything that can wrap and then unfurl at the end!
Another easy harvesting method that doesn't involve digging or pulling is planting your potatoes in straw. Clear your garden space and loosen the soil. It's best to use potatoes than seeds, for quicker rooting, so place them atop this area. Then heap several inches of straw over them. Continue to hill straw over time, and water the whole thing if rain is scarce.
When harvesting, just pluck the potatoes from the straw.
Give new life to used materials by repurposing them. Old pots, buckets, garbage cans, storage totes, coolers — really any larger containers — are great for planting potatoes in limited areas.
Cut or drill some holes in the bottom for adequate drainage. Add soil and any nutrients you desire. Seed and grow your potatoes like a typical plant, but remember to hill them every so often.
We have a whole article on growing potatoes in containers!
Similar to containers, recycled bags are a great planting option. A plastic bag from a grocery store can easily grow a potato plant. Burlap sacks are also a nice choice. Large black garbage bags work particularly well since they can hold a few plants and absorb sunlight, which keeps the soil warmer.
You can grow potatoes in bags or containers just as easily indoors as outdoors. Even in a small apartment with no balcony, you can harvest a top-notch crop using the same planting and tending techniques.
All you need is plenty of sunlight: a sunroom or big living room window works great. If you don't have adequate lighting, grow lamps can also do the trick. Don't forget to fertilize your plants occasionally.
This is one of the coolest ways to grow potatoes, with a twist. It's ideal for anyone who wants to get the most out of a tiny area, or for someone who likes a bit of novelty in their garden.
Horticulturalists have refined a grafting technique that allows tomatoes and potatoes to stem from the same plant — above and below ground, respectively. As of right now, they can only be purchased in the form of established plants, but keep your eye out if this quirky method catches your fancy.