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Growing potatoes in a pot

One of the most exciting vegetables to grow yourself is the potato. Why? Because you never know in advance how many potatoes you'll harvest.
Aardappels telen kan nu overal
Now you can grow potatoes anywhere
To grow potatoes yourself, you don't even need a large piece of land. You can do it in your own garden, on your (roof-) terrace and even on your balcony.

And yes: you can also do it in pots.

How do you grow potatoes in a pot?

  1. Choose a pot with enough space. Or, even better, go with our grow bag: the MM-Mini. It's 30 x 30 cm, and 20 cm deep. That's big enough for 2 potato plants.
  2. Fill the pot or grow bag with an airy soil mix that retains moisture well but not too much - the MM-Mix is perfect.
  3. Place 2 small potatoes or pieces of potatoes with eyes or sprouts at the bottom of the pot.
  4. Place the pot in a sunny spot and keep the soil mix moist.

A pot for potatoes should be much deeper, right?

No, it doesn't have to be. But because I always heard that too, I tried it both ways: with a layer of soil mix 20 cm deep and a layer of 40 cm deep.

For the first, I planted the potatoes and did nothing else. For the second, I started with a layer of 15 cm and added layers of soil mix as soon as the plant started to grow. Up to 40 cm in total.

Guess what? There was no difference whatsoever in yield. None at all.

So, why make things difficult when they can be easy?

A mini Planty Garden: our grow bag is perfect pot for growing potatoes

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And now it's even easier in the MM-Mini.

This grow bag is exactly the same size as a square patch in one of our garden boxes: 30x30 cm and 20 cm deep.

They're made of recycled plastic: the material is breathable so air and water can go in and out. This makes the plants grow really well and prevents the potatoes from rotting.

Plus, you also help the environment: a lot of plastic bottles are recycled to make an MM-Mini.

Do MM-Minis actually yield a lot?

Yes, they do. On average you can expect a yield of about 1.5 kg of potatoes per grow bag.

If that doesn't sound like a lot to you, think again. A professional potato grower only harvests 3.5 kg of potatoes per square meter.
Aardappelveld
A traditional potato field
Compared to that, my harvest is huge: a mini garden can produce almost 5x as much.

Let's do the math. An MM-Mini has a surface area of 0.09 m2.

11 of our grow bags = 1 m2. So, you can harvest 16.5 kg of potatoes from a square meter.

How do you plant potatoes?

It's simple

You can plant potatoes from mid-March to mid-May.

Spoon a small layer of MM-Mix into the grow bag. Cut larger potatoes into smaller pieces or use small seed potatoes. Put 2 on top of the mix. Each potato, or piece of pototoe, needs to have at least 1 eye or root.
2 pootaardappeltjes op een dun laagje mix
2 potatoes in the grow bag on top of a thin layer of soil mix.
Then fill up the rest of the MM-Mini with moist soil mix and add some more water if necessary. Do this in stages so that the soil mix can absorb the water.

How do you care for potato plants?

After planting, the shoots begin to grow under the soil. After a week or 2, the first leaves appear:
De eerste plantjes komen boven
The first potato plants coming up
Place the MM-Mini in a sunny spot and water regularly.

That's all there is to it.

Harvesting potatoes

When the plants start flowering (around mid-June) there are small potatoes under the soil mix that you can already harvest. Keep in mind: not all types of potatoes flower.

If you're aiming for larger potatoes, wait and dig them up when the stems and leaves turn yellow and die. That only happens in July or August.
Het loof is nu wel erg lelijk: tijd om te oogsten.
The tops looking brown and ugly? Time to harvest
Harvesting can be done in 2 ways: either you turn the MM-Mini or pot upside down and dump everything out, or you dig them up with your hands.
Op zoek naar de aardappels
Fishing for potatoes in the MM-Mini
It's really fun to dig them up. When you hit a potato, it feels like you've struck gold.
De oogst uit de MM-mini
Harvest from 1 MM-Mini
Yes, 1.7 kg:
De opbrengst? 1,7 kilo
The results? 1.7 kg of potatoes
Not bad, huh?

And what do you do after harvesting, throw the soil mix away?

No, don't be silly. Just turn around and sow another vegetable right away.

With a bit of luck, you can use the MM-Mini 4 times in the same year. And the next year too. And every year after that. With the same soil mix.

Here's an example:

From March until June: 1.5 kilograms of potatoes

You plant the potatoes at the end of March for harvest at the beginning of July.

In July and August: 4 heads of loose leaf lettuce

In early July, you rake all the remaining roots out of the soil mix, add a scoop of MM-Plantfood, mix everything together, and sow the lettuce seeds. You'll harvest in early September.

In September and October: 9 arugola plants

After your lettuce, prepare the MM-Mini again and sow some arugula in it. That grows fast, so you'll harvest in October.

From November until the next spring: tons of winter purslane
Winterpostelein groeit prima in een pot
Winter purslane grows great in an MM-Mini
After the arugola, you can sow winter purslane: very tasty and very healthy. If you place the MM-Mini in a greenhouse or another light and unheated space, you can harvest it in the winter months. And otherwise early in the spring.

So. Growing potatoes in brief

What do you need?
Beige en zwarte MM-mini potten
Black MM-Minis are in the shop
Next steps?
  • put a small layer of soil mix at the bottom of the grow bag
  • add the potatoes
  • fill the grow bag completely with soil mix
  • put it in a sunny spot
  • harvest potatoes when plants flower
  • or wait until plants turn yellow for bigger potatoes and then harvest
  • add MM-Plantfood to the soil mix and mix it up
  • sow a different vegetable
Good luck and have fun growing your own potatoes!
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PS: Keep an eye out for potato blight

Sometimes when you grow your own potatoes, they get sick. That's called potato blight. The entire plants turn black and the potatoes turn brown. Or sometimes the affected area is so small, you might not notice it. Either way, there are pathogens in the soil mix. They'll eventually disappear on their own, but it can take 2 to 3 years.

So, never grow your potatoes in the same garden box 2 years in a row. If you want to play it safe, every 3 years.

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