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  • Jenica Barrett

How to Grow Potatoes in a Bucket

Just because you don't have a big yard doesn't mean you can't grow a garden! With raised beds, deck containers, and pots perfectly sized to fit on a tiny porch, your gardening dreams can come true! All you need is a bucket and some dirt to get started - really, it's that simple!

A bucket can be a perfect home for a potato plant. It's cheap, easy to move, and takes up very little space. Potatoes like to grow in "hills" or "mounds" and placing them in a bucket means you can create an artificial hill right there inside it. So how exactly do you grow potatoes in a bucket? Let me walk you through the steps!

Are you a visual learner and want to watch a video of how to grow potatoes in a bucket instead? I've got you covered!

potato plants in two cat litter buckets


Growing Potatoes in Old Buckets (to save money and space!)

1. Get yourself a used bucket!

Your bucket doesn't have to be fancy by any means. The only requirement is that it is at least five gallons and that you're okay with putting holes in the bottom. I've used cat litter buckets and bird seed buckets to grow my potatoes in!

If don't buy anything that comes in a bucket, try posting on your Buy Nothing Group before buying one. You can also check out Craigslist to see if anyone has them listed for free. Since you are going to bust out the bottoms anyways, it's okay if they're already broken too!

2. Bust holes in your bucket.

It's as half-hazard as it sounds. We just used a hammer to bash a few holes in the bottoms of ours! Potatoes don't like to sit in stagnant water so you need to make sure the bucket has some way to easily drain (think bigger sized holes or no bottom at all).

bucket with a large hole in the bottom

3. Place six inches of dirt in the bottom of the bucket.

4. Lay down your sprouting potatoes in the dirt.

You want to make sure you plant potatoes that are already sprouting. You can easily tell these apart because of the tiny knobs growing out of the potato. If you've ever kept potatoes a little too long before eating them, you'll have seen these before!

sprouting potato held in a hand

5. Cover the potatoes with 2-3 inches of soil.

6. Once the potatoes have sprouted and grown ~6 inches out of the dirt, bury them again.

Like I said, potatoes like to grow in a hill! You can get more potatoes from your plant if you bury them again in soil. This encourages the green growth to turn into more root stock and sprout potatoes from it.

man putting dirt in used buckets to grow potatoes

7. Repeat this process until your bucket is full!

8. Wait for your potatoes to grow and die.

The worst part about growing potatoes is that you have to wait so long to harvest them! Potatoes are best harvested two to three weeks after all of the plant has died back. This allows all of the nutrients to sink down into the potatoes in the ground.

9. Dump out your bucket and harvest your homegrown potatoes!

You can eat your potatoes right away or prepare them for storage over winter. If you want to keep them over winter, make sure to let them dry out and test the skin to see if it easily peels off. If it does, you're potatoes won't make it through winter and will need to be cooked up soon.

Have you grown potatoes in buckets before or any other container? Tell me about it below!
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