We grow potatoes on our little allotment and it is great, but it is a 20 minute walk away. To make sure we have potatoes to hand, today we’re also planting our potatoes in a few tubs.
We had already bought an extra bag of ‘seed potatoes’ from the garden centre a few weeks ago and we set these to ‘Chitting’ on a northern windowsill.
How To Chit Potatoes To Grow
Chitting is a fancy term for encouraging the potato to start sprouting.
Not long white shoots like you get if you leave a potato in the fridge for too long, but small sturdy green shoots.
The shoots appear from little ‘dots’ or eyes on the potato. Usually 1 end has more of these eyes that the others.
Encouraging them to chit before planting isn’t essential but it does give you’re potato a head start.
We filled our tubs with some well rotten garden compost that we made in our ‘compost in a bottle‘ experiment.
Putting this at the bottom of the container, we the topped them up with some straw and rabbit poop from our pet rabbit .
Then added compost to just under half way.
You could use just soil from your garden if you can’t get compost.
Kids Love Planting Potatoes.
My daughter decided she was planting the potatoes into the tubs. We lost 2 seed potatoes before we explained to her the shoots need to stay on and not be pulled off. Oops!
Grow Potatoes With Kids, It’s So Much Fun!
To make sure our potatoes have the best start we collected some comfrey leaves from the area around our home.
We chopped these up and placed them under the potatoes as we planted them.
Comfrey is a wonderful plant for pulling nutrients from the soil from deep down so as the leaves break down they will feed your potatoes.
Now, cover the potatoes over with a few centimetres of more soil.
And now we wait.
Pop the tubs into a sheltered spot and after a few weeks you will see the firm green shoots appear above the soil.
When the sprouts have a few leaves, top up with more soil so only the tips are still showing.
If your in an area that still gets frosts like we are, at this time of year, the leaves can be damage by it so keep topping the pot up with more compost to protect the shoots until the risk of frost has passed.
This also encourages more potatoes to grow up the shoots.
Now all that’s needed is to wait until the plant grows well and begins to flowers.
When you see the pretty little flowers its time to give lots of water to your plants as this is when your potatoes are really growing as much as they can.
Once the green shoots die down and go all yellow, it’s time to gently push back the soil and find your golden potatoes hiding under the soil.
You can tip out the whole pot or dig around for a few potatoes you need for dinner.
So give it a go, it’s super easy and well worth trying with your kids.