Grow Potatoes in a Barrel

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Grow potatoes in a barrel or in other containers. Growing potatoes in containers allows you to garden in a very small space or even on your deck.   

Grow potatoes in a barrel

Growing potatoes in a barrel can be a fun family project. Help your kids learn how potato tubers form on the roots of the potato plant. Experience together the joy of providing some of your own food for the table. 

It is so rewarding to do this easy gardening project with family and friends. And it's so much fun to see children discover that food does not come just from the supermarket. 

Best of all will be when you and they taste the delicious tiny new potatoes that you grew yourselves. You are all likely to decide in favor of vegetables once again. 

The Complete Book of Potatoes: What Every Grower and Gardener Needs to Know

How to Grow Potatoes in a Barrel

Here is what you need to do to grow potatoes in a barrel:

  • A container in which to grow your potatoes. This could be an actual barrel such as an old whiskey keg or other barrel. You could also use a trash can, either plastic or metal, or any other large container.
  • Drill a series of holes, about six inches apart in each direction, in the bottom of the container to provide drainage.
  • Put a sheet of fiberglass screening over the holes.
  • Add about six inches of soil in the bottom of the barrel.
  • Top the soil with a four-inch layer of sawdust.

Now you're ready to plant your seed potatoes

If you grow your own potatoes every year, and set some of the crop for next year's seed, you're ready to go. Don't use supermarket potatoes as seed potatoes; they are treated with a sprouting retarding chemical and will not produce good results.

Get your seed potatoes ready for your "growing potatoes in containers project": 

  • Cut your seed potatoes into several pieces and make sure that each piece contains at least two eyes.
  • Let the potato pieces sit for a day or two to allow the cut surfaces to dry.
  • Take the "potato seeds" and push them down into the layer of sawdust in the barrel just far enough so they're covered.
  • Water the sawdust but don't over-water.

In a few days you will find small plants sprouting up through the sawdust. Each time your plants grow a couple more inches above the sawdust, add more, mounds it around the plants and check if they need more water.

Also - Learn about growing potatoes in pots  

Growing Potatoes in Containers 

When the potato plants are blooming well you and your children can dig down into the barrel and feel the potatoes growing on the roots. These potatoes will be small "new potatoes". Gently pull some of those new potatoes up for a tasty treat. They are yummy boiled in their skins with butter and parsley sprinkled over the top.

Leave the rest of your potato crop in the soil and dig them as needed. They will rest there without sprouting for several months, insulated from the cold by the well drained soil.

Grow potatoes in a barrel to use in all your soups, stews and other favorite potato recipes. 

Growing potatoes in containers is easy and fun. Give it a try, you won't be disappointed. 

Grow Potatoes in Tires

Growing Potatoes in Straw


More ideas for growing potatoes in containers.

How to Grow Potatoes

Types of Potatoes

Seed Potatoes

Planting Potatoes

Harvesting Potatoes

Storing Potatoes

Potato Bugs

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