Grow potatoes in a bucket

Do you like potatoes? It’s so exciting to be able to grow your own.

Flower from the Eat Move Learn team holds a bucket of homegrown potatoesPotatoes are so easy to grow that you can plant them in a bucket. Why not give it a try? Potatoes are good for us as they contain vitamin C, which helps keep our skin healthy.

You can grow many different types of potatoes. They usually take 12 to 20 weeks to grow depending on the potatoes you choose, so if you want to eat potatoes in the summer, plant them in early spring.

Did you know?

Unlike other plants, potatoes grow downwards so the part we eat is at the bottom with the roots.

Getting ready

You will need:

  • 3 seed potatoes or small normal potatoes
  • an egg carton
  • a large plastic bucket
  • stones or gravel
  • compost
  • a watering can

Step 1

Put the potatoes into an egg carton, with their eyes at the top.

The eyes of a potato are the little indents or pits you see on their skins.

Leave them in a cool, dry place or windowsill for about four weeks until they grow shoots.

This process is called ‘chitting’.

Step 2

When the shoots are a few centimetres long, rub off most of the shoots, leaving the two that look strongest.

Leave them to grow for another week.

Step 3

Ask an adult to make small holes in the base of the bucket.

Then, add a layer of gravel or stones and half fill the bucket with compost.

Step 4

Very gently push the potatoes into the compost with the shoots pointing up.

Add a little more soil to cover the potatoes.

Water your potatoes every three days.

Step 5

As the plants grow, shoots will appear out of the compost.

When this happens cover them with more soil so they are just buried.

Add more compost every time the shoots appear until the bucket is completely full.

Step 6

The plants will continue to grow.

Keep the compost well watered, especially if the weather gets hot.

Make sure you put the bucket next to a window or in the garden.

Step 7

If any potatoes appear make sure you cover them again with compost.

Warning: if you leave them in the sunlight they will turn green and green potatoes are poisonous.

Step 8

When flowers start growing on your plant it’s a sign that the potatoes have reached a good size, so you can pick some in early summer to eat as ‘new potatoes’.

Step 9

Otherwise wait until the leaves of the plant die. Then tip over the bucket and enjoy finding the potatoes buried in the compost! See all our recipes to use your potatoes in.

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