The humble potato is a staple food in many parts of the world. Although it might not seem like it, growing your own potatoes is easy. If your outdoor gardening space is limited, you’ll be happy to learn that you can grow potatoes indoors.
So, how to grow potatoes indoors? To grow potatoes indoors, you’ll need seed potatoes, a container, soil, a sunny space, and water. Before planting, chit potatoes in a light and cool but frost-free room. Place the potatoes with eyes facing up on a few inches of soil, and cover them with 5 to 6 inches of dirt and water slightly.
Growing potatoes indoors is easy, and you can do it all year round. In this article, you’ll find step-by-step instructions for growing potatoes inside your home.
Can You Grow Potatoes Indoors?
Yes, you can grow potatoes indoors. Potatoes are an easy vegetable to plant inside your home.
Most people assume potatoes can only grow in outdoor gardens because of their large size and the fact that they grow underground. However, if you use a deep-enough container, well-draining soil, and enough sunlight, a potato plant should thrive under your care indoors.
With proper supplies, experienced and beginner gardeners can grow potatoes indoors year-round.
To plant potatoes indoors, you’ll need a deep container that will provide enough space for tubers to grow. Potato plants also need well-draining soil and at least six hours of full sun per day. You can use LED lights or grow lamps to increase light exposure if there isn’t enough light indoors.
There are now more than 5,000 different types of potatoes, and no shortage of varieties you can try growing at home.
How to Grow Potatoes Indoors
Like all other plants, potatoes require some care to grow tasty tubers. Luckily, growing potatoes is easy – follow these steps to learn how!
1. Choose Seed Potatoes
The easiest way to plant potatoes at home is to buy seed potatoes. A seed potato is grown specifically for planting and is treated against many diseases that affect store bought-potatoes.
If you decide to plant store-bought potatoes, choose organic potatoes. Unlike regular potatoes, organic potatoes aren’t treated with a chemical that inhibits growth.
2. Prepare Your Potatoes
Use tubers that have already sprouted when planting potatoes indoors. Choose potatoes with one or more chits or eyes with a sprout growing from them. A potato must sprout to produce more potatoes.
If your potatoes haven’t sprouted, you can encourage the spuds to grow yourself. To sprout your potatoes, find the potato eye that has a small sprout. Place the potato in an egg carton or paper bag so the eye faces upward, and place it near a window with lots of natural light.
When potatoes sprout, you need to make them small enough to plant. There’s no need to cut any potatoes up to 2 inches in diameter.
Larger potatoes need to be cut into 2 inches long chunks ensuring that each piece has at least two sprouted eyes. Leave the cut sections at room temperature for two days to heal before planting.
3. Choose a Container
Potatoes can grow in virtually any type of container, plastic buckets, growth bags, ceramic pots, or glass jars as long as they are deep enough to ensure optimal growing conditions. Make sure that your container has at least a 2.5-gallon capacity and the necessary depth for maximum yield.
4. Plant Your Potatoes
Once you choose a planting container and your potatoes are sprouted, it’s time to plant. Add a few inches of loose and moist soil to the container’s bottom. Leaving a few inches between each potato, place them on the soil with sprouts (eyes) facing up.
Loosely cover the potatoes with 5 to 6 inches of soil. Place the container in a sunny place where your plants will get at least six hours of sunlight each day.
In a few weeks, potato plants will emerge through the top layer of soil, forming leaves. When that happens, it’s time to hill up.
5. Hilling Potatoes
Hilling potatoes means covering the new sprouts with soil to provide more place for potato tubers to grow. When the stems and leaves of your potato plant are a few inches tall, cover them loosely with soil. Leave the leaves uncovered to promote further plant growth.
Depending on the size and depth of your container, you might need to hill your potatoes up to three times. Once your container is filled with soil to the top, wait for the potato leaves and stems to turn yellow to harvest your potatoes.
6. Watering Indoor Potatoes
Keep the soil around your potatoes moist. Don’t allow the soil to become drenching or dry.
Potatoes need moist soil to grow, so check the ground every two to three days. If the soil is beginning to dry, water it until it’s moist.
7. Harvesting Potatoes
Harvest the potatoes once the plant turns yellow, and the leaves start to die off. For small new potatoes, start harvesting as soon as the plant turns yellow.
If you want larger, more mature potatoes, wait another one or two weeks before harvesting. To harvest potatoes, simply dig them or dump the container and sift through the soil to find potatoes.
How Long Does It Take for Potatoes to Grow Indoors?
Potatoes need between 90 and 120 days to reach maturity, depending on the type. Potatoes grown indoors may need a bit more time to grow than those planted in outdoor gardens.
You’ll know your potatoes are ready for harvest when most of their tops have become withered and yellow.
Growing potatoes indoors is easy with a bit of effort and the right supplies. To grow potatoes indoors, you’ll need sprouted potatoes, a deep-enough container, loose soil, water, and a sunny spot.
After the foliage has withered and died off, it’s time to dig out your potatoes and have fun preparing and eating your harvest.