When the plant grows to about 6 inches tall, you can cover the lower leaves and stalk with a few inches of soil or straw. Leave the top group of leaves alone (although for the first hilling, the plant can recover fine even if all leaves are covered). As the plant grows another 6 inches, add more soil or straw to the base. When you reach the top of the container, you should have a nice mound of soil or straw in which the potatoes can grow. The plant will produce stems and leaves above the soil/straw level.
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