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Growing Potatoes in a Trash Can

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View this video of a great gardening container for growing potatoes—and experience the fun of trash can gardening with Janice Stillman, Editor of The Old Farmer's Almanac.

For more potato planting and growing advice, see our free Potato Guide.


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Hi Diana, the potatoes should

By Almanac Staff

Hi Diana, the potatoes should be ready to harvest after about 10 weeks. Be sure to harvest them all once the vines die, or yes, they will rot in the soil. See more growing tips on our potato page! http://www.almanac.com/plant/potatoes

We leave our pot. in the

By Bob Mckee

We leave our pot. in the ground till we want to dig a few at a
time up.We have even missed a few and got them the next year.

When you add the soil as the

By pineymom2

When you add the soil as the plant grows do you cover the leaves or just add the soil around them?

Thanks, all of you, for your

By stiljanice

Thanks, all of you, for your enthusiasm. I think the outstanding questions are these:
Mary, it depends on what you mean/perceive as "entire container full." Assuming everything else goes well—your soil is good, the plants get enough water and sun—you could get a couple or a few dozen potatoes or more. So will the container be "filled"? There will still be lots of dirt in there, too.
Diana, your question is, how often do you water? At least once a week, depending on other conditions, such as rain. You don't want to drown the plants but you also don't want them to shrivel. Keep us posted as things progress—and GOOD LUCK!

My wife Ellen and I loved the

By James Shaw

My wife Ellen and I loved the video,so enthusiastic and upbeat.We found it very informative and helpful.

Oh... the eyes go...down? No

By Azar Attura

Oh... the eyes go...down? No wonder.....

This is GREAT!! I DO grow trash bucket plants on my balcony -- in 11 gallon Rubbermaids -- holes on the bottom, clean (from store, in 50 pound bags) rocks (actually mine are cheap marble pieces) and NON-treated charcoal briquets on the bottom, a good soil mix and... I have fringe trees, paw paws, blueberries, serviceberries, gingkoes (from seed!) maples (ditto!) and some comestibles all on my (large) balcony --

What purpose were the

By paco12348

What purpose were the briquets on the bottom underneat the marble pieces. Just for extra drainage?

The video shows that you

By Paula Conn 2

The video shows that you should plan these with the cut side down, and the eyes should be up!

When planting my potatoes; I

By Paula Hutchings

When planting my potatoes; I wished I had made notes. I did forget which end goes up or down... after reading other gardening forums- I planted my potatoes in cheap laundry baskets (eliminating the need to punch holes).

I do find a large laundry basket with a smaller frame (did find one at the local dollar store); better as far as soil not seeping through.

Unfortunately, due to poor soil conditions and inability to continue adding soil as the plants grow - I am worried.

I do have some healthy looking potato plants coming out of my baskets.
But if your cheap laundry basket is small; then I guess once it is filled, will need to wait for the fruits of labor. :)

I am small family of 3 right now: whatever I get out of my garden, I am happy with.
New Gardener.

Should the drainage holes be

By Marybc

Should the drainage holes be just at the bottom or all the way around and up the sides of the can?

Hi Mary, You can drill a

By Almanac Staff

Hi Mary, You can drill a couple holes in the sides as well but stick to the bottom six inches or so of the barrel. Whatever you do, don't skip making the holes--drainage is necessary so your potatoes won't rot!

Do you plant more potatoes

By Susan Okray

Do you plant more potatoes every 7 inches when you add the next soil?

No, the original plants will

By Tina Beshears

No, the original plants will continue to grow taller and produce potatoes all the way down their root systems. One good sized seed potato quartered will be all you need to grow a whole trash can full of potatoes.

Have grown potatoes in large

By bernice2

Have grown potatoes in large plantar for couple years. Last year had 46 potatoes in one pot. Will try the trash can this year.

do you continually get

By staci

do you continually get potatoes or get them all at once? does same plant cont. to produce?

I have heard of people

By PennyinCO

I have heard of people digging down (gently!) into the container during the growing season to pull out a few small potatoes to use immediately, but generally you wait until at least 2 weeks after the vines have died down to harvest the whole container.
The plant is finished and can be discarded. Our dead plants go into the trash (not the compost) because of the risk of transmitting plant disease.

I live in Oklahoma and for

By Sharon Mcanespy

I live in Oklahoma and for the first time, my husband and I are going to try growing potatoes in a trashcan.I love this video and it sure looks easy.

Will the entire container be

By Mary Carter

Will the entire container be filled with potatoes, from top to bottom? I live in the Houston Texas area. Is the planting and harvest time the same?

Janice, Great Video on

By Diana Gricus

Janice, Great Video on growing potatoes in a Trash Can. How moist should the soil be or how often should they be watered? I live in Western North Carolina. Thank you.

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