growing potatoes in buckets: Tips and Tricks for a Successful Harvest

BY Khushvinder Dagar
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Are you TIRED of buying expensive, store-bought potatoes that don’t always taste FRESH? LOOK NO FURTHER! 

Planting potatoes in buckets is a great way to MAXIMIZE your space and get the MOST out of your garden. With MINIMAL effort, you have DELICIOUS homegrown spuds ready for harvest at any time. 

We’re EXCITED to share our tips and tricks with you for a SUCCESSFUL harvest. As EXPERIENCED gardeners, we’ve been compiling BEGINNER guides, ADVANCED gardening advice, and more!

Let us SHOW you how EASY and REWARDING it is growing POTATOES in BUCKETS. So GRAB yourself a BUCKET, put on your potato-est hat, and let’s GROW!

Imagine having an ENDLESS supply of DELICIOUS, fresh POTATOES at your fingertips. That must be A-PEEL-ING! [hahaha]

LEARN how easy it is today with our tips on growing potatoes in buckets! We’ll teach you all the ins and outs of, so you’ll be a MASTER spud farmer in no time!

growing potatoes in buckets

Advantages of Growing Potatoes in Buckets

growing potatoes advantages

Here are some of the advantages that come with using BUCKETS for potato cultivation:

  1. MORE POTATOES. With larger 5 gallon buckets, you fit more soil and compost than smaller containers like pots. This means there’s more room for roots – which translates into BIGGER HARVESTS. 

So if having plenty of fresh spuds motivates you, go big with those FIVE-GALLONERS!

  1. EASIER CARE & MAINTENANCE. Growing your crop in a large bucket simplifies caring for it. They need LESS frequent watering compared to other container options such as gardens. 

Plus, harvesting from a little higher up – instead of digging down – is easier on both BACK and KNEES (not to mention FINGERNAILS!). Gardening with buckets gives you an UPPER HAND! Get it? [hahaha]

  1. PORTABILITY & FLEXIBILITY. You move buckets around to different locations in your space. When winter comes around, move them INDOORS near a bright window. 

This allows them to keep producing until SPRING returns again with WARMER TEMPERATURES!

  1. SMALL SPACE. 5-gallon buckets are easier for those living in apartments and other urban settings where gardening space is LIMITED (and even more so on balconies!). 

Not to worry, with FIVE GALLONERS, you can make the most of your space – it’s like having a MINI GARDEN in a bucket!

What to Prepare Before Growing Potatoes in Buckets?

Prepare Before Growing Potatoes in Buckets

So you are ready to PLANT POTATOES in buckets? HERE’S what you need!

  1. Start with a 5-gallon FOOD GRADE plastic bucket. Make sure the sides are smooth and free from any SHARP EDGES or CRACKS that could harm your potato plants.
  2. Drill HOLES around the bottom for proper drainage. Then MARK each hole with a PERMANENT MARKER. It’ll help you remember where they are when the replanting season comes around again!
  3. Next, find CERTIFIED SEED POTATOES of your favorite variety. We recommend RUSSET BURBANKS for their delicious flavor and large size.
  4. Then cut them into chunks no bigger than 2 inches wide (make sure there is at least one eye on each piece). Place these pieces in a bowl filled with warm water to start sprouting before you plant.

Now it’s time to PREPARE your soil mix:

  • Combine 1 part COMPOSTED MANURE
  • And four parts QUALITY TOPSOIL until thoroughly mixed

This combination will provide all essential nutrients needed by growing potatoes. It will also ensure GOOD DRAINAGE throughout the bucket container garden bed.

Once everything is combined, evenly add enough water so that it has an even consistency but is not too wet. Think COOKIE DOUGH rather than cake batter… Mmmmm COOKIES! Now fill up those buckets halfway full of this PREPARED SOIL MIXTURE.”

How to Successfully Grow Potatoes in Buckets?

Successfully Grow Potatoes in Buckets

Growing BUCKET POTATOES is easier than you think. You do it with the right conditions and requirements.

Before you begin, ASK YOURSELF what you want to grow. Is it SWEET POTATOES, NEW POTATOES, or SPROUTED POTATOES?

  • To begin, you must BUY FOOD-GRADE BUCKETS. Five-gallon buckets work best and allow more potatoes to grow. Before planting, ENSURE the buckets have DRAINAGE HOLES, as mentioned earlier. Otherwise, your efforts may go down the ‘drain.’
  • Next, FILL the buckets with soil using the procedure in the section above. Make sure to use ORGANIC COMPOST and SOIL as this helps keep the potatoes DISEASE FREE. This is much better than relying on an old folk’s remedy, like PUTTING SALT on their tails!
  • Now, you are ready to PLANT your potatoes. You either use STORE-BOUGHT POTATOES or SPROUTED POTATOES from an egg carton.

Either way, it’s important not to ‘WING IT.’ If using store-bought potatoes, CUT them into chunks and PLANT them in the soil with the SPROUTED SIDE UP. 

If using sprouted potatoes, PLANT them directly in the soil. Be sure to PLACE the buckets in an area that gets DIRECT SUNLIGHT for most of the day.

Keep the soil MOIST but not SOGGY. If the plant DIES, it’s a sign that your choice of soil was too wet. Over the growing season, you are sure to have plenty to show for your efforts. That way, no one can accuse you of being a ‘COUCH POTATO’! [hahaha]

When and How to Harvest Your Bucket Of Potatoes?

Harvest Your Bucket Of Potatoes

When the time comes to REAP what you have grown, it’s important to know when and how to do it correctly! Just remember: POTATO HARVESTING isn’t rocket science – it’s just spud-tacular! [hahaha]

When should you harvest your bucket of potatoes? Typically, potato plants will FLOWER after about two months of growth. Watch out for the flowers. When they appear, the TUBERS (or potatoes) are usually ready for harvesting in a few weeks.

You’ll want to WAIT until most of the foliage has died back before digging up your crop. This is called HILLING – which involves adding more soil on top of growing plants as they grow taller.

When harvesting your bucket full of spuds, make sure not to DIG too deep. Around four inches below the surface level should suffice! This way, you won’t risk damaging any developing tubers. 

Also you won’t DISRUPT the growing medium beneath them. Be GENTLE with each one you pull – try using both hands if needed!

If all goes according to plan, you should have plenty of delicious NEW POTATOES within a few weeks! Just remember: ‘A watched pot never boils.‘ [hahaha!]

FAQs about Growing Potatoes In Buckets

1. How tall do potato plants grow?

A potato plant can grow anywhere from 10 to 36 inches tall, depending on the variety. To accurately measure your potato plant’s height, it is best to use a tape measure. 

2. How many potatoes can you grow in a 5-gallon bucket?

The answer will depend on the size of the seed potatoes. When growing potatoes, up to 10 small or medium-sized potatoes can fit into one 5-gallon bucket. If you plan on planting larger varieties, 4 – 6 would be more appropriate for each five-gallon bucket. It all depends on how much space your particular variety needs! So experiment away and see what works best for you!

3. Is it worth growing potatoes in containers?

Growing potatoes in containers is a good way to get higher yields of organic potatoes. It works even if you have little growing space. It’s possible to grow just a few potatoes or a full bucket! Container gardening requires good soil and plenty of sunshine for the best results. But you can do it with minimal effort. 

4. How deep does a container have to be for potatoes?

Potatoes can easily be grown in one bucket or container. The container should be at least 8-10 inches deep to ensure the potatoes have enough space to grow. Any more than that, and you’ll risk overcrowding your potato plants!

What’s Next

We gave you the advantages of growing potatoes in buckets. Then, we provided tips and tricks for successfully planting potatoes in 5-gallon buckets. 

Next, we showed you how to harvest these bad boys.

If you want to start your home garden, or are already a gardening enthusiast, check out our website for more. Astergardening has got you covered – tater-ly! Also, remember to share this one if it helped.

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Khushvinder Dagar

Hey, I'm Khushvinder. I am a marketer by profession but love the feeling of getting my hands dirty and watching plants grow and have a particular interest in native plants and sustainable gardening practices. I also enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience with others and have written articles on gardening for various publications.