GROWING POTATOES IN CONTAINERS
How many seed potatoes you grow will depend on the size of your container. The method that follows is the simplest, using a 48 (H) x 30 x 30cm (18 x 12 x 12) potato bag and one seed potato.
In late January place seed potatoes in an egg box, seed tray or modular seed tray with some of the eyes facing upwards. Place in a cool, light, frost-free place. After about six weeks, when the shoots are about 2-5cm (1in) long, they are ready for planting.
2. ADDING THE BOTTOM LAYER
Create a 15cm (6in) layer of compost to the bottom of the container and mix in some potato fertilizer in accordance with the directions on the carton. This will form the fundamental bed for your seed potato.
3. PLANT THE SEED POTATO
Place the seed potato in the center of the bed with its shoots pointing upwards, and then cover with another 15cm (6in) layer of compost. Water in, and continue to water regularly – don’t let the compost dry out.
4. EARTHING UP
After a couple of weeks, you will see foliage emerging. Cover the emerging leaves with more compost, though allow a few to peep through. Continue to do this until the compost has reached the top of the container. Continue to water and add a liquid fertilizer every two weeks.
First and second earlies are usually ready when they flower. To harvest, simply turn the container on its side and pull on the stems, dragging the tubers out with them. Then turn the whole container upside down to access the rest of the tubers.
GROWING ROCKET IN POTS
Like other salad leaf plants, a rocket can be grown in a range of containers. I usually plant rocket in the compost left in growing bags at the end of the tomato season, but they can also be grown in pots or window boxes to make an attractive, leafy display. Ensure the compost is 10cm (4in) deep and don’t let it dry out as this may well cause your plants to bolt.
GROWING STRAWBERRIES IN POTS
Alpine strawberries also suit hanging baskets and patio containers perfectly so do try them there, planting three plants to a 45cm (18in) diameter basket. Water regularly during dry spells and feed occasionally with a high potash feed. Avoid over feeding or high nitrogen feeds as plants will tend to produce lots of leaves and fewer fruit.
A few named varieties have boon produced over the years and some novelties have sprung up naturally.
1. “MIGNONETTE”: Elongated berries with almond undertones.
2. “REGINA”: Rounded red berries highly aromatic.
3. “GOLDEN ALEXANDRIA”: Small rounded fruit and attractive golden yellow leaves.
4.”RED & WHITE MIXED”: A combination of red and white-fruited plants; described as super sweet.
5. “ALPINE” (FRAGARIA VESCA): The original wild strawberry.
6. Look out for “FONTAINE” (the Japanese wild strawberry). The fruit is held on upright stems and it sends out runners freely making it great for pots and ground cover.
Information about growing other seeds in containers right here.