Potatoes are an incredibly diverse and beloved vegetable! You can boil, bake, fry, or mash them to enjoy a delicious meal – they’re also packed with nutrient-filled fiber that’ll help keep your tummy happy for longer.
Today we won’t just show you how to grow potatoes in cardboard boxes – we’ll also share some tasty fun facts!
The potato plant is a herbaceous annual plant belonging to the family Solanaceae, with the typical plant structure of above-ground shoots, leaves, and underground roots. They can grow to an average height of 40 inches (100 cm).
The potato plant can survive for years in a warm climate, and if winter weather kills the top part of the plant, tubers can send up new growth in the spring.
Carbohydrates, proteins, fiber, and a minimal amount of fat are all present in potatoes. Potatoes are widely available on the market, but growing them at home is less expensive than purchasing them. Growing potatoes is easy, and new gardeners are recommended to start their gardening journey by increasing them. You can grow potatoes in containers, raised garden beds, buckets, etc.
In this article, you will learn everything from growing potatoes in cardboard boxes to harvesting potatoes in simple steps. We will also discuss some common issues you may face while growing potatoes. Now let’s get started.
Material required to plant potatoes in a box
Most of the things required to grow potatoes in cardboard boxes might already be present at your home.
Things you will need to grow potatoes in a container made of cardboard:
- Cardboard Box: Create a successful potato garden with nothing more than an old cardboard box! Look for one that’s 10 inches high at the minimum or 2 feet tall maximum – anything more significant can become unstable due to built-up pressure. Be sure there aren’t any ink, printing, or staples on your chosen cardboard, and you’re all set for growing success!
- Tubers: The seed potatoes are tubers. You can buy tubers from a nearby market or plant nursery, but make sure that the potato seeds you are purchasing are tested and disease-free. It would be best to buy disease-free seed tubers from a certified grower or seed distributor.
- Water: Water is essential for growing any crop. Like every other plant, potatoes need water. Different amounts of water are required at various stages of the potato plant’s growth to produce the best harvest. For the first 30 days, potato plants don’t need much water, but after 30 days, vegetative growth of the plants starts, and at this stage, they need a fair amount of water. After that, you must continue watering your potato plants until the harvest.
Get all these required materials and your gardening gloves, as we are about to start growing potatoes in cardboard boxes.
How to plant potatoes in a cardboard box
Growing potatoes in a cardboard box are similar to growing them in a bucket or container. Gather everything required to plant potatoes in cardboard boxes and follow our guide.
Follow these simple steps to produce a bumper harvest of potatoes in cardboard boxes:
- First, get the cardboard box and open it from top and bottom, leaving the sides still attached.
- As potato plants need a good amount of sunlight to grow, select a spot where they can get enough sunlight. Clear the debris, dirt, and weeds from the chosen place, and voila! Now you can plant your potatoes there.
- Dig a small hole about 2-3 inches deep at the chosen spot and place the potato seed. After placing the seed, cover it with loose, fertile soil.
- Now place the cardboard box around the seed. Pin down the cardboard box by pushing it inside the soil and placing bricks or large pebbles around it so it will get fixed and not blow away.
- Fill the cardboard box of the potato plant with mulch. The best mulch for potato plants is straw or dry grass clippings; dry plant matter will work the same.
- Cover the potato seed with about six inches of mulch and water.
- Over time, when the shoots begin to sprout upward, cover them progressively with more mulch as required.
- Continue this process until the shoots of the potato plant reach the surface of the
And planting potatoes in cardboard boxes is as simple as that. While your potato plant is growing, keep an eye on it and provide water, fertilizer, and mulch as needed.
Harvesting potatoes from the box
Harvesting potatoes at the right time can be tricky as you can’t see them growing under the soil, but there is no need to worry. You can harvest them as soon as the shoot of the potato plant reaches the tip of the cardboard box.
Depending on the weather and the variety of potatoes, it usually takes 2-3 months to fully mature. It’s important to remember that tubers store a significant amount of energy.
Once the potato plant leaves start to die, all of the energy is stored in the tubers. At that time, feel free to harvest them from the plant.
If you are harvesting potatoes from cardboard boxes at the right time, it is very easy as it requires no tools and takes very little time compared to harvesting potatoes from land. The gardener can harvest the potatoes by using their hands. Dump the entire box and search through the soil to find potatoes. You can use this soil again for your next garden project.
After you dig the potatoes out, please leave them in the sun for an hour or two.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many potatoes can you plant per box?
plant 2 to 4 potatoes in each 10-gallon pot or bag at a depth of 2-3 inches, and add a layer of 5 to 6 inches of straw or mulch to help retain moisture in the soil.
Where should the potatoes be planted?
They must be planted in an area with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. If potatoes are exposed to sunlight for more than 7-8 hours, they will start to photosynthesize and produce a green pigment under the skin. The green pigment is toxic and harmful to our bodies.
How can you prevent the cardboard from becoming weak and soggy?
The cardboard will weaken and become soggy, especially at the bottom. This might result in the box toppling over from its weight.
An excellent method to prevent this is to put something underneath the box’s walls to make the cardboard stronger and thicker, but remember to leave the bottom open as shoots of potato plants will grow upward from the soil. For example, a piece of wood or metal will be a good choice. A long, flat piece of plastic could also serve the same purpose. You can also use a seed tray, available at many different sites.
How to fertilize potato plants
Fertilizing potatoes two weeks after planting them in your garden is usually a great idea. They receive the energy they need to develop from it. Select a fertilizer that contains more potassium and phosphate than nitrogen.
What is the best type of potato to grow in a cardboard box?
Red, pink, and purple-fleshed potatoes are more accessible to grow than others. For example, some early potato varieties, including Chieftain, Dark Red Northern, Irish Cobbler, Sangre, Red Gold, and Yukon Gold, are suitable for growing in a cardboard box.
What is the ideal temperature for storing potatoes?
Compared to other vegetables, raw potatoes have a longer shelf life. A large number of potatoes can be stored in your house for weeks if they are stored properly. The best temperature to store potatoes is around 45°F to 50°F.
Potatoes should be stored in a well-ventilated basket or bag in a cool, dark place to maximize shelf life because they sprout and decay at room temperature.
Growing potatoes in a cardboard box are not only an easy process, but if done right, it is also one of the most rewarding methods. Growing them in your garden can be an enjoyable activity for you. The plants themselves seem very attractive in the garden. Anyone can grow potatoes by themselves if they do it right. You can also check out how to grow potatoes in buckets, which is a very simple and effective way to grow potatoes.
For more gardening topics, check out our other articles.