On to the potatoes!


As the saying goes: "Every great journey begins with a first step." And when it comes to potatoes, the first step is: pre-germination. It's quite easy. It doesn't take much work and it reduces the time until the first crop to between 2 and 3 weeks.

Potatoes can grow well on a balcony. You just need to pay attention to a few things. You need a planting container at least 40 cm tall and with a base of 40 x 40 cm. I’m using an IKEA bag (the square one).

For pre-germination, you will also need:

  • Potatoes (I decided on Belana, which is an early type)
  • An egg box
  • Approx. 3 weeks' patience

And later for planting:

  • Nutrient-rich soil
  • A planting container (large and tall enough)

And here's what you need to do:

Pre-germination is quite easy. Just place a potato in each egg box section and put the box in a dry, bright location with a constant temperature of around 10-15°C.

Then wait 3 weeks. Potatoes are ready to be planted out when 4–6 sprouts (eyes) have formed on each potato, and these have 1–2 cm shoots.

Now fill your planting container with around 15 cm of soil, lay the potatoes on the soil with the shoots pointing upwards, and cover everything with soil. As soon as potato greenery emerges from the soil, put more soil on top so that the tubers are protected from light. Repeat this process until the plants flower, roughly every 2 weeks. Potatoes flower after 3–4 months. Then the first potatoes are ready for harvesting. Ideally, dig out only as many potatoes as you need. The rest can stay in the ground.

Other things you should know:

  • The denser you plant, the smaller your crops will be.
  • Potatoes need plenty of water to grow big.
  • Regular fertilisation encourages yield.