Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Growing Potatoes No-Hilling Method Experiment

I’ve grown potatoes in 5-gallon buckets before and had good results with that method. I used the hilling method in the buckets but wanted to eliminate the hilling, in other words, I want to ‘plant it and forget it’ until harvest time!

At the end are two YouTube links from people I trust. One uses containers and the other uses a typical garden method, both use the plant it and forget it methods. Worth watching!

Today, 1-29-19, I planted my potatoes in 5-gallon buckets for this experiment while the Midwest is dealing with minus 50 degrees :-) Living or having retreat property in Florida has many advantages, growing your own food is one of them.

Here’s what I did today:

Since I don’t have any dirt in my yard to spare I had to buy some potting soil. One 50 quart bag is slightly more than enough for two 5-gallon buckets.

I drilled 6-7, ½ diameter drain holes in the bottom of the buckets.

I first added 4 inches of soil in the bottom and then placed the seed potatoes on top of that layer. For this experiment, I used three seeds per bucket, but to grow large potatoes use only one seed per bucket, that will give them room to grow larger. The seeds used are supermarket Russet potatoes. I washed them with soap and water to remove any anti-spouting chemicals that may be on them. That appears to have worked as they sprouted just fine.

On top the seeds I added more soil filling to the top of the bucket. That’s it! Now I wait while Mother Nature does her thing. When the plants break through the surface I will update you. Keep moist/damp but not wet. No need to hill, just let them grow until plants flower for new potatoes or until plant die-off for full-size potatoes.

How to Links:

UK Here We Grow’
Growing Large Potatoes in Containers

‘Joel and Zach Survival’
Garden Growing Potatoes without Hilling


  1. Ive done several container veggie gardens in the past with great success but never tried potatoes. Thanks for the idea, I think I'll give potatoes a try.
    Annapolis Md

  2. would it work for sweet potatoes? could put runner beans on top and have 2 crops in one bucket?

    1. Hi Deb,
      I haven't tried sweet potatoes or runner beans but I'm pretty sure you could.