If you’re looking to dabble in indoor gardening, potatoes are a great vegetable to start with.
So a reasonable thing to think about is how to grow potatoes indoors so that there would be a reason to do that. In order words, make the most out of it.
They’re very resilient and they’re hard to mess up if you’re taking proper care of them, and who doesn’t like to have potatoes on hand?
- How to Grow Potatoes Indoors 101
- TOP 6 Best LED Grow Lights for Potatoes 2020
How to Grow Potatoes Indoors 101
It’s easier than you may expect to sprout some in your home, especially for beginner level indoor gardeners. In a few simple steps, you can start growing potatoes indoors, as they’re one of the easiest vegetables to grow indoors.
But before everything, some fellow growers frequently ask me these two questions:
- Do Potatoes need Light to Grow?
- Can Potatoes be grown hydroponically?
Now, the answer to question number one is quite obvious. Potatoes are plants, ultimately it needs “sunlight” to do photosynthesis to grow and develop.
But perhaps the main inquiry here is: “I want to plant Potatoes indoors, but I can’t get the sunlight to reach my crops!”
That’s easy, you can solve that problem by acquiring grow lights (LED grow lights are the favorite among all indoor growers if you must know!).
Fret not, I’ll give you an idea of what it is and I’ll share with you the top LED grow lights that will help you grow potatoes indoors.
Then without further ado, let’s proceed to the next question.
Can Potatoes Be Grown Hydroponically?
Probably the general indoor growers already knew what Hydroponic is.
But for those who are just starting or planning to plant their own lovely crops indoors, let me tell you what this stuff is.
The hydroponic system is basically a planting system on where there is no need of using soil. Instead, you use a particular medium for a plant to stand on firmly and put it on a Hydroponic system.
A basic hydroponic system has already calibrated nutrient solution and that particular solution is what the plant absorbs for its “efficient” development and growth stages.
So now, can you grow your potatoes in this special planting system even though we used to see potatoes grow under the soil?
The answer is, definitely yes!
And in fact, it is actually better in my opinion. Why? Because growing plants hydroponically is again, “efficient”. That basically means it is very effective with very minimal wastages.
Growing potatoes in this method make the plant absorb all of the nutrients it really needs without deficit or over-dosage because the hydroponic solution is already “calibrated.”
If you are wondering how could that potato grow in that system then fret not I’ll explain it further.
The main thing here is the “root system” of the plant. So long as it has a root system that is “constantly” growing then there’s no worry. So long as the tip of that very root reaches the hydroponic solution, the magic will happen.
You don’t actually need to submerge the root system of your plant!
And now you know that, let’s go on to picking the right seeds.
Pick The Right Seed Potatoes
Potatoes essentially grow from other potatoes. Have you ever noticed that if you don’t cook potatoes on time, they begin to sprout strange green nubs?
These are called eyes, and they’re evidence that your potato is trying to reproduce.
The eyes are what cause the germination process, so select seed potatoes with about half a dozen eyes. The more, the better.
Although potatoes do have “seeds,” they don’t actually grow the literal little seeds.
To get a variety of potatoes, you must grow them vegetatively. In other words you “re-plant” a part of your actual potato.
And these are what you wanna call as “seeds” (at least for potatoes).
A potato with six eyes is capable of producing up to 2 pounds of potatoes, easily multiplying the batch. If you’re looking for a larger harvest, simply grab more seed potatoes.
Now, how do you actually make your very own potato seeds?
Simple, you pre-sprout them.
But how you pre-sprout them?
If you happen to be pre-sprouting newly dug potatoes make sure to awaken them first. You can do this by putting them with apples, bananas, or onions in a sealed bag. The sprouting will certainly occur due to the presence of Ethylene gas that will do the magic
Or you can just spread them in an egg carton with seed pointing up. You can see that the end of the seed has little cute dimples and that’s where the sprouting will start.
Store them in a warm, well-lit location such as the kitchen for 2-3 weeks or until the green shoots appear.
Or you can also store them at temperatures of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This technique is actually a little faster.
And that’s it; you have now your potato seeds!
Dig a shallow ditch and cover them with about 3 inches of rich soil. From there on, you just monitor them and feed them off with fertilizer if you are using soil.
Now if you have sudden urgent appointment or matter, you might want to store your potato seeds first, right?
You must store your seed potatoes in a cool, dry spot that has 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Though a little humidity is crucial for your seeds, you must not expose them to too much dampness, or they may rot.
You must also know that potatoes need time to rest. Don’t just carelessly move or expose them to light or heal during its storage period. Locations such as cool and dry closets are very good choices for your seeds. But make sure no mice are lurking around.
If you happen to store them in a cardboard box, make sure that they have sufficient ventilation.
But hold on!
Your sudden urgent meeting unexpectedly took you decades! And it’s now winter season!
What do you do?
Can you still grow potatoes?
Of course, it is still possible to grow your potatoes indoors as long as you have these three factors!
- A rich soil (make sure you have water prepared) or Hydroponic system
- LED grow lights
- And your tender loving care!
Now that you don’t have any worries if winter comes, let’s go on to prepping planting your potatoes!
Prep and Sprout Your Seed Potatoes
You’ll want to begin by washing them. This might seem strange, but you want to remove all residue from the surface.
Your seed potatoes probably came outside, and the procedure is a little different when you’re growing potatoes indoors.
You’ll rid them of any insect eggs, fertilizers, or pesticides that may have been used to cultivate them, so they’ll get a fresh new start in your indoor garden.
Once they’re washed, it’s time to sprout them. You’ll do this by using a glass or jar of water with a mouth wide enough to hold up your potato.
Then, cut your potato roughly in half. For larger potatoes, you may want to quarter them. Try to make your cut so as to avoid damaging any of the eyes, because these are the most valuable part.
Using toothpicks, skewer your potato halves around the outside edges. Stick the toothpicks in a little less than halfway, because you’ll need the rest of the length for balance.
Place your toothpicks towards the middle of the potato, as the bottom will need to sit in the water. Then set your potatoes on top of the jar of water. The toothpicks should hold the top of your potato slice up, while the bottom should be submerged.
The eyes need to draw in the water in order to sprout.
The next step is to make sure your potato is getting enough light. If you have a south-facing windowsill and potatoes are in season, you’re in luck.
If you want to grow year-round regardless of weather conditions, you’re going to need to invest in a good LED grow light.
While you’re waiting for the potato to sprout, you may notice that the water becomes cloudy from the starches the potato releases, or dissipates from the jar over time.
If this happens, replace and refill. Your sprout potato needs a constant supply of clean water to keep going.
After about a week, you’ll notice that the sprouts have come in. Once you have full sprouts, it’s time to plant your seed potato.
Planting Your Sprouted Seed Potato
Potatoes will need a lot of room to grow, so you need to select the right pot.
Why? Because the larger the pot, the better. You’ll need a very deep, wide pot for each piece of sprouted potato to grow in.
Potatoes also require a good drainage system, so we need to make sure the pot you’ve selected has holes in the bottom to allow excess water to escape.
To improve the drainage system, line the bottom of the pot with a thin layer of small garden stones. You’ll also want to install a drip tray to prevent the water runoff from making a mess.
Next, It’s Time to Add the Soil
Choose a nutrient-rich soil specifically for vegetable growth, and fill the pot up approximately one-third of the way. As the potatoes grow, you’ll need to add more soil on top, so don’t overfill your pot.
Then, set your potatoes inside of the pot with their root sides down. Don’t push them too far down, only far enough for them to stick.
Don’t place them too close to the edge of the pot, and make sure they’re at least six inches apart. Everything needs room to grow. Once they’re placed, add about two inches of soil for them to sit in.
Water them regularly, and water them deeply. Your potatoes are going to suck water up from the bottom of the pot, so the key is to keep the bottom saturated, but not swampy.
When your plant has grown about six inches tall, and you notice a prominent potato vine, add more soil. You want to pack the soil around the vine in order to support it.
When tubers appear on the vines, that means it’s time to harvest. Gently unearth your potatoes with a small, plastic gardening shovel.
Metal shovels may puncture potatoes that have grown closely together, damaging your harvest. Gently free them from the soil, remove the vines, and wash them.
Use your fresh potatoes to create a home-cooked meal! After all, the best part of indoor growing is the taste test.
Potatoes keep longer than most other vegetables, so your supply should last you a while.
If you want a constant supply of fresh potatoes, immediately restart the process.
How to Grow Sweet Potatoes Indoors
You may be interested to know that your humble but beloved sweet potato is capable of leading a double life.
It can be grown as a tuber, for food, or be transformed into a houseplant for decoration. In addition to that, the tender leaves are good for eating and have a wonderful taste.
To begin growing a sweet potato you need:
- 1 firm, healthy sweet potato, organic if you can find it.
- 3 Sturdy toothpicks.
- Glass Mason or wide-mouth jar.
Here’s a step-by-step…
- Pant the toothpicks horizontally in the sweet potato, being careful to space them evenly. The potato will rest on the jar using the toothpicks, so be careful that the potato fits and the toothpicks are in a location that allows the sweet potato to sit in water.
- Place sweet potatoes in the jar, pointy side down. Add water until the potato is half covered.
- Place in a sunny area, like a windowsill and change the water every other day.
- It may take up to a month before sprouts form, but after that, the plant will take off. Once that happens the potato will form ”slips” which are Sprouts, and their roots, that grow off the side of the potato. One potato will grow many slips.
- Carefully pluck the slips off, the roots should come with it, but if they don’t, or the slip has no roots do not worry. Each slip is capable of making its own plant.
- Place the slips in a new jar or glass and allow the roots to grow a little longer. Once the roots have grown a bit, the plant is ready to be transplanted.
To make a houseplant, place the slips in a small pot that drains well. Prepare the soil by mixing in fertilizer, being careful to make sure the fertilizer reaches the bottom of the soil.
Make a hole in the soil big enough to cover the roots of the slip, and plant the slip, leaving the stem and leaves exposed. Place in a sunny area and water only as needed.
To Make a Plant that Grows Tubers for Eating:
To grow sweet potatoes, you need a large container filled with high-quality potting soil and slow-release fertilizer.
Sweet potatoes love the heat, so be sure they are in a warm area, never exposed to frost. The sweet potato takes a long time to grow, from 100 to 140 days.
On the other hand, even though your typical potatoes are so tempting to harvest so that you could enjoy them in your meals, make sure first that it is planted for up to 70-120 days for reassurance because it takes that time for your potato plants to grow.
You can harvest the sweet potatoes after the 100 days.
But how you could tell when potatoes are ready to harvest?
Knowing if it’s the right time for your potatoes to be harvested is really simple. It’s really simple that you can just close your eyes while pulling them all.
Well, just keep an eye on your potato plants and when it blooms, that’s that! Your delicious potatoes are ready to be harvested.
Or if you are not so sure of this proven tip, then try digging up one or two potato plants and rub the skin of the potatoes with your fingers. If the skin doesn’t fall off easily, then that’s the right one!
Though if you can still remember when is the first day you plant your potatoes then it would be much better and accurate. It usually takes 10-12 weeks for most potato varieties to be harvested.
With that said, let me tell you two types of soon-to-be-harvested potatoes.
- New Potatoes
- Mature Potatoes
New Potatoes are basically the young ones from your crop. They are small and their skin is softer than the matured potatoes that is why you need to eat them as soon as possible and they are not really good for storing.
On the other hand, matured potatoes are basically good to go.You could tell that a potato plant has mature yields when the plant has withered and died back.
Basically, this is how to grow potatoes indoors if you are ready to put in the work. As you see there are some things to keep in mind. And some equipment you will most likely need as well. But there is no doubt that you follow the basic rules of growing potatoes, it will all be good.
Now if I remember correctly, I promised you to share you my TOP 6 proven and tested LED grow lights, right?
As promised, here they are:
TOP 6 Best LED Grow Lights for Potatoes 2020
Lvjing High Power 120W LED Light Panel
It is an inexpensive solution for starting your seeds indoors since it doesn’t really consume too much electricity. I highly recommend this for those beginners and quite tight on budget.
These lights work in all stages of the plant’s life, so you won’t use it solely to germinate. It’s a one-time investment that will last a long time, and you can use it with multiple indoor crops.
It’s a favorite with market customers who grow vegetables indoors, and it provides a full, sun replicating spectrum that your potatoes will require to grow.
- Very affordable
- Efficient light
- Easy to utilize
- The cord is not high quality
- Issues with lights occur
- All plastic aside from screws
MarsHydro 300W LED Grow Light
First of all, I really like the color of this lamp since there are a lot of LED grow lights out there that look more natural and so boring.
It is very well built and doesn’t seem to be flimsy in any angle! Its cooling fan is lovely, little to no noise at all!
- Covers 2×2’ space
- Very suitable for young plants
- Bright light
- Sturdy design
- Convenient fan
- Coverage space might not be true at all
Supmovo LED Grow Light
This product is really good with fine quality grow lights. I love how it is designed. It is so easy to set up and hang it up for your plants.
Overall, this full spectrum light is very satisfying with its low operational cost and great performance.
- Bright illumination
- Easy to set up
- Quiet cooling system (two fans onboard)
- Electric Bill-friendly
- Light output tends to weaken
- Fans had some issues when long used
Viparspectra Reflector-Series 300W LED Grow Light
I really recommend this for those who will be starting out small. It is so easy to utilize. I’m really amazed by its performance. Well, plants don’t lie. Try it on your own!
- Efficient for constant growth and development
- Pulls around 130 watts
- Heat efficient
- A powerful set of hanging wires
- Fans are a little loud
- LEDs tend to dim
Roleadro Panel Grow Light Series
Though the product is quite small, it is really bright and works well regardless of its size. I really recommend it if you have lots of seedlings indoor, I assure you they will grow superb.
Also, this is one of the best-LED lights for succulents, if you happen to grow them indoors.
- Works effectively for small crops
- Very low heat output
- Good for Seedlings
- Well-built design
- Doesn’t do good with large indoor garden
- No switch for power and off
- Not powerful enough
Bloomspect 300W LED grow light
This one is one of my favorite of all time. Its light is just incredibly amazing! It runs pretty smooth and its fan doesn’t produce much unnecessary noise.
Its design is so sturdy that you can feel its quality by the products aura of heaviness. This product’s large heat sink is very convenient. And also its hanging cables that are very high-quality
- Has a large sink with sturdy hanging cables
- Built-in reflectors
- Super bright illumination
- Excessive white light than the red and blue ones
- Sizes are not varied
- This brand is quite new to the industry
Well, if you are planning to grow your potatoes indoors then what you wanna do is purchase your LED grow light right away.
Actually you “must” buy one if you are really passionate about this.
You can either seek your own LED grow light, or pick one of my TOP 6.
Because they are proven and tested, I assure you after trying them, you’ll get the best experience planting potatoes in your life.
Good luck and have fun!