How to Plant Potatoes in a Laundry Basket

How to Plant Potatoes in a Laundry Basket?

Laundry baskets make a surprisingly effective container for growing potatoes. The rectangular shape maximizes space for tubers to form. With proper soil, drainage and care, homeowners can enjoy an easy crop of potatoes on a porch or patio.

Choose a Sturdy Laundry Basket

Select a basket at least 12-15 inches deep with sturdy plastic or resin construction. Avoid thin walled baskets which deform under the weight of soil.

Make sure the basket has holes in the bottom for drainage. If not, drill several holes through the base.

Line the inside of the basket with landscape fabric to prevent soil from washing out drainage holes.

Use a Nutrient-Rich Potting Mix

Potatoes need loose, fertile soil to form tubers. Fill the lined basket one-third full with a nutrient-rich organic potting mix.

Or create your own mix by combining:

  • 1 part compost or leaf mold
  • 1 part peat or coconut coir
  • 1 part perlite or vermiculite

Mix in a balanced organic vegetable fertilizer according to package directions before filling the basket.

Plant Seed Potatoes

Purchase certified disease-free seed potatoes from a garden store. Cut larger tubers into chunks with 2-3 eyes each.

Space seed pieces 6 inches apart in the potting mix, eyes facing up. Cover lightly with 2 more inches of soil.

As sprouts emerge, continue adding mix up to 2 inches from the basket rim to cover stems and encourage tuber growth.

Provide Support and Warmth

Place a tomato cage inside the basket around the seed potatoes to support abundant foliage growth.

Or use bamboo stakes tied together over the basket to create a teepee trellis.

Situate the basket in a sunny spot protected from wind. Cover plants with fabric row cover or black plastic sheeting to retain warmth. Remove covers once sprouts are 4-6 inches tall.

Water and Fertilize Plants

Check soil moisture daily and water when the top few inches become dry. Avoid oversaturation.

Feed plants weekly by top dressing with a balanced liquid fertilizer or compost tea.

Harvest New Potatoes

After 6-8 weeks, gently dig down into the soil mix and harvest new baby potatoes. Replenish the soil removed with fresh potting mix.

For full sized tubers, allow the foliage to completely die back before digging up the basket.

Cure harvested potatoes in a cool dark place for 2 weeks before enjoying your homegrown spuds!


How many seed potatoes fit per basket?

A 14-inch basket holds 4-6 seed potato pieces spaced 6 inches apart. Larger 18-inch baskets can accommodate 8-10 seed tubers.

Can potatoes be replanted in the same basket?

It’s best to use fresh potting mix annually. Disease organisms can accumulate in used soil. Fumigate old mix with boiling water if reusing.

Do laundry basket potatoes need sunlight?

Potatoes need at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. Keep baskets in the sunniest location possible for best growth.

Are certain potato varieties better for baskets?

Early and mid-season potatoes like Yukon Gold, Red Gold, and Purple Viking work well for baskets. Avoid late season potatoes which require more space.


With the right potting mix, sunshine, and care, a basic laundry basket can produce an abundant harvest of potatoes on a patio or balcony. Just ensure the basket has drainage, use quality soil, fertilize regularly, and harvest promptly for a successful crop of homegrown spuds to enjoy!

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