I’ve been growing potatoes a few at a time using this method for a few years now, and thought I’d share. Though it will take a good while and probably won’t result in very pretty potatoes, I figured that I might as well share.
I start with a potato from my compost pile; my mom always buys more than she needs, so I end up with some great potential starters. I leave them in the compost bin (which is mostly old food and newspapers) for a few weeks. When I stir the compost, I always check for potatoes that have started sprouting at all, and if I find some, quickly move them to an empty ice cream bucket. I mix 1/2 each compost and the local soil, and add in any old potting soil I can find (my neighbors keep half empty bags in their crawl space and clean out their pots each year, so I usually have about a handful per potato bucket). Plant the potatoes, and add a thin layer of leaves/lean clippings/shredded newspaper on top. Wet an old sock/washcloth/T-shirt that you can’t use anymore. Plop that wet cloth right on top of the soil, water thoroughly, and place the lid ajar right back onto the whole soggy mess. Wait a few weeks, and sprouts will soon emerge. I usually transplant mine to deeper pots once I see green, but I’ve had success moving them to pretty much anywhere (including my tiny, tiny garden.) If nothing else, this seems to be a pretty efficient recycling method, since my mom also eats a lot of ice cream from these type of buckets. Let me know if anyone has done anything similar with success— I’d love some new ideas (especially if it meant more potatoes!). Cheers!