It’s easy to think that growing potatoes would be impossible in a small space, but it’s really so easy and tidy when you use growing bag designed just for growing potatoes. You don’t even need that much space and you don’t need any ground to dig in either. This is another great way to grow some veggies in a very small space.
Benefits of Using Bags
- Very low risk of soil-borne bugs or worms
- The harvest is consistently delicious and healthy
- It’s temporary gardening and suitable for small space gardening
- There is minimal mess
- The bags can be reused from year to year, in my experience they last 3 – 5 growing seasons depending on how you treat them
The idea of growing potatoes this way has become so popular that people won’t look at you funny anymore when you say that you grow potatoes in a bag.
The commercial grow bags are made of different materials, some are tough woven plastic and some are made from thick felt.
You’ll need the seed potatoes of your choice, the grow bags and the sterilized good quality potting soil. Start early in the spring and purchase a few varieties of certified seed potatoes below and get them started on their way to sprouting and producing a beautiful harvest.
Buying good seed potato stock is crucial for a successful harvest and easy growing season.
Seed Potato Preparation
- Begin this process in late winter or very early spring
- Cut them into approximately 2 oz pieces, leaving at least 3 eyes each piece
- Set them on a paper towel lined plate or tray (cut side up so the cut sides can dry out)
- Allow them to dry out in a cool place
- After a week or two they will sprout (if they weren’t already)
- Let them grow for a little while until the sprouts are 1″ – 6″ tall
- When the sprouts begin to show green, it’s planting time
The soil doesn’t need to be very nutritious, potatoes will grow nicely bad soil, they even prefer it.
Planting the Seed Potatoes
Plant them about 2-4 weeks before the last spring frost. Fill the bag with about 6″ of soil mixture. Place your seed potato with the eyes pointing up. Wiggle it down so it’s under the soil to about 2″ deep and brush the soil back over to cover them.
It’s ok to plant the seed potatoes quite low in the soil because nothing will grow below that point, all growth happens above the seed potato.
To Water or Not To Water
Don’t water it until you see the greens start to come up. This usually happens in a week or two. The seed potato is at risk of rotting should you water right away.
The plant will be fine. Potatoes only need a minimal amount of water, more infrequently than most food plants.
As the plant grows taller, about every 6 – 8 inches or so, fill the bag with a little more soil.
Then continue rolling the bag up all the way along until the soil level reaches about 6″ from the top of the bag rim.
Each time, fill just enough soil to cover the exposed stem, not the entire leafy part of the plant. This simulates the “hilling” technique of piling soil around the stalks when they grow in the ground.
When you near the top of the bag, stop there and then let the plant just grow, treat it like any other container plant at this point.
Soon you’ll see beautifully unique flowers emerge once the stems get tall enough. *Be careful* The plant stalks and branches are very brittle, they’ll break easily.
Not Too Much Water
Give it a splash of water now and then but not a lot because the seeds will rot easily. Potatoes need surprisingly little care and water and will produce well from quite a dry and somewhat undesirable environment.
Around the middle to end of August, you will be able to start harvesting some nice size potatoes. You certainly can harvest earlier than that but your potatoes will be smaller – delicious but small.
These delicious potatoes taste unlike anything you have ever bought from the store. Your reward for growing these little beauties are a flavour sweeter and more delicious than you can imagine.
Check out this recipe for an awesome way to cook them. By learning how to grow potatoes in bags you gain the option of growing varieties that you don’t commonly see in the stores.
My favourites are the dark purple ones, they are dark purple skinned and purple all the way through and very striking in colour.
Side dish idea: Cook and mash these purple ones like white potatoes and serve mauve mashed potatoes to kids of all ages will love it. The banana fingerling potatoes are very tender and quick to cook. They are available in white, red or purple varieties.
Do you already grow your own potatoes? Tell me how your growing season goes. Please leave a comment below.