How to grow potatoes in grow bags?
Our gardener's best potato growing bags
are specialized fabric "planters" that can be used to grow potatoes in almost any sunny spot (even on a deck or porch).
What you need on the day of planting.
Seed potatoes: You can buy or supply your own potatoes from us. A regular grow bag holds three to five items; a Giant has seven to 10 pieces.
Soil: A regular grow bag holds 50 quarts; a giant holds about 120 quarts. If you want to use your own fertilizer, we recommend using our castings or organic castings.
Granular fertilizer: We recommend using a general purpose fertilizer.
Choose a location: plant potatoes after the danger of frost has passed. Not sure of the frost date in your area? Contact your local cooperative promotion service or Master Gardener program. Choose the sunniest location. Full day sun is best, but at least 6 to 8 hours is OK. Remember that you will need to water your potato bags regularly, especially if rainfall is inadequate.
Prepare the soil: Place the soil in a unicycle or tub to hold all the soil at once. If your choice of fertilizer does not include fertilizer, add granular fertilizer. Wet the soil and mix it thoroughly. About one-third of the soil will be used on the day of planting. The rest will be used as the plants grow. Set aside.
Prepare the seed potatoes: Cut the seed potatoes into five 2-ounce pieces, approximately the size of a lime. If your seed potatoes are small, you can plant them whole.
Planting bags: Fold down the top edge of the bag to create a 4? cuff. Fill the bag with the moist soil mixture until it is about 4 lbs? deep. Place the seed potatoes evenly on the soil surface. Leave 3? soil.
Once the plants have grown to about 8 inches, it's time to add more soil. Does it matter if any leaves are buried. Unfold the edges of the bag and add about 4 ? thoroughly remove the soil mixture and water. Allow the plants to grow and add another 8 inches of soil. Repeat this process until all the dirt mixture is used up and the bag is full.
This unusual technique encourages the plants to produce large quantities of potatoes, which form along the buried portion of the stem.
Water regularly: The porous fabric allows the potato bags to breathe, thus preventing overheating and watering. However, it is important to monitor the moisture content of the bag, as it can dry out quickly. The soil should be moist, not wet. During the hottest summer months, daily watering may be necessary.
Watch out for pests: Colorado potato beetles are the most common pest. Check the plant regularly for yellow egg clusters on the underside of the leaves. If you see them, wipe them off with your finger. Adult beetles are easy to identify and control: simply remove them manually and place them in a bucket of soapy water. Beetles can plague your plants for weeks. Just keep monitoring and picking yourself, and your plants will be fine.
Look for the signs: Watch your watering and your plants will bloom and flourish throughout the summer. However, near the end of the season, the leaves will begin to turn yellow and the stems will wilt. At this point, stop watering and wait a week or two. After that, it's time to harvest the potatoes.
Empty the bag: Empty the bag (plants, soil and everything) into the unicycle. Dig in the soil and pull out the potatoes. You can expect to get about 7 lbs. potatoes, although they can weigh up to 13 lbs. In a good year. Add old soil to your garden or compost pile. Clean the bags and save them for next year.