Tuesday, May 7, 2024

How to Grow Potatoes in a Bag

 

growing potatoes


If you want to grow your own potatoes, but you don't have a yard, or your soil is too hard, or even if you just don't want the work of having to dig them up, I have a great and easy solution!

Grow your potatoes in a bag!  I know it sounds ridiculous, but it is actually easy and fun.  It's also a great way to get lots of tasty and healthy spuds to eat!  Anyone can do it, you don't even need to buy any seeds because potatoes are grown from other adult potatoes.

How to Sprout Potatoes to Plant:

It is best to start with organic potatoes, since they are less likely to be a funky hybrid that can't be sprouted or have toxic insecticides on them or even in them.  You can use red or white potatoes.

Wash the potatoes well and then place them in direct sunlight.

In two to three weeks you will have sprouts.  When they get an inch or so long, you are ready to begin the planting process.


red potatoes


Cut the potatoes, with one sprout on each piece.  Leave the potato connected to the sprout, because as it rots it will be fertilizer to the new plant

It is very important that, before planting, you let the cut potatoes sit for two or three days so the cut portion of the potato can dry out and form a protective layer.  If you plant newly cut potatoes, diseases, fungus, worms and insects can easily burrow into the fresh cut flesh and kill the sprout.

While your potatoes are sprouting and curing, order your grow bags.  You can find them on Amazon for a good price, about $2.50 to $3.00 a piece, less if you order a larger quantity.  I usually get the 5 gallon size.  They look like this:

bag


growing bag


 



They also have bags that have a roll up flap on the side near the bottom, but I find these to be more expensive and the flap are basically useless because the growing potatoes should not be bothered by opening the side of the bag and poking around.  






How to Grow Potatoes in Bags:


1. Fold the bag down till it is about 6 inches tall.

2. Put 3 inches of good dirt in the bottom of the bag.

bag for growing


3. Set three to four potato pieces in the dirt with the cut side down, sprout side up and cover with 3 inches of dirt.

4. Water well.

5. Keep the soil moist but not mud and when the plants are 6 inches tall, unroll the bag about 4 inches and add more dirt, up to the bottom leaves.

8. When the plant has grown to 8 inches above the dirt, unroll the bag again, and add more dirt, up to the bottom leaves.

9. Keep doing this until the bag has dirt three inches from the top.

10. Make sure to keep them watered.  If you repeatedly let the bag dry out, the potatoes will shrink and wrinkle and not be edible.  You will have to water them more often than if they were planted in the ground.

11. When the potato vines turn yellow and look wilted, stop watering them and wait about two weeks.

12. Pick up the bag and turn it upside down in a wheelbarrow or washtub and you will find fresh, tasty and pesticide free home grown potatoes.

This is what one of my bags looked like when the plants came up:


sprouts

Don't be upset if all the sprouts don't come up.  The fewer the plants the more room there is for the remaining plants to grow bigger potatoes.  You must make sure to keep them watered, it is the defining factor of whether you get a nice harvest or a big disappointment.

You don't have to use these bags, you can use any kind of bag that will take to weight of dirt pressing against the sides of it.  Canvas tote bags, plastic feed bags, reusable grocery bags, any kind of bag will do.  Just make sure if you use a plastic bag to poke lots of holes in the bottom so it has good drainage.

Grow bags are a great way to grow some of your own food in a very small space.  You can grow any type of veggie or fruit plant you want in bags, it does not have to be potatoes.  I have also grown peppers and cucumbers and I have friends that use them for tomatoes and they love them!  They take up so little space you can even use them on an apartment balcony or condo patio.  You don't need to have land to grow your own food!  The best thing is, at the end of the harvest you just empty them, fold them up and put them away till next year.  A real space saver!

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Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


11 comments:

  1. I had heard that you can grow potatoes from potatoes... but have never tried it. Thanks for the easy to follow steps on just how to grow potatoes in a bag. I am one with a small apartment patio and have only tried growing a tomato plant there so far. Now I see I can branch out. Thanks, Tracey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you plan on growing anything from items purchased at a grocery store, make sure they are organic. Most regular veggies are sprayed with CIPC, TCNB or MENA, which prevents growth and sprouting and therefore will not sprout well or at all. Organic vegetables are not sprayed and therefore will sprout faster and be more prolific.

      Delete
  2. I love this suggestion! I've never grown my own potatoes, but it does sound like fun and a wonderful way to grow our own organic potatoes, or other vegetables, without insecticides. I wonder if the rabbits in our backyard would leave our vegetables in a bag, alone. Might be worth a try for sure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have lots of rabbits that hang out around our garden, but they have never bothered our potato vines. Even our resident ground hog pays them no attention!

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  3. I have grown potatoes in old compost bags and it was very successful! It is also a lot easier when harvest time comes to simply empty the bag than digging up our heavy clay soil. So much easier this way and fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband certainly appreciate how much easier it is on him to dump a bag than try to dig them up out of the ground. It also means that none of the potatoes get damaged by the shovel!

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  4. I can also see this being a fun and educational project to do with kids! Thanks for the easy and well explained tutorial on growing potatoes in bags.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would be an extremely fun project to help teach kids how to garden. It is sad that so many people these days have no idea how to grow any type of food for themselves. This is such an easy method, anyone can do it!

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  5. Wow, this is so convenient! Great for people like me who don't have a proper garden - I would love to try this - also great for apartment dwellers. I had absolutely no idea this could be done. So cool.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I just might have to try this on my balcony this year. Sounds like a fun and interesting way to save some money and get results too! Thanks Tracey!

    ReplyDelete

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