I love the idea of growing more in less space. Especially if I spend little to no money and glean the benefits of homegrown vegetables, which is why I love this trick of growing potatoes in a bag.
And there’s something magical about digging through the earth to find potato after potato. It’s the best feeling. Plus they taste better when you grow them yourself!
Types of Bags for Growing
Bags designed for growing food and flowers have their advantages but so too do reusable grocery bags. They not only fulfill the same purpose, they have handles making them easy to move around and they cost about a buck compared to the average grow bag which range in cost due to size and quality.
If you don’t want to grow potatoes in a grocery bag, you can try these fabric pots instead. They’re carrying capacity and quantity is great for the price.
Steps for Growing Potatoes in a Bag
- Start with organic potato seed. Buy it at your nursery or from a seed catalog. Just be sure it’s from disease-free stock (it’s generally not recommended to use old potatoes from your fridge but I’ve been known to grow these too).
- Potato seeds are potatoes. The points where the eyes develop are actually the start of new plants.
- Cut seed potatoes into chunks with 2 to 3 eyes per piece. You can let these dry for a couple of days before planting to reduce the risk of rotting or chuck them straight in the soil to live dangerously (I usually choose the latter).
- Fill your grocery bag (no modifications required) with about 4 inches of soil and place your seed on top. Space them about 6 inches apart, planting 3 to 4 per bag. (*When growing potatoes in a bed or rows give them more room, planting them about 12 inches apart.)
- Cover your seed with 2 inches of soil.
- As your potatoes sprout and grow, continue adding soil. This is called “hilling-up”. When I hill-up potatoes I leave a few green leaves showing each time.
- Hill-up your potatoes repeatedly until your bag is filled to the top.
- Or! Skip the hilling process and simply add 2 or 3 layers of seed potatoes all at once. To do this, simply cover the lowest area of seed potatoes with about 4 to 6 inches of soil. Plant another set of seed potatoes like the last batch and so on, layering with soil as you go.
- When you’re done, you’ll end up with about 12 to 16 seed potatoes per bag depending on the size of the bag.
- Harvest when potato plants flower for new potatoes or, if you’d like mature potatoes, harvest when the tops are brown and dry. Either way, stop watering your potatoes 2 to 3 days before you plan to harvest so the soil can dry out, making harvesting and cleaning your potatoes easier.
- To harvest, simply empty the contents of your bag, sort through, and presto!
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