Growing Potatoes In A Bag

Question:

I’d like trying to grow potatoes in a bag of potting soil. Can you outline how to do it and when is it the best time to plant potatoes?

Answer:

  • Potatoes are one of the easiest crops to grow with a high success ratio.
  • Growing them in a bag of potting soil is one of several methods. You can also use several old spare tires stacked up on each other, or surround an area with concrete blocks, rocks or use a potato bag available online or at many garden centers.
  • With bags of potting soil, first punch some evenly spaced holes for drainage on one side, then flip the bag over and slice the bag open lengthwise and make several evenly spaced perpendicular cuts.
  • In all of the openings, I’d mix two generous tablespoons of Sulfate of Potash into the soil. The potatoes are segmented into two pieces containing one to two eyes and let to air dry for a day.
  • Next, plant the potatoes, six inches apart in the lateral and lengthwise cuts and water. You continue to water them once the sprouts are visible.
  • The crop is reaching maturity when the plants begin to flower which is around one hundred and eighty days from planting.
    • You then cut the watering frequency in half and stop altogether when the foliage turns a yellow/brown. The potatoes are harvested by slitting the sides of the bags to expose the potato clusters.
    • After removing the vegetation wash the soil off the potatoes, and stored them in a cool spot when dry.
    • Another option is the Gardman Potato Bag, a sixteen inch by twenty-inch green vinyl, reusable bag. It’s ideal for growing potatoes on a patio or balcony.
    • The bag has handles, drainage holes, and Velcro sides or harvesting flaps for easy removal of the mature potatoes. At the end of the season, the bag collapses for storage; It holds about two cubic feet of potting soil.
    • When planting in a bag, you would layer your potatoes. The potato is segmented like I describe above and then layered in the bag of potting soil. The first layer start above twelve inches off the ground.
      • You add a six to eight-inch layer of soil and plant the next row.  The bag should be two-thirds full when you finish planting.
      • Planting potatoes is a great activity for kids and grandkids.
      • You should select an area that gets six hours of sun and keep in mind that Day Light Saving time begins on March 11.
      • I recommend you plant Certified Seed Potatoes. You’ll find a variety of different types of potatoes at your favorite garden center. Supermarket potatoes produce unpredictable results because of the growth inhibitors used to control sprouting.
      • Certified Seed Potatoes give you a guaranteed yield. One pound of seed potatoes will yield approximately eight pounds of edible potatoes
  •  Planted now, you’ll have homegrown mashed potatoes, French Fries or Potato Salad for the 4th of July holiday.