Growing potatoes in bags tutorial for cheap & healthy family meals.
Learn how to easily grow potatoes at home to feed your family with this nutritional and versatile vegetable. Yes, in 3 easy steps you will be growing your own endless supply of free potatoes.
Planting and growing your own vegetables then using the produce to cook up something special for friends and family is extremely rewarding, not to mention cost effective.
However, unfortunately not everyone is blessed with green fingers and some vegetables can be tricky to grow for beginners. That's why we recommend you start by growing fail proof plants such as potatoes. The hearty veg can be easily be grown by gardening novices in 3 steps...
Step 1: Seeds
Firstly, you need to select which variety of potato you wish to grow and purchase a pack of seeds. You can pick up a packs of potato starter seeds online for only a few dollars, usually with next day delivery.
Think about the flavor and texture you require from your home grown potatoes and what dishes you'll incorporate them in to. Using a certain potato can make a recipe come alive and sing.
Varieties such as Russets are great all rounders, Katahdin potatoes are easy to grow and offer large yields, Golden potatoes are fantastic for fries and roasting and there's also many ideal for salads.
Step 2: Soil
Next, we need to choose a soil. Planting your potato seeds in quality garden soil will help them withstand pests and disease and provides optimum nutrition for healthy and productive plants.
Potato plants love well drained loosely packed soil, avoid clay rich soil as too much moisture is retained, which can lead to rot due to slow water absorption. On the flip side sand based soil drains too quickly.
To avoid potato scab disease and to produce healthy plants a good organic garden soil with a PH of 5.0 and 5.5 would be ideal. Mix in organic rich compost to the top 6 - 8 inches to boost your soils nutrients levels.
Step 3: Bags
Lastly, you need suitable container to grow your potatoes. Yes, you could use old plastic sacks, which would do the job, but once it comes to harvesting it's difficult to pick the potatoes without damaging roots.
You can purchase purpose made planting containers ideal for growing potatoes, and come with a super handy seal-able side slot, which provides quick and easy access to your delicious bounty.
These off the shelf potato grow solutions are reasonably priced, can be use for a multitude of vegetable varieties, not only potatoes and best of all help prolong the life span of your plant, providing higher yields.
Six weeks before the date of the last frost indicates your desired transplant date, sow seeds ¼" deep in seed plug trays or maximum 2" pots with nutrient-free soil media (pH 5-7). Larger pots need longer to be filled with roots and the plants may start to form tubers before transplanting, which is not desirable.
Aim for a constant 21°C (70°F) without heating water so that the medium remains evenly moist, and has sufficient light for 12-hours of the day. Once all seeds have germinated (in 10-14 days), the plants can be moved to a cooler area (above freezing point) and fertilized with leaf or liquid fertilizer. Gradual hardening over a week before transplanting.
The plants are ready for transplantation when they are ~5cm (~2") tall. If transplanting is delayed, a larger re-potting should be considered to avoid stress to the plants and incipient tuber formation. Plant in a mound, flat bed or ditch (which is common for potatoes in your area) so that only the upper leaf whorl is ~2.5 cm (~1") above the soil surface.
If you plan to harvest small potatoes, use 20 cm (8") within and between rows, for larger potatoes use 30 cm (12") within and 75 cm (30") between rows as a starting point and adjust the values based on experience.
Treat as normal potatoes grown from tubers. The nutrient uptake increases steadily as the tubers form and grow. If fertility problems occur, pay attention to the leaf symptoms, nitrogen and potassium are important macronutrients and can be added together with other fertilizers as needed during harvesting. Water the tubers well to establish plantings and maintain soil moisture throughout the season. The soil surface should be dry between irrigations, but moisture should be maintained in the soil profile.
When the plants are 10-15 cm (4-6") tall, the soil can be raised around the base of the plant to cover the lower 2/3. The shaking can be repeated 2-3 times as needed to keep weeds low and cover the tubers.
The potatoes should be ready for harvesting 70 - 120 days after transplanting, depending on plant density, environment and desired size. If the potatoes are to be eaten fresh, whole plants can be dug up and the tubers removed. For long-term storage, the plants should be cut to the ground 10 days before digging up and the tubers should be stored after harvest in a cool, dark place at 5°C (40°F) and high humidity.
Under optimal conditions, at least 75% of the seeds will germinate. Usual seed life: 3 years. Per line 100′: 200 seeds per acre: 8.8M seeds.
Diseases & Pests
Protect from cabbage moths and other insect pests with floating row covers. Prevent disease through strict 4-year crop rotation by avoiding planting Brassicas in the same place more than once every four years.
A worthy companion for turnips, brassicas, cucumbers and onions. Avoid planting near peppers, runner beans, strawberries and tomatoes.
The above commercial potato growing bags are made with heavy, breathable fabric and dense polypropylene lined materials. Simply fill with a few inches of a soil-compost mixture at the bottom of the grow bag, then plant three or four "transplant ready" potato plants and cover exposed stems with approx 3 inches of soil.
Continue adding layers of soil as the plants grow until the bag is full and occasionally add some liquid feed. To harvest, open the bag side flap and pull out potatoes as required.
Grow bags can be stored on patios or driveways or where garden soil lacks nutrients and even indoors under artificial lights. The bags should easily last for several growing seasons. Their dark color helps captures solar heat to support early growth. Harvesting your crop is simple and the yields can be impressive, considering the small growing space each container occupies.
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