In addition to growing potatoes in beds you can use bags.
We set up a few bags in the back garden and planted some first early and second early potatoes.
This is the method we used:
- Place about 4 inches of compost in each bag.
- Place about 4 seed potatoes, evenly spaced, on top of the compost in each bag.
- Add more compost until the seed potatoes are completely covered.
- Water the seed potatoes so they are moist but not saturated.
Here is a picture of some seed potatoes which have sprouted and been placed in a bag ready for covering with compost and (hopefully) growing us a few potatoes:
The picture below was taken a week or two after we planted the first early seed potatoes and shows that the potato plants are staring to grow. At this stage, the next step is to ‘earth up’ the potato plants to encourage them to grow potatoes instead of leaves. Basically, earthing up is just the process of covering the exposed leaves with compost or soil.
This photo shows the potato plants a few weeks later after they have grown significantly and been earthed up to encourage tuber growth and prevent green potatoes from forming.
In the image below you can see that the potato plants have grown a lot and even produced several flowers.
After the flowering has stopped the potatoes should be ready for harvesting.
It’s best to do a test dig into a bag after the plants have stopped flowering before harvesting, just to ensure the potatoes have grown enough for eating. If so, the bags can be harvested as and when they are required for the next couple of weeks.
After flowering has finished, the potatoes won’t increase in number but they may well increase in size, so it’s wise only to dig up the potatoes that you are going to use for eating on the day you’re going to cook them.
The image below shows the potatoes we harvested after emptying two of the bags after they had finished flowering.
The other first early potato grow bags produced similar results.
It’s now mid July and the second early potato grow bags have now been harvested.
Here is a picture of the plants before harvesting:
This picture shows the crop of potatoes we harvested from the 5 grow bags shown above: