The Great Potato Gardening Experiment Results

After a summer-long, potato-growing experiment, I can safely say you really can grow potatoes in a trash bag.

I started my Great Potato Gardening Experiment last spring, trying my hand at growing potatoes for the first time. I planted several different varieties, planting in a compost bin and in a large trash bag.

I wrote about starting the project and then in mid-summer, I wrote a short update.

In early October, I decided it was time to harvest the potatoes and gauge the results of my experiment.

The potatoes that grew best in the trash bag were ‘Caribe.’ These were the potatoes with a bluish-purple skin and a bright white flesh best used for boiling and mashing.

When I ordered them from The Potato Garden, I fell for the catalog description that said they’d make the “lightest and fluffiest mashed potatoes” I could imagine.

I’m happy to say these potatoes lived up to their billing. They did make the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever tasted. They were incredibly fresh and had a remarkably true potato taste. So Light! So Fluffy! So Delicious!

The only problem: there just weren’t enough of them.

The success of growing potatoes in a trash bag overshadows the bad luck I had growing potatoes in the compost bin, and I know exactly what I did wrong. I really needed to coil a soaker hose in the bin as I added soil to cover the plants. Because I neglected this important step, it was difficult to get enough water to all of the tubers as they grew. Lesson learned? Don’t take shortcuts.

It was fun growing potatoes for the first time, but I’m not sure I’ll try it again in a trash bag. Potatoes deserve a special spot in the vegetable garden where they’d be easier to cultivate and would have plenty of room to grow.

However, as a gardening experiment, it proves a trash bag makes a decent planter and that home-grown produce always, always tastes the best.


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Your potatoes look beautiful! I do want to try growing them. I’ve saved up the plastic 50-lb mesh bags that we get birdseed in, thinking those might do really well. We’ll see.

Hi Martha:

Thanks for the nice compliment. I’m glad to hear you’re going to give potato-growing a try–I’ll be interested in the results, so please keep me posted.


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