Update on the Great Potato Experiment

In May, I started my Great Potato Gardening Experiment when I planted a plastic trash bag and my compost bin full of seed potatoes.

“I sure hope there are some potatoes growing in there,” I thought to myself as I took some pictures of my backyard potato garden.

It’s the first time I’ve tried to grow spuds–and depending on the outcome–it may be my last.

Right after planting at the end of May, the potatoes started to send up green leafy shoots.

When the shoots were about 7 inches tall, I added more of my soil mixture, part mushroom compost and part potting soil, to the bag and the composter, leaving a few inches of the plant showing.

I’ve tried to keep the potatoes well-watered, but not too wet. After they’d grown another 7 inches, I added another layer of soil mix.

I’m hoping tubers are forming at this very minute.

I’ll keep up the watering and wait for signs the potatoes are ready to harvest: yellow leaves and die back of the foliage. Then I’ll know it’s time to stop watering and wait for the skins to dry a bit.

By the end of summer I’ll know if there are any potatoes for mashing–or not.


 

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Comments

That looks like a fun way to plant things like a potato. I think the best way is to plant your crops in the ground. My only problem with that is the bugs but ever since I got row cover I don’t have to worry about the bugs anymore because they can’t get to my plants or crops and kill them.

I tried this too. It was going great until the last time I filled in more dirt…. I think I over watered because the plant shriveled up and died…. I’m determined though and I plan on trying again next year.

I did plant potatoes in the ground as well so it is not a total loss.

Jodi, I commented on another post of yours to say that I’m going to try potatoes in a bag. Well, they’re on their way to being beautiful green plants like the ones in your picture! We have 20 bags planted (yikes!) The only thing I can’t find out for sure is how much dirt to put around the plants as they grow. Some of mine are now 8″ out of the soil after yesterday’s rain. The reason I’m wondering is that there are leaves along the stalk but I know a lot of the plant has to stay protected from the sun.

Thanks for putting up your information!

Hi Martha:

Thanks for letting me know about your experience growing potatoes in a trash bag–I admire your spirit for planting 20 bags the first time out! You must reeeelly like potatoes.

As the potatoes grow, add soil so that just the top few leaves are showing through. Keep adding soil while they’re growing.

Please let me know how the growing progresses through the season. I’d be interested in seeing any photos you have, too.

Regards,
Jodi

Jodi, here is a picture of nine of our bags on April 17th – at 60 days. These were bags we purchased online and were very reasonable. The advantages are that they are pre-punched with drainage holes and the bottoms are squared off.

But next time I’d probably just use regular strong trash bags. I will definitely let you know how my experiment goes.

Martha

http://www.flickr.com/photos/colorpoetry/5630502995/in/set-72157624360661179

Nice Work! Thanks for sending a photo of your potato garden. I didn’t know there were pre-punched bags available, which would make planting a little easier.

You won’t believe the taste of home-grown potatoes. After my first batch of mashed potatoes I remember thinking, “So this is what a potato is supposed to taste like.”

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