Potatoes are in!

Posted On: 10/1/2014 12:00:00 AM

This year we’re using “Grow Bags” for our potatoes rather than planting directly in the ground.  We’re short on space in our veggie patch and after years of hearing people talk about Grow Bags we figured it was time to give them a go.

Grow Bags are sturdy woven bags that production nurseries use when producing large sized plants. We purchased ours from Green Harvest and chose the 45 litre size so there will be plenty of room for the potatoes to develop.

We ordered seed potatoes, again from Green Harvest and chose two varieties not commonly seen in the supermarket: Kipfler and Nicola.  Seed potatoes are simply smaller potatoes sold to be planted (not eaten) and are certified virus free.  You can also use organic potatoes from the supermarket if you can’t find the seed ones.

Kipfler seed potatoes

Nicola seed potatoes

Potatoes are hungry plants so we made up a mix of soil, compost, sugarcane mulch and manures and put down a 10cm thick layer in the base of the Grow Bags.  Potatoes were then planted, covered lightly with more of the mix and then topped with sugarcane mulch.

Pretty quickly the potato shoots popped through the soil and are now about about 20cm high. At this height they’re ready to be partially buried in another layer of the soil mix.  We’ll do this a couple of times until the bag is completely full.  This might sound strange but it’s a neat trick to help you get more potatoes. As you bury the stems roots will form all along them and from there potatoes develop.

With regular doses of eco-seaweed and eco-aminogro we’ll have bags which are bursting full of potatoes by the end of summer. Can’t wait!

Potato shoots emerging

Potato shoots ready to be buried again

Why not give it a go yourself? Spring is the perfect time to grow potatoes and the Grow Bag method means they can be grown even in small spaces like balconies.  Be sure to send us some pics as we’d love to see how you do.