Slideshow: How to Plant and Harvest the Potato Grow Bag
Cut the [a href="http://www.gardeners.com/Elba-Potatoes/33-343,default,pd.html"]seed potatoes[/a] into 2-ounce chunks, about the size of a small lime. If your seed potatoes are small, you can plant them whole. Fold down the top edge of the bag, and then add a 4-inch layer of moistened potting mix. We recommend using one of our potting mixes, such as [a href="http://www.gardeners.com/Organic-Energized-Potting-Mix/39-654,default,pd.html"]Organic Energized Potting Mix[/a]. The regular Grow Bag holds 60 quarts; the Jumbo holds about 100 quarts. Place the seed potatoes on the surface of the mix, spacing them evenly. Cover the seed potatoes with a 3" layer of planting mix. Water thoroughly to settle the planting mix and eliminate air pockets. The small plants begin to grow. Once the plants have grown to about 8", it's time to add more soil. Unroll the bag to its full height. Gently pour moist soil mix over the plants in a layer about 4" deep, burying some of the stems and foliage. Just the tops of the plants are now peeking out. Water thoroughly. Allow the plants to grow, adding more soil after they've grown another 8". Repeat the process until all the soil mixture is used and the bag is full. A healthy bag in early summer. Potato plants in flower. [a href="http://www.gardeners.com/Colorado-Potato-Beetle/5294,default,pg.html"]Colorado potato beetles[/a] are the most common pest. Inspect your plants regularly, looking under the leaves for the clusters of yellow eggs. If you see them, rub them off with your finger. Adult beetles are easy to identify and control: Just pick them off with your hands and toss them into a bucket of soapy water. The beetles might bother your plants for a few weeks; just keep monitoring and hand-picking and your plants will be fine. Water as needed and your plant will flower and grow vigorously through the summer. Toward the end of the season, the leaves will start yellowing and the stems will wilt. At this point, stop watering and wait a week or two. After that, the potatoes are ready to harvest. The look of a ready-to-harvest plant varies greatly. In some cases, the foliage might be brown and completely wilted. Another bag that is ready for harvest. Note the withered, browning, yellowing foliage. One of the potatoes has been pushed to the surface. The fun part: Turn the bag over and dump it out. To keep it neat, dump the bag into a wheelbarrow. Dig for the potatoes. Most will cling to the plant, but some may have fallen off so be sure to sift through the soil thoroughly. Keep varieties separate so you can choose the best cooking method.
More About the Potato Grow Bag
The Potato Grow Bag is a specialized fabric "pot" that makes it possible to grow potatoes in almost any sunny location — even on a deck or a porch. For more information, see the following articles:
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