Harvesting the first crop of new potatoes was one of the most exciting gardening activities in our school garden last summer. The children were so excited as we dug through the soil to find a wonderful crop of creamy new potatoes underneath.
For a delicious, early crop of your own get your potato bags established this week. Here are all the details of what you need and how to get started.
How to Grow Potatoes in a Potato Bag
What to do
1. Take the potato bag and place a layer of drainage material such as small stones on the bottom of the bag
2. Next add approximately 15 cm of good quality potting compost
3. On top of this layer place 2 or 3 seed potatoes, equally spaced out and around 15cm from the edge of the bag
4. Add another 10 cm layer of good quality potting compost
5. Place another 2 or 3 seed potatoes on top of this layer
6. Cover with another 10 cm of compost
Hints & Tips
• Place the potato bag in sheltered sunny spot
• Always ensure there is a good covering of soil on the top of growing tubers, as daylight turns the potatoes green, and they are then poisonous
• If you want your potatoes to have enough space to grow to a decent size don’t plant more than 5 potatoes per bag
• On cold nights cover the bag with some protective fleece to prevent frost damage
• Water well – around a gallon of water per plant per day is recommended
• When the tops of the plants begin to grow, use canes to support them
• When flower buds begin to appear take heart – it’s a sign that the tubers are starting to grow.
• Harvest after around 10 – 12 weeks
• Watch out for potato blight. Signs include black or brown patches appearing on the leaves. The plants then die off and the tubers will also be affected.