This year I decided to try growing potatoes in 10 gallon grow bags. I bought these bags from Amazon – they have a pouch on the side that is supposed to make it easier to harvest the potatoes. I’m not sure I will use that pouch but it is an interesting concept. I usually just dump the grow bag or 5 gallon bucket on a tarp when it is time to harvest the potatoes.
I bought Kennebec White Potato seeds and French Fingerling Potato seeds from Hoss Tools. They arrived with instructions for planting them in mid-December in my area. I had to go out of town so I thought I would plant them when I got back.
Of course, I totally forgot about them! I found the box that the seed potatoes came in at the end of February. When I opened it up I thought they would all be dead. They did look a little rough but they appeared to be fine except for a couple that had rotted.
So I took the rotted seeds out and threw them away and then cut the rest of the potatoes into smaller portions and left them out to heal for about a week.
Growing Kennebec White Potatoes in Grow Bags
The instructions said that the Kennebec White Potatoes were indeterminate potatoes that needed to be hilled to maximize production.
I planted the Kennebec White potatoes in the 10 gallon grow bags. I mixed some peat moss, Black Kow compost and some potting soil mix together and put a few inches in each grow bag. Then I placed 3 of the Kennebec seeds in each of the grow bags and covered them with more of the soil mixture I had created. I added some 10-10-10 fertilizer to the mix and then watered them generously.
They sprouted in about 18 days so I waited a couple of days and then covered them with a couple more inches of the soil mixture. This is the equivalent of hilling potatoes that are grown in the ground or in a raised bed. I repeated this process until the soil mixture was at the top of the grow bags.
Now it is time to wait for the potato plants to grow above the soil while hopefully many potatoes are growing below the soil. I will continue to monitor for water and fertilizer needs and apply as necessary until it is time for the harvest.
I do know that at some point I will be tempted to open the pouch on the side of the bags to look for potatoes that are growing just so I have an idea about production.
It is entirely possible that I waited to long to plant the seeds so all I will get is some pretty potato plants that wither and die without producing potatoes.
It’s also possible that the incredible amount of rain that we have had this year will cause all of the potatoes to rot before I can harvest them. I am hoping that does not happen.
Growing French Fingerling Potatoes in Grow Bags
I also had the French Fingerling Potato seeds but I did not get to plant them for another 2 weeks. I found that a couple more of the seeds had rotted so I threw those out and made up some more of the soil mixture.
I planted the French Fingerling Potatoes in grow bags but I used regular 5 gallon grow bags (that’s what I had on hand) without the side pouch for them.
The directions I had said that French Fingerling Potatoes where determinate potatoes so I did not need to hill them. It said to fill the bag/container, plant the seeds, cover and water.
I filled the 5 gallon grow bags with the soil mixture, added some 10-10-10 fertilizer, put 3 Fingerling seeds in each grow bag, covered them with soil and then watered them.
They began to sprout on day 20:
So now it is just wait, water and fertilize when needed for them as well. I’ll continue to add the 10-10-10 every couple of weeks until they get closer to harvest and then I will switch to a higher Potassium fertilizer.