There’s something immensely satisfying about growing your own food, and potatoes are a fantastic place to start. If you’re limited in space or simply love the convenience, you might consider growing potatoes in grow bags. This method offers multiple benefits, such as ease of movement, optimal control of the growing medium, and not least of all, the thrill of harvesting.
In this guide, we’ll cover all you need to know about growing potatoes in grow bags and look at the best options on the market. All the grow bags below have been tested by myself.
Why Grow Bags for Potatoes?
Grow bags are a brilliant solution for those who want to grow potatoes but don’t have the necessary garden space. They can be placed on balconies, patios, or in small gardens – I use them on my allotment in the small space between my shed and the fence. They are inexpensive and reusable, making them an eco-friendly gardening choice. They offer good drainage, prevent the spread of soil-borne diseases, and allow for easier control of the growing conditions.
Best grow bag brands to buy:
Having been an avid gardener for many years, I’ve used my fair share of plant containers and pots, but none have quite compare to the GardenGloss Grow Bags. They come in a pack of three, offering a substantial capacity of 8 gallons (or 30L). These bags have swiftly become my go-to for growing tomatoes, potatoes, and an array of other vegetables in my garden.
What sets these grow bags apart is their impressive resilience against the elements. The robust non-woven fabric is weather-resistant, standing up well against wind and rain, which is a must for the unpredictable UK weather. Despite their hard-wearing construction, the bags are impressively lightweight and maintain their shape even when filled to capacity, which makes them incredibly easy to handle.
The breathability of the GardenGloss Grow Bags also contributes significantly to their effectiveness. The fabric ensures optimal drainage and ventilation, preventing issues like mould or waterlogging, which can sometimes be a challenge when growing certain plants. These bags offer the ideal growing conditions for vegetables like potatoes, and it shows in their growth and vitality.
One feature that I particularly appreciate is the sturdy carrying handles. These make the bags effortlessly transportable – a dream when I need to shift my plants around to chase the sun or move them indoors during colder months. Even when filled with soil and a growing plant, moving these bags from one spot to another is a breeze.
The cherry on top is their reusability. I can use these bags across multiple gardening seasons, making them a cost-effective solution for my gardening needs. I’ve even found them easy to clean and store during winter months, which is a considerable space-saver in my garden shed.
In terms of versatility, the GardenGloss Grow Bags certainly deliver. I’ve used them for a range of plants, from tomatoes to climbing strawberries, but currently use them for potatoes.
Overall, the GardenGloss Grow Bags offer a combination of durability, functionality, and versatility that any gardener, novice or experienced, would appreciate. The quality and thoughtfulness in their design is evident, and I would highly recommend them to anyone looking to enhance their gardening experience.
These bags come in 3 packs and you can buy either the 10-gallon version (best for potatoes) or the 7-gallon, great for herbs and other crops.
The first thing that caught my attention was the eco-friendly material. The high-quality, breathable nonwoven fabric is non-toxic, biodegradable, and incredibly durable. It allows the roots of my plants to breathe, promoting healthier growth and yielding fantastic results. The fact that these bags are reusable season after season, makes them a cost-effective and environmentally friendly option for me. They can be easily flattened and stored in a shed.
Another critical feature I’ve come to appreciate is how these bags improve root structure. They prevent roots from circling and enhance overall root health, reducing the risk of transplant shock. The fabric also automatically percolates excess water, a feature that outshines traditional plastic containers. Plus, the reinforced handles make moving these bags a breeze, which is handy in a dynamic garden setting.
One clever design element I particularly love is the visualization velcro window. This allows me to check on the growth of my potatoes without disrupting them and harvest easily when they’re ready. It’s a thoughtful addition that brings an exciting dimension to growing potatoes at home.
The thermal regulation of these bags is noteworthy too. They keep my plants warmer in winter and cooler in summer, providing a conducive environment for growth all year round.
The added bonus of 50 biodegradable plant seedling bags was a pleasant surprise and has proven useful for my seed-starting efforts.
And let’s talk about customer satisfaction! The team at Maylove is committed to providing excellent customer service. It’s comforting to know that any concerns will be addressed promptly.
All in all, the Maylove Potato Grow Bags have significantly elevated my gardening experience. Their combination of eco-friendly material, clever design, and excellent customer service makes them a must-have for any home gardener. I’m looking forward to many more fruitful gardening seasons with these grow bags!
RAM® 4 Pack 7 Gallon Potato Grow Bag set are designed explicitly for growing potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers and other vegetables; these bags have been a game-changer for many growers.
What first grabbed my attention was the robust Polyethylene (PE) material. This gives the bags a sturdy feel while being waterproof, making them a practical choice for the British weather. The fact that they’re UV resistant is another great feature that ensures they can withstand long periods of sunlight without degrading.
I really appreciate the simplicity of their green colour, as it blends in well with my garden aesthetic, not taking away from the beauty of my growing plants. The round shape is also ideal for accommodating root vegetables, making it easier for them to expand and grow without being constricted.
The bags are impressively spacious with a 7-gallon capacity, making them a good size for most of the vegetables I tend to grow. The four-pack quantity provides ample space to grow a decent variety of vegetables, which I find particularly useful during the peak growing season.
Overall, I’ve been thrilled with the performance of the RAM® Potato Grow Bag set. The practical design, material quality, and excellent capacity make them a valuable addition to any home garden. I’m excited to continue using them in the future to boost the productivity and versatility of my vegetable garden.
How to use growbags for potatoes
Choosing the Right Potato Varieties
When it comes to potatoes, there’s a variety to suit everyone’s taste. In the UK, popular varieties include ‘Desiree’ (red-skinned, yellow flesh), ‘Maris Piper’ (white skin and cream flesh, excellent for chips), and ‘Charlotte’ (yellow skin and flesh, perfect for salads). Early varieties such as ‘Swift’ or ‘Rocket’ can be harvested sooner and typically have a smoother texture.
Getting Started: Chitting
Chitting is the process of pre-sprouting potatoes before planting, speeding up the growing process. To chit your potatoes, place them in a light, cool, frost-free place (10-15°C) with the ‘rose’ end facing upwards. This end is usually more indented and has the most ‘eyes’. After 2-4 weeks, when sprouts are about 2.5cm long, they’re ready to plant.
Preparing Your Grow Bag
For growing potatoes, it’s recommended to use a bag with a capacity of around 40 litres. Make sure there are sufficient drainage holes at the bottom to avoid waterlogging.
Fill the bag with about 10-15cm of good-quality compost mixed with a slow-release organic fertilizer.
Planting Your Potatoes
Place the chitted potatoes on top of the compost, with sprouts pointing upwards. As a rule of thumb, aim for 3-4 seed potatoes in a 40-litre bag.
Afterwards, cover them with another 10cm of compost. Water the compost until it’s damp but not waterlogged.
Growth and Care
As shoots begin to appear, add more compost to cover them, leaving only a few cm exposed. This process, known as ‘earthing up’, encourages more potatoes to grow. Stop adding compost when you reach about 5cm from the top of the bag.
Keep your grow bag in a sunny spot, watering regularly to maintain evenly moist soil, but never allowing it to become soggy. To check, stick a finger into the soil; if it feels dry beyond the first joint, it’s time to water.
Harvesting Your Potatoes
The time of harvest will depend on the variety you’ve chosen. Early varieties can be harvested around 10 weeks after planting when the flowers begin to open. Maincrop varieties need longer, typically 15-20 weeks, and are usually harvested when the foliage turns yellow and dies back.
To harvest, carefully tip out the contents of the bag. You’ll find your fresh home-grown potatoes throughout the compost.
Growing potatoes in grow bags is a practical and rewarding gardening activity that anyone can do, regardless of the amount of available space. With the correct care and attention, you’ll be able to enjoy fresh
Brian Sheridan has an allotment in Edgbaston and is a competitive grower. Brian is also a keen photographer and loves cooking. Brian and his wife Mary will also be running a stall at Edgebaston artisan market this year, selling products made from the allotment, including his award-winning relish!