Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Last month I gave a lecture on vegetable gardening in containers and in preparation for said lecture I contacted our friends at Gardeners Supply Company for an image of their very cool grow bags. Why so cool, you ask? Unlike containers made of wood or fiber glass, these grow bags fold down to nothing when the growing season is over, making storage a breeze. Plus they come in some very pretty colors.

In addition to the image I received an offer to trial a grow bag and since containers are my thing I said Yes! God! Yes! Actually, not wanting to be greedy, I humbly requested a single, tomato grow bag. Marie (@ GSC) generously offered me a potato grow bag as well.

As much as I love tomatoes, I'm EXTRA excited about the potatoes because I've never grown them before. Let the grand experiment begin!

1) Unfold groovy double layer polypropylene grow bag. It's water permeable, so excess water flows out the bottom and sides. And because the bag is porous, the roots are well aerated, which is also important.

2) Add favorite brand of potting mix: Jolly Gardener.

3) Place potatoes on top of a 3-4" layer of soil. I probably should have only used 4 seed potatoes, but I had 5 and so, you know...waste not...want potatoes.

4) Cover with another layer of soil (3-4"). Once foliage appears, I'll mound up around it, burying the lower leaves.

5) Wait patiently. It's been 4 days and nothing's showing yet. Michael reminds me that these are not instant potatoes.

Stay tuned for potato progress reports. If this goes well I see the roofs of New York City covered in grow bags...a potato in every pot...


Sweetgum Thursday said...

I'm excited for you. Potato growing is fun, most especially the harvesting and that first potato harvest is the sweetest. Hope you have a bumper crop.

Diane NYC said...

Thanks for your timely post! We just gave our 11 year old, potato-loving, cooking obsessed nephew potato grow bags for his birthday earlier this month. Your blog is a great visual lesson to forward to him.
Another Potato Lover

Frank said...

Great! I want to grow potatoes too, but never have. Although my wife did make an art project at the US Botanical garden that had potatoes growing in paper bags.


Bag potatoes, easy as potato pie me thinks.

Sara said...

...waste not... want potatoes. Heh.

I've inadvertently grown potatoes in my compost. In fact, I'm going to dig out the shriveled, sprouting potatoes I just composted and throw them in a giant pot with some of the compost that's *almost* ready to use.

I thought those grow bags were great *before* they came in fab colors. Do you think I could knit some from nylon string and line with landscape fabric? (Only mostly kidding...)

frank@nycg said...

Have a sewing machine and heavy landscape fabric? Why not?

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