How to Successfully Grow Potatoes in a Grow Bag

potatoes in a garden
*Affiliate Links

Growing potatoes, particularly in urban or smaller gardens, may seem impossible, but as someone with a very small green space, I have managed to successfully grow them for the last few years. I don’t have much room, I had no previous experience, I’ve never had an allotment and I don’t have large beds or planters, so how do I do it? With potato grow bags, here’s how you can grow your own too…

Choosing the Right Grow Bags

There are a wide variety of grow bags (or containers) available both online and in garden centres most being made out of plastic or felt/woven fabrics. I much prefer the fabric bags like these here as they are breathable and allow good drainage. Another advantage to using grow bags is that you can move them around your garden as required whether that is to provide them with more sun or to gain more space, plus they are reusable.

potato grow bags

Selecting Potato Varieties

Your first seed potatoes to grow from in the year are called first early potatoes which are your lovely light, soft and fluffy new potatoes. These are often found in abundance in garden centres or online before spring hits so make sure you get in around December/January/February time to get your pick of the crop. You should aim to get these planted out in early April and they should be ready to harvest in around 10-12 weeks.

Second early potatoes come in between you first early and main crop. These can again be planted out in early/mid-April and should be ready in June.

Your main crop potatoes are the larger varieties such as Maris Piper, King Edward and Desiree. These can be planted out in mid-late April and will be ready to harvest from August-October.

Preparing Potatoes for Planting

As mentioned above you can find a wide variety in garden centres and these will be certified disease-free seed potatoes and come from reputable suppliers. Always fully inspect your batch and if confused or concerned you can seek advice from a staff member.

Prior to planting out, you will need to chit your seed potatoes. This process refers to the growth of sprouts from what are called the ‘eyes’ (the small nobbly bits on the seed potato). You do this by placing them inside egg boxes or something similar, ensuring that the eyes face up and popping them in a cool, light location to encourage sprouting. For first early potatoes, you want to start this around February time and aim to ensure that they are ready for April.

The Planting Process

Roll your potato grow bag down to around a 1/3 high and fill with 10 cm of peat-free compost. Take 3-5 of your seed potatoes, place them on top of the compost and cover these with approximately 10 cm of compost. Water them well and position your bags in a sunny spot in your garden.

seed potatoes in the potato growing bag

Growing Steps

Once your potato plants have shoots that have reached around 8 cm, it is time to ‘earth them up’ by re-covering them with another 10 cm of (peat-free) compost. You will need to do this every couple of weeks as your plants increase in size. This is to ensure that the potatoes are not exposed to light and grow large and healthy. As you top up your compost you will need to gradually roll the sides of the bag back up until eventually it reaches its intended height.

covering the potatoes

Potatoes are so simple to care for, as long as they are well covered, have plenty of light and are watered you really can’t go wrong – I haven’t ever and I’ve never done anything special to mine.

the green leaves and some flowers on the potatoes

Harvesting Potatoes

Early potatoes can be harvested from around 10 weeks after planting, while maincrop varieties may take 12-20 weeks. The usual indicator that they are ready is after the flowers have died and wilted. With the grow bag I have suggested above you can also check their progress by opening the flap and taking a look inside the base of your bag.

a child holding new potatoes that have been grown in a bag

To harvest, carefully tip the grow bags over and sift through the compost to collect the potatoes. You may be surprised by how many you can get from just 1 bag alone.

new potatoes in a bowl

There we have it, simple potato growing for small spaces. if I can do it, anyone can. So why not give it a go this year? Grab yourself some grow bags, chit your potatoes and prepare for a fantastic growing season!

my signature

*This post contains affiliate links which will not affect your shopping experience but will mean I will earn a small commission if you shop via them. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.

Pin for later:

If you enjoyed this post you can follow more of our life, opinions and antics over on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Plus feel free to come and join in with my parenting group ‘From One Parent to Another’ on Facebook.

If you’d like to contact me you can either leave me a comment or drop me a line via my contact me page.

For other topics similar to this one check out these suggestions below…

Related Posts:
What I Have Learnt So Far About Growing My Own In a Small Garden
potatoes and radishes on an outdoor table

When we moved into our home the garden was my one compromise. The house was ideal in all other ways Read more

Where To Begin With Growing Your Own
veg in a basket

Growing your own fruit and vegetables may seem a little daunting at first but with a little bit of research, Read more

April Gardening Jobs
April garden with flowers in planters and tools

As the gradual warmth of April breathes life back into our UK gardens, the time has come to roll up Read more

How to Create a More Eco-Friendly Back Garden
wildflowers in a garden

If you want to make your garden the kind of space that’s eco-friendly and green, there are lots of ideas Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *