How to Plant Potatoes In a Potato Grow Bag

How to Plant Potatoes In a Potato Grow Bag

Another easy way to grow potatoes in a small space is using a Potato Grow Bag. I purchased this Potato Grow Bag from Gardener’s Supply because I have been wanting to try one of these bags for a couple years now.

I love growing potatoes and any new way that I can grow them I’m willing to try. Growing potatoes in the grow bag is a quicker substitute over the Potato Tower. It’s cheaper as well, only costing $12.95 for the regular-sized, black grow bag.

A friend on the Veggie Gardener Facebook Page mentioned that she used burlap bags to grow potatoes, and it works really well. That could be an even cheaper way of growing potatoes in a bag.

Now that you have your Potato Grow Bag, here’s how to plant the seed potatoes in it.

Choosing the Right Seed Potatoes for the Potato Grow Bag

Before we jump into the planting of spuds, let’s talk about the spuds a bit first. The best potatoes to use for a grow bag is typically mid and late season, or fingerling type potatoes.

I'm Using Red Pontiac Potatoes for the Potato Grow BagGood mid and late season potatoes to use are Kennebec, German Butterball, Butte, or Bintje.

Fingerling types include Russian Banana and Swedish Peanut varieties.

Even though it is considered an early season variety, Red Pontiac potatoes work pretty good, too.

Avoid using russet potatoes as they do not typically grow well in grow bags.

I’m planting the Red Pontiac variety for this Potato Grow Bag. I love “stealing” the little red new potatoes when they are about an inch to an inch and a half in diameter.

Preparing the Seed Potatoes for Planting

Now that we have the right kind of potatoes for the grow bag, you may need to prep them some before planting. You would prepare the seed potatoes for the grow bags in the same manner you would ordinarily prepare them for any other planting.

Any large seed potatoes should be cut into smaller pieces so they are about the size of a lime. Make sure it piece has at least two eyes, and the eyes have about 1/2″ to 3/4″ of potato surrounding them.

Let the Potato Seed Pieces Dry Before Planting

Once the pieces are cut, you can spread them out on a sheet of newspaper to allow them to dry out. This is not necessary but can help keep the seed potato pieces from rotting, or developing possible diseases.

How to Plant Potatoes In a Potato Grow Bag

Now we are finally getting to the fun part – planting the potatoes! With the seed potatoes all ready to go it is time to prepare the grow bag and plant.

First, place the Potato Grow Bag in the desired location. It might be difficult to move the grow bag once you have the soil in it so make sure wherever you placed it that’s where you want it to stay.

Place the Potato Grow Bag In the Desired Location

Remember, you want to place it in a location that receives at least six to eight hours of sunlight per day.

To make it easier to work with, cuff the sides of the grow bag over a few inches. This will keep the sides from flopping over and getting in the way. Cuff the sides over until you have about seven inches of depth inside the grow bag.

Cuff the Sides of the Potato Grow Bag

Now fill the Potato Grow Bag to a depth of four inches with an organic potting soil mix. Gardener’s Supply recommends using their Organic Energized Potting Mix.

I’m actually using an organic garden soil mix with some compost added. You want to have a mixture of 1/3 compost and 2/3 potting mix.

Fill Potato Grow Bag with 4 Inches of Potting Soil Mix and Compost

With four inches of the soil mix added to the grow bag, it is time to plant the seed potato pieces. Use three to five seed potato pieces and lay them an equal distance apart into the soil.

I like to give them a slight twisty-push into the soil to kind of “seat” them in place. This helps to make sure they contact the soil well. Don’t push them too deep – just a very gentle push so they go down into the soil about 1/8″ to 1/4″ deep. Remember to plant them with the eyes pointing up!

Place Seed Potatoes on the Soil Mix

Once the seed potatoes pieces are good to go, cover them with an additional three inches of the soil mix. This is why I cuffed the Potato Grow Bag over until the depth of it was about seven inches. I can now fill it up to the top and I know I have covered the seed potatoes with three inches of soil.

Cover the Seed Potatoes with Three Inches of Soil Mix

It is now time to thoroughly water the Potato Grow Bag. Water it well so the water reaches the bottom of the bag and you begin to see water trickle from underneath. You will know for sure you have watered it enough.

That’s it – you now have your potatoes planted using the Potato Grow Bag!

More Potatoes for Your Vegetable Garden

13 Comments on How to Plant Potatoes In a Potato Grow Bag

  1. love this idea will lessen the growing area in my garden so that I may try something new in their spot! Thank you all.

  2. I’m thinking about adding oak leaves as the potato plants grow to keep the spuds covered and hopefully to grow more. Do you think oak leaves on top of soil in the bags would work out? I hear that potatoes enjoy slightly acidic pH. Oak leaves may even be too acidic.

    • Hi Bill – To be honest I really do not know how that would work out. I would be a bit hesitant about using leaves, or even straw, in a grow bag similar to this.

      The biggest reason is because the soil in these grow bags drains really well (almost too well) and the soil dries out pretty quickly. I have to water it almost every day, with the exception of rain, and it isn’t warm yet. So I’d be worried about the plant drying out easier if you planted the seed potatoes then used just leaves.

      Using the leaves, or straw, for growing potatoes in a raised bed or in the ground would work pretty good. I have used leaves and straw before when growing potatoes in a raised bed and the straw/leaves were much easier to spread than soil.

      I’d be more concerned about the soil drying out than the acidity of the oak leaves. I’ve never used them though, so it would be a good experiment to try.

  3. That is so cool. I’ve never heard of a potato bag. I’m learning so much from your site!

  4. Carol Jendritza // May 10, 2011 at 5:41 pm // Reply

    I’m noticing that additional soil is put on top of the potato plant when it grows in the wooden potato structure. Do I add soil and cover the plant some as it grows and continue to fill the bag?

    • Hi Carol – Yes, once the plants reach about 6 inches tall you will cover the plants up with more soil until just the top portions of the leaves are exposed. You would do this until the bag is full of soil.

  5. I have potatoes growing in these bags. And they look fantastic. The only problem is they are so tall, is there a way to make these bags taller? It seems like such a waste, the potatoes are now more than twice the size of the potato bag (height wise) and seems like I’m wasting a lot of plant that could produce potatoes.

    • Hi Suzanne – Sure, I guess you could make the bags taller if you wanted to. If you are crafty enough you could certainly add some height to the bags.

      Good luck!

  6. Tee,

    Well, we tried growing Potatoes in heavy duty black plastic bags this season, and I’m a bit disappointed with the results. We grew four bags worth, using four plants per bag like so many websites recommended. And we tried a different variety in each bag.

    For some reason, the plants were slow growing, so we didn’t have to add much soil to them. The soil we did add, was Miracle-Grow Potting mix – the one with fertilizer already added in. Now are area did receive much to much rain this Summer; I’m wondering if that had anything to do with it, also since I like to grow organically, I did not use any chemical fertilizers nor insecticides or pesticides. At one point I did see some Potato bugs on them, and for those, I hand-picked them and they never came back.

    Well, today I harvested two of the bags, the one containing Reds, and the other containing Yukon Gold. Once I dumped the bag containing the Red Potatoes on the ground, I expected to see plenty of potatoes, but I hardly saw any. It was only when I dug to the bottom of the pile did I begin to pull out potatoes, some good sized, but mostly they were very tiny. How many? Only about a pound and a half – if that! Not worth all that work that we put into it, I can tell you that much.

    The second bag, the one containing Yukon Gold, contained many more potatoes – again, they were mostly in the bottom of the bag. This bag, I didn’t dump out, but hand scooped the soil out, a small potful at a time. The Yukon Gold bag contained about double the amount of the Red – about 3 pounds – but again, most were small.

    One thing I did notice was that the soil in both bags was quite damp – very moist. Like I said, we’ve had quite a lot of rain this Summer here along the Mid-Atlantic. Could this have been the problem? Usually we have dry spells beginning in late July lasting through August, that is until our rainy season begins again in September. But this year, it’s been quite wet with all the Tropical Storms, Hurricanes, and heavy Thunder and Lightening Storms. So, could this over abundance of water affected my Potato crop?

    I still have two more bags to harvest – Kennebec and another type of Red potato. I’ll let you know how those bags turn out.

    Thanks again for your great advice.


  7. I’m preparing to give this a shot, looking forward to it. Thanks for the advise and the idea. Was thinking of using old dog food bags since I have a few laying around, thanks to the 2 dogs we own.

  8. I would like to ask KEN who said he used black plastic bags, are they trash bags? did you out any holes in the bag?
    thank you

  9. Hi Tee,

    First attempt this year to grow potatoes in canvas bag. Saw demo at an herb festival in Lancaster Pa. Started them a week ago and they are growing well. Have covered the new growth with soil twice. I am worried I am covering tops since I read a comment above. How much of plants should covered? Also how do I know when to let plants just grow? And how tall?

    Thanks for your expertise.

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