Not everyone is lucky enough to have room for a garden plot to grow potato plants (Solanum tuberosum). If you enjoy the fresh flavor of homegrown potato tubers but have limited space, then grow them in a bag on a patio or balcony. Making a growing bag is a simple and quick project. As a bonus, potato plants grown in bags are typically not bothered by insects and diseases and have no need for pesticides. Although the plants are typically grown as annuals, some unharvested tubers may survive winter in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 1 through 7 and sprout new plants in spring.
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You can make a potato growing bag from a burlap sack. Coffee beans are shipped in burlap sacks. So a coffee shop may have some laying around. The sacks are typically 28 inches wide and 40 inches tall.
Fold the burlap sack's top 6 to 8 inches over and down to create a band of double-thick burlap around the top of the sack. This band is useful for moving the bag when it is heavy with soil and potatoes.
The sack does not need additional drainage holes because burlap has its own drainage holes. Place a tarp on the surface under the burlap sack if staining the surface is a concern.
Ensure the burlap sack is clean and has no lingering residue from previous materials it held. Rinse the sack with water, and let it air-dry before using it.
A heavy-duty, black, plastic trash bag also can be a potato grow bag. Ensure the is bag labeled for lawn and leaf or contractor use. That kind of bag is made of thick plastic that can supports the weight of soil and potato tubers. Such a bag holds 55 to 60 gallons and is 38 inches wide and 58 inches tall. Its black color absorbs solar warmth, speeding seed germination.
With the bag smooth and laying flat, punch three holes across its bottom 6 inches from left to right. Space the holes roughly 12 inches apart with one hole on the far left, one on the far right and one in the middle. Flip the bag, and punch three more holes in the same positions. Using scissors or a knife, make each hole 1 inch in diameter. The holes will allow excess water to drain from the bag when it is full of soil.
This kind of bag is extra tall. So fold its top 12 to 18 inches over and down to form a double-strength band at the top.
You can make a potato bag from appropriate material you have on hand. Use a heavy-weight material such as weed-control landscape fabric, canvas or denim.
Things You'll Need
2 yards heavy-weight material
- Heavy-duty stapler
Step 1: Mark Material
Lay 2 yards of a heavy-weight material, such as landscape fabric, canvas or denim, flat on a smooth, clean table. Mark a rectangle on the material, making it 28 inches wide and 36 inches tall, using tape measure and chalk. The rectangle will be one panel of the potato grow bag. The bag requires two panels. So either mark each panel separately or double the fabric and mark one panel that will result in two panels when you cut the doubled fabric.
Step 2: Cut Panels
Following your chalk marks, cut the material into two separate panels. Cut them individually as marked, or double the fabric and cut once.
Step 3: Staple Panels
Lay the panels flat on top of each other with all their edges meeting. Down the 36-inch-long edges of the panels, fold both layers of material over 1 inch, and staple the panels together every 2 inches starting from the top or bottom edges. The fold will keep the future bag's soil from leaking.
Do not fold over the bottom 28-inch-long edges. Staple those parts of the panels together every 2 inches from left to right. Without the fold, excess water will easily escape the bag.