Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Growing Potatoes in a sack

In an earlier post I mentioned that I was planning to grow potatoes in sacks.  There was a link attached to that entry for how to make Tater tote grow sacks out of black weed stop material.  I didn't follow the measurement instructions carefully and instead of sacks that measured 14 - 16 inches across, I had sacks that measures about 10 - 12 inches across.  Even with the smaller sacks I still enjoyed a measure of success.

I found the smaller sacks were hard to keep up right, I think a sack with a larger base would stand up without falling over as the potato plants grew.  I had watched an uncle grow potatoes in hay and I was able to located a large black garbage bag of loose hay at a local feed store, at a good price, and grew my potatoes in the hay.  I had sewn 8 sacks and I harvested  1.75 lbs of potatoes.  Next year, I will create more and larger sacks, weigh them down with bricks instead of stones, grow them in a different section of the compost heap and see if I can grown more and larger potatoes.

Surprisingly, I had no problem with potato bugs.  I have vivid memories of picking ugly, light orange potato bugs off my family's potatoes as a kid; but the worst I had to deal with were the occasional pill bugs that seemed to enjoy making holes in the leaves of the plant.

These were all about 2.5 - 3 inches across.  There were a few itty bitty ones but I was told by an Idaho potato farmer that those were common.

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