Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Potato Growing Bags

Now I know I might be behind the times here but these certainly look like a good idea to me. I have grown potatoes in a barrel many years ago (without any very remarkable results) but these bags would be very convenient on the balcony, patio or in the garden.
Their size  plus  the convenient carrying handles makes for easy movement to wherever is convenient without too much strain and they need little storage space when not in use as they fold up flat.  I have no doubt that other vegetables would be successful too, carrots spring to mind.
  The instructions(from Unwins) are simple enough:
At the appropriate planting time, set three tubers on top of a 6-8in/15-20cm layer of good quality compost in each Potato Growing Bag and then cover the tubers with a further 4in/10cm layer of compost and fertiliser.
As the plants grow and shoots emerge above the surface, add more compost to the potato growing bags to cover the shoots and then repeat as needed until the compost is about 2in/5cm below the top of the bag.
Keep the compost moist at all times but don't saturate it as this might cause the tubers to rot.
An application of a high potash fertiliser  will increase yields. Avoid fertilisers high in nitrogen as these will delay maturity of the crop.

Potatoes need plenty of moisture, particularly round about flowering time which is when the tubers start to form. An occasional heavy watering is better than little and often as this does not get down far enough and encourages shallow rooting.
Planting and harvesting times are as for your normal garden potato crops. I might try this as I’ve never had a much success with any vegetables planted in the garden here in Spain. Maybe I’m just not a vegetable gardener!

The bags illustrated are from Unwins seeds. They are quite expensive at 7.95 GBP each(with seed potatoes) but there are other suppliers of the bags + tubers considerably cheaper, 3.35GBP at Dobies for example. I haven’t seen any locally.
If anyone has had experience of these please or any other container growing info drop me a comment or mail.