Purple Potato Grow Bag Experiment

Two soilsLast year I planted purple potatoes for the first time. I love them and they are very nutritious. They thrived in the sandy soil. This year I decided to experiment with growing potatoes in a bag.

I bought two bags and planted one in mid-March with purple potato saved from last year’s crop. The seed potatoes were kept cool all winter. I use a mini fridge in the basement to store seeds.

I harvested the bag last week. The yield was disappointing. Only one pound of potatoes tumbled out when I emptied the bag.

However, the soil in the bag is completely different from what I started with. I used sandy unenriched soil from the lot. When the first leaves appeared I placed some leaves from last fall on top. As leaves kept emerging, I added other layers. Sometimes it was grass clippings. Occasionally another scoop of sand.

As you can see from the pictures the soil from the bag turned into a rich compost material. The crop was a failure, but all was not lost. My question is what created the change in the soil? The experiment did not succeed as intended. But I have already used the enriched material to mulch the garden. Sometimes you have to adjust.

The second bag is not ready to harvest. The white potato seeds used were bought this spring so we have too many variables for a true experiment. However, I am anxious to see if the yield is better.

The seeds were planted later. The rule of thumb in my part of the country is to plant potatoes on or before St. Patrick’s Day. However, the white potatoes started in April. I will harvest the second bag in a few weeks.

I have mixed feelings about using the grow bags. They eliminated the need to weed which is a plus. But the yield was not worth the effort. If the white potatoes do not produce, I will not repeat the experiment.

 

Grow Bags

Potato Bags
Bags used in experiment

Purple Potatoes and Medium

Purple grow bag
Potatoes from Bag

Growing Medium

close up
Close up of Medium
pound
Harvested potatoes

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