Thursday, May 10, 2012

DIY Potato Grow Bag: The Next Step

When I first tried to plant potatoes I had absolutely no idea how to go about doing it.  I knew that potatoes were grown in mounds, and I knew that potatoes required a decent amount of water.

But that's all I knew.  I threw a bunch of potato pieces into a plastic bin with a large amount of dirt and waited for the results.  My stems were weak, they produced few leaves at all, and the leaves they did produce were thin and tiny.  The resultant plant wasn't something I'd run to brag at everybody about.

So this year I made my own Potato Grow Bag, and I actually did a bit of research. So far, I've been pretty successful.  After the wind and hail the potato pieces began to sprout shoots.

Look at those leaves!  So green!  So healthy!  So vibrant!

All three potato pieces have sprouted, and all three have produced healthy shoots.  All is going well, which means that I'm now able to start the next step:

Cover it all up again!

No, seriously... After the shoots come up, it's important to add more soil on top of them.  I believe the reason is that this helps strengthen the stems, thereby producing a more hardy plant.  Also, keep in mind that potatoes form under the soil, so adding more dirt ensures a larger area to harvest in the future.

Naturally, this means more potatoes!  Yaaaaay!!!

I added about two more inches of soil to the grow bag.  Of course, this may be too little, meaning that the stems will grow out of the soil almost immediately, but only time will tell. 

Ok, that's not true... research would probably answer that question as well, but I learn faster by 'doing' than I learn by reading.  Hands-on knowledge sticks with me far longer, whether it was gained by success or by failure.  So I'll do things the easy way, and wait to see what happens.

Indeed, each time the shoots pop out of the soil, I'll need to add more soil, until I've completely unrolled the sides of the bag and have no more room for it.  At that point, I'll be allowed to just sit back and watch my plants grow.  

I'm excited about the prospect of having potatoes that I've grown myself, as well as the possibility of having enough to share with my neighbors!  I'm even considering creating a second bag so that I can have even more of them! 

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