What’s a Grow Bag?
Grow bags are portable planting containers, sometimes described as fabric pots. They are usually made from a breathable fabric like landscape fabric. The material is similar to that used as a weed barrier, in that it allows the movement of water and air but contains the soil and plant roots. Many grow bags have handles for easier movement. Grow bags come in a variety of sizes.
Grow Bag Advantages and Disadvantage
Even a good gardening system isn’t perfect, and that’s true of grow bags as well. Here are some considerations:
- Grow bags are portable, if they aren’t too big.
- Since grow bags “breathe,” the soil is well-aerated and drains well.
- Because grow bags breathe, they may dry more rapidly than conventional pots in hot, windy conditions.
- Harvesting is easy – just turn the bag over and remove the potatoes.
About Growing Potatoes
Potatoes are one of the easiest vegetables to grow if you provide the right conditions. They can be grown in all USDA Zones and even indoors. They need loose, very fertile soil that drains well and require full sun. Keep the soil moist but don’t allow it to become water-logged as it may encourage molds, fungus and rot. Harvest potatoes about three weeks after the tops die down.
Preparing the Soil
While you can use commercial potting soil for your grow bag, your potatoes will probably do better if you add a few things. Coarse sand improves drainage and tilth – the fluffiness and friability of the soil. Well-rotted leaves, aged manure and compost add humus, as does peat moss. Peat and wood ash increase potassium and make the soil acidic, which potatoes like. Prep your soil and set it aside.
Filling and Planting the Grow Bag
If you were growing in the ground, you would be hilling your potatoes – covering with soil to provide more room for tuber development. In a grow bag, you put in a layer of soil about eight to 12 inches deep. Cover the seed potatoes with another four inches of soil and water well. When the plants are about six inches tall, add more soil until only the top two inches are exposed. Three weeks later, repeat the process.