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How To Grow Potatoes In Bags

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Once you know how to grow potatoes in a bag, you’ll never be short on delicious spuds! Believe it or not, with a bag or small container you can actually grow a nice batch of potatoes with very little effort on your part and today we’ll tell you how it’s done

We’ll start with a basic ‘quick and dirty’ method that you can do at home to learn the basics, and then we’ll give you a slightly more advanced technique that can increase your yield and really bring in a beautiful harvest. 

If you love potatoes then stick with us and we’ll tell you all about how to grow potatoes in bags – it’s a delicious gift to yourself that really keeps on givin’!

Potato grow bag with potato plants
Potato grow bag with potato plants

How To Grow Potatoes In Bags – Quick Way

If you have friends who are growing their own ‘bag potatoes’, then you’re probably expecting the method where you add your spuds, let them grow a little, cover and repeat – and we’ll teach you that one, too, but there’s a faster way to do it that comes courtesy of Thompson and Morgan

The cool thing about this method is that Thompson and Morgan say that their own research seems to indicate that you don’t necessarily have to use the layer method, as long as you’re protecting your growing spuds from the sunlight (and chunking out any inedible green potatoes that you come across).

Is it better than the traditional one that so many gardeners swear by? You’ll have to decide that for yourself by trying both of the methods that we share today, but what we can say about this one is that it’s pretty darned easy and works like a charm.

Let’s see how it’s done!


Growing your bag potatoes: Chitting your spuds

If you aren’t familiar with what a ‘chitted’ potato is, then don’t worry – it’s just a terminology used for a ‘starter potato’ that already has some shoots spreading out about an inch out so that they are ready to plant. Basically, you’re just giving your potatoes a ‘head start’ for fast, healthy growth. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Place your seed potatoes in your egg carton cup and if you are using different varieties to try a few potato bags at once, then be sure to label them.
  2. Stick them somewhere light and cool – but NOT cold. We want, ideally, a temperature of around 50 degrees so that your potatoes will start sprouting.
  3. Leave them in their cool, comfy spot for a period of 4 – 6 weeks, at which point you should see shoots coming out of the eyes of your seed potatoes. Now you’ve got a decision to make – if you want big potatoes, then rub off all of the sprouts except for the biggest 3 -4. If you want a bunch of small spuds, then leave those sprouts alone and we’re ready to plant ‘em!

Preparing the bag and planting

Once you’ve got your seed potato prepped, then we’re just about finished. Below are the steps to prep and plant your potatoes:

  1. Fill up your potato bag with quality compost that you’ve made at home or purchased, leaving about 1 inch of space from the rim of the bag. 
  2. Carefully push your chitted potato into the compost, so that it’s approximately 5 inches deep. Make sure that your tuber shoots are sticking up and once you’ve placed your potato, then cover it up with your compost.
  3. Keep your potatoes in a spot that is bright and ideally around 50 degrees so that they won’t get too cold. Water as-needed to keep the compost moist and fertilize every other week. When the leaves come up, don’t cover them – just let them grow and cut any foliage that shows signs of blight to keep it from spreading. When your greenery turns yellow and starts to wilt then you are just about ready to harvest your potatoes! 

Harvesting your Potatoes

While harvesting steps will vary a little based on the type of potato, here is a standard harvesting technique that should do the trick nicely with most potatoes:

  1. When the plant’s peeking over your compost have started yellowing and wilting, go ahead and trim them right down to the soil level, and then you may discard the clippings. 
  2. Let your potatoes sit for about 2 weeks before you start digging them out. This will help to ensure that the skins harden properly. 
  3. Don’t eat any green potatoes, but with a little luck you should have a nice little harvest of perfectly good fresh potatoes. Clean them and you can store them in a cool, dry spot until you get a craving for some delicious homegrown spuds!

Taking your time – A more attentive approach for a better yield

Now that you’ve learned the ‘quick and dirty’ method, it’s time to share the gardener’s favorite where you will do a bit of layering as your potatoes grow. Don’t worry – it’s not difficult, just a little more time-consuming, but folks who do this say that the results are well-worth it. Let’s take a peek at how it’s done!


  • 1 8 to 10 gallon plastic or fabric potato bag with some holes in the sides for drainage
  • Compost
  • 3-4 chitted potatoes
  • 5-10-10 fertilizer

Steps to grow your potatoes:

  1. Find a nice place for your potatoes, somewhere bright but cool – approximately 50 degrees is best, but no cooler – and fill the bottom of the bag with compost to a height of about 5 inches.
  2. Carefully roll the sides of your bag down to the top of your compost, so that your bad looks like a small, circular pot that stands perfectly on it’s own.
  3. Plant your 3 – 4 chitted potatoes, shoot-side up, so that each has a little space of their own. 
  4. Unroll the side of your bag a little, so that you can add a 2 – 3 inch layer of compost to cover up your potatoes.
  5. If you don’t already have them in a bright, cool spot, then go ahead and move them there now. 
  6. Water your potatoes regularly but only when the top inch of your soil is dry. You’ll start to see green shoots coming up from your potatoes and when they appear, unroll your bag a little and cover the up with more compost. Repeat this until your bag is completely full and at that point, just let those stems and leaves keep growing, uncovered.
  7. Fertilize your potatoes every other week with 5-10-10 fertilizer to help ensure that they are nice and healthy and if you see any signs of blight then cut the affect foliage immediately so that it won’t spread.
  8. When the leaves and stems on the surface start yellowing, then go ahead and trim them down to the soil and you’re just about ready to harvest.

Harvesting your spuds

As with the ‘quick and dirty’ method, you can wait about 2 weeks after clipping the greenery on top so that the skin may properly set. Once you are ready to harvest the spuds, if you have a plastic bag then you may simply cut down one side with scissors, or if it’s fabric then you can get a little help and carefully tip it out to harvest all of your new potatoes and to save the remaining compost for later.

Congratulations – Now you know two methods for growing bagged potatoes and once you’ve tried them, you’ll never be short on spuds again!

Refining your process

Once you’ve got the basics down and you’re confident with the process, then upgrading your equipment and customizing your techniques is definitely worthwhile. In this section, we’ll show you some examples of upgraded potato bags that you can use, as well as some sustainability tips if you’d like to ensure that your potato bag cultivation techniques are as eco-friendly as possible!

Upgrading your bags

One of the perks of growing with this method is that there really isn’t a whole of equipment that you’re going to need and what you DO need is really cheap to upgrade. Below we’ve got a few examples of some different types of bags, just to give you an idea of what’s out there.

While you can certainlymake your own potato bags if you are so inclined, if you don’t have the time or the skill then these bags can really take your taters to the next level and bring additional, cool features like unrolling flaps so you can see some of your potatoes, double-reinforced stitching, and even spots for labelling your crops neatly for quick reference while you’re tending them.

Let’s take a look and see what you think!  

Delxo Nonwoven cloth Potato Growing Bags – 5 pack of 7-gallon bags

Click here to view this item on Amazon

Great for potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, and more, these Delxo 7 gallon bags give you plenty of space, while being a little more manageable on your own than the 10 gallon varieties. With this package, you get 5 of them, and they’re made from an environmentally friendly non-woven cloth and include n unrolling hood in the front so that you can peek in on your veggies as they grow. 

Another perk of the fabric is that it will help to keep your plants a little warmer in winter, but also cool in summer, so if you’re looking for a nice upgrade in a very manageable size, these Delxos do the trick nicely!

Auofin 6 Pack 10 Gallon Potato Grow Bags

The Aufoin 10 gallon potato grow bags start things off on the right foot with durable cloth handles! Made of strong and tear-resistant polyethylene, these bags are double stitched and features a view flap secured in place with Velcro.

Easy to clean, these bags have drainage holes on the bottoms and sides, and they even come with self-watering spikes to help ensure proper water distribution. They’re a great upgrade choice and best of all, you’ll have 6 of them to grow whatever you like inside!

Suntee 4 Pack 10 Gallon Potato Growing Bags

Click here to view this item on Amazon

Our final upgrade example are these Suntee 10 gallon potato growing bags and they’re some fine growing bags, indeed! Made of environmentally friendly material that is both strong and biodegradable, they feature nice little additions like Velcro flap-windows that you can unroll, a handy dedicated spot to label your crop, and they’re nice enough for indoor or outdoor use.

Moving them when you need to is made easy with the sewn-in handles and when you are done growing with one, simply clean it up and it stores away neatly. They’re nice little bags and you can get a 4 pack for about the price of a cheese pizza – so what’s not to like?!

Tips for sustainability

If you want to make your gardening as eco friendly as possible, then we’ve got a few quick tips that we think you’ll find useful. Here are some ways to keep your eco footprint small and your gardening more sustainable:

  • Tire Taters – Old tires make great ‘tater towers’ and may be used for other, less alliterative vegetable options. Simply clean them up and stack them and if you want to get fancy, you can cut viewing area in each and seal it off with cloth or Velcro or leave them as-is. Stack up as needed or just go with one tire – it’s wide enough for 4 – 5 seed potatoes usually. It’s sustainable, practical, and even has a nice aesthetic to it and won’t harm your potatoes at all.
  • Peat is not-so-neat – While peat is popular, peat-free compost is a much better way to go. Peat contributes quite a bit to greenhouse gases and when it’s harvest, there’s usually an impact on the wildlife in the area. As such, it’s really better to go with peat-free compost when you purchase it or you can even make your own at home. It makes a big difference, so just something to consider if you want to reduce your edo-footprint.
  • Compost and coffee bags – The plastic bags that you buy your compost in make for great potatoe bags if you want to repurpose them. You can even make the holes a little less likely to tear by punching in eyelets, like you would with fabric. Coffee bags are also quite excellent for potato bag growing, as they are quite durable, easy to obtain, and biodegradable.

Some closing words

In today’s article we’ve taken a look at how to grow potatoes in bags and shared two of the most popular methods for you to use getting started. It’s easy to do, just be sure to water regularly when the top inch of soil is dry and fertilize them once every other week.

Once you’ve seen firsthand the glorious results, then you might considered upgrading to a  or 10 gallon potato bag and you can ever try other crops like tomatoes and carrots, which will also grow quite happily with this method.

Finally, don’t forget to avoid peat if you’re tying to keep a small eco footprint and if you have some spare tires around in the backyard, they make for great potatoes planters for up to 4 or 5 seed spuds. We hope that you’ve enjoyed our little exploration in potato bag planting and until next time, we wish you and yours the absolute best!

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