Austin Urban Gardens

Raised Bed Gardening and Eating Well in Austin, Texas

Gardening Failure, Potato Grow Bag Experiment June 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — austinurbangardens @ 8:03 pm
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As a way to try to increase my raised garden space and grow more food, I attempted to grow potatoes in Potato Grow Bags, obtained from Gardener’s Supply.  Early in the season, they seemed to be doing ok.   I did not not keep up with the “mounding” protocol however, and the bags were not in full sun, which they should have been.  It became apparent that they weren’t as healthy as those I grew in the ground last year, and the bags were in my way, so today I decided to empty the bags and see if any potatoes grew.  In theory, once the flowers on the plants have bloomed and died, and the plants begin to yellow and fall over, you are supposed to empty the bags and loads of potatoes just fall out.  This did not happen.  I emptied them, one by one, into a wheelbarrow, so that I can wheel that soil in the compost pile, and this was my yield, sad as it is.

Sad Potato Production

The grow bags, especially after the rain, were heavy and difficult to maneuver.  With the available garden space I have, I think I’ll stick to the raised beds from now on.

I used to think that gardening was mostly skill, knowledge and information.  While there is something to be said for all of those, I think gardening is mostly hope, faith and luck.  So, there is never a reason to be discouraged, just more reasons to keep on trying, and keep on learning.


6 Responses to “Gardening Failure, Potato Grow Bag Experiment”

  1. Too bad about those potato bags, but I have to say, those are some cute little taters!

    • You know, I just didn’t do them justice. I won’t be having a huge potato salad party anytime soon, but I’ll eat them nonetheless. The fingerling potatoes at the Farmer’s Market have been amazing! The difference in a grocery store potatoes and fresh ones, is amazing. Feel free to chime in, if you see I’m doing something wrong. I would cherish your advice!

  2. Caroline Says:

    They are cute potatoes, and look nice and unblemished. My guess would be not enough sun, and I also think the grow bags may be deeper than need be for potato growing. In his Texas Organic Vegetable Gardening book, J. Howard Garrett says planting potatoes too deeply can result in a small yield. He prefers to “hill” with natural mulches rather than soil. Will you try for a fall crop?

    • Hey Caroline, I will try for a fall crop, but not in bags again. I have plenty of space in my garden. The bags were not in full sun, so that may be right. I knew they were getting too much dappled shade, but those things are really heavy when full, so I left them alone.

  3. Marc O. Says:

    I know my grandfather grew potatoes, and my mom was explaining recently he mounded them in leaves saved from the previous Fall so at the time they were ready to “dig” all he did was pull them out of a pile of leaves… and they were clean. No need to scrub dirt. I plan to experiment with this in the coming year.

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