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Raising a potato in a bag

There are many things to do yet in the garden. We need to get our gardens ready for winter and yet, we need to think ahead to spring as well. There is one task that many of us are undertaking right now, which includes digging up potatoes. As promised, I had taken a picture of a potato plant that we were raising in a bag system for potatoes. We placed one seed potato into the bag and at the end of the growing season, we were able to just tip the bag over into an adjacent garden instead of digging up the potato plant.

We had planted a russet seed potato in this bag system and I have the before picture (when the potato plant was growing) and the after picture when we had dumped the potato plant out of the bag. You can see the number of potatoes was pretty good although size might have been better. It is quite easy to see that from one seed potato, we were able to grow enough potatoes to feed a family of five twice.

I am not sure why the size of the potatoes were a little bit on the smaller side but we were hesitating to use too much fertilizer as potatoes tend to not appreciate fertilizer as much as other plants do. They will often have rot problems but that is more often seen with the use of manure on gardens.

We also used the same bagging system to raise a tomato plant. This also worked well but again, the tomatoes could have been a little bit larger. The variety was not a regular tomato but it was one of the larger determinate varieties similar to Celebrity. We did fertilize this plant quite regularly and we did get quite a few tomatoes from the plant. It was pretty easy to take care of and raise.

These bags are usually sold in our local stores and work great for those who are especially interested in growing “just a little bit of something” for their family table. The nice thing about the bags is that after we dumped out the potato plant, I can easily store the bag in the basement for use again next year. They are quite durable.

4-H families also raised quite a few potatoes this summer as part of an agronomy piece that the area counties participated in. You may have seen some of them at the area fairs this summer. If you live in an apartment setting or have only a little bit of space (or maybe just a little bit of time) it works well to use these bags. Clean up is easy. You can store them out of mind for the winter. All you invest is a little bit of time for watering and a little bit of money for the bag plus the soil.

A great family activity for kids of all ages and a great family activity for all generations too. For more information on gardening, you can reach me at s.dejaeghere@me.com

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