How to grow maris piper seed potatoes: Grow potatoes in potato grow bags or pots in your garden, patio or porch
Growing your own potatoes at home
Using a Potato grow bag
If you do not have a garden in your home do not let this stop you from growing your own fruit and vegetables. All you need to grow your own vegetables is some space and a container.
Growing vegetables is all about taking some time out of your day to water and feed your seedling, and then nature doe the rest of the work. Other vegetables which are great to grow in your locations that you do not have a lot of space are potatoes, tomatoes, peas and zucchini.
If you are interested in growing your own vegetables then you might need to rely on grow bags or patio containers. But grow bags are easy to use, reusable time and time again, and also take up very little space because after you have harvest your vegetables, you can wash it and fold it away till next year.
So to get started this year, all you will need is your grow bag, your choice of vegetables, some compost, some fertiliser and a little bit of labour.
Potatoes grow bags can be purchased in many places and are reusable year after year. So once you are finished with them this year, you just need to wash it, dry it and it is ready for next year.
There are lots of variety of potatoes out there but choose one that you like and one that works with your climate. If you pick a variety you know will grow and has a good reputation then that means you have a good chance of having a successful harvest.
Before you begin planting, you need to get organised. So gather up the following items.
4- 5 pots or some potatoe grow bags
good quality vegetable compost
2 - 3 bags of seed potatoes
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Alternative containers to grow bags
Once you have got your equipment ready, the next step is to decide what you're going to plant your potatoes in.
If you don't have any potato grow bags, you can also rely on other types of containers.
If you have old buckets, pots, wheels or even drums, then you might try planting your potatoes in them.
You need to just consider the space you have available and how easy it will be to dig them up when the time comes for harvesting them, then you should have no problem.
Potato Planter bag for patios or small gardenClick thumbnail to view full-size
Week 1 : Planting Your Seed Potatoes in grow bags
Once you have your grow bags ready the next step it to plant your seed potatoes in them.
Fill your grow bag up about 1/3 of the way with vegetable compost.
Then plant 2-3 seed potatoes into each potato grow bag. Next put in some fertiliser pellets.
After that cover your potatoes over with another layer of compost. Finally water the potatoes in the grow bag.
Now just let nature and time do the rest of the work.
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Week 1 : Starting Your Potato BagClick thumbnail to view full-size
Progress of the Potato CropClick thumbnail to view full-size
By the second week you should see your potatoes starting to sprout up. It will only be a few millimeters.
As the week progresses and if the weather is continuously hot you will continue to see the potato stalk growing more and more.
Week 3 - 7
In week three your potato grow bag should be fully covered now with potato stalks.
All that will be required to do now is to continue filling up the grow bag with compost each week as the potato stalks continue to grow.
Eventually the compost will be level with the top of the grow bag and from here on out you now need to continue to water them and keep an eye on them for blight.
Week 8 onwards
Gradually as the weeks progress you will see an increase in the size of the potato stalks in the the potato grow bag.
It is important to continue to water them to ensure that they continue to thrive.
By the 4 month mark you should see that you potato stalks should be about 3 foot high from the top of the grow bag.
You will also see purple flowers growing on the potato stalks.
Use plant labels to date when you planted the potatoes
If you are planting different crops of potatoes or any other type of vegetables then it is worthwhile buying a package of plant labels.
You can then write on each label the date that the vegetables were planted in the potato grow bag.
If you were transplanting seedlings to pots you can then use the other side of the plant label to date when this procedure was done.
Growing Potatoes in bag
When do you harvest your potatoes from your grow bag
It will take up to 3 to 4 months for the potatoes to be big enough to harvest.
If you do check the potatoes after 3 months you might find that if the weather has been particularly good that you can harvest them.
However they might not be as big as you expected, so if you want larger potatoes leave them for another few weeks.
If you harvested one of the potato grow bags, and the potatoes are not as big as you expected then do not touch the other potato grow bags till the 4 month mark.
Harvesting your potatoes from your grow bag
Once it is time to harvest your potatoes from the grow bags, you will need to empty the whole contents of the grow bag onto a big bag. A bin liner bag would be sufficient if you had one.
Then you will have to shake up the compost as it will be solid and in the shape of the grow bag. You will see that is has set to the shape of the grow bag because of all the roots running thought the compost.
Using your hand start digging thought the clay and remove all the potatoes that you you can find.
You will also come across the remains of the seed potatoes that have rotted away.
Removing the potatoes from the potato grow bagClick thumbnail to view full-size
Beware of potato blight
Potato blight is a disease that infects potatoes . It is spread thought the air. You need to keep an eye on your potato crop to ensure that it does not get infected with potato blight.
Usually your local paper or weather station can give out from alerts when potato blight is expected.
You don't need to spend the whole time worrying your potato crop will get infected because otherwise you will be super stressed. it's just wise to remain on alert if you hear a warning about it.
If you take measures early on when you do spot black spots on your potato leaves or you notice rotten tubers, and remove these and the stalks that are infected, you might be able to prevent the blight from spreading.
You could take preventive measures and spray your potatoes with copper fungicide to prevent potato blight at all.
Growing potatoes isn't that hard. The preparation in the beginning is really the hardest part of all and keeping an eye out for potato blight.
But once you have your had your first successful harvest of potatoes you will find that it is an easy task and that you will be able to do it each year.
© 2014 Sp Greaney
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