Potatoes, Fresh From the Bag

Who doesn’t love a good potato? They have a good shelf life, when properly stored, and they’re fun to grow. Not many foods make it as easy to see the connection between what you eat and how the plant grows, which makes them an ideal summer project for your kids. If you’ve ever thought about growing potatoes and changed your mind because you’ve heard they need “hilling up,” the “grow potatoes in a bag” method from Food52 will change your mind again.

potato harvest!
Potato Harvest! / Lisa Stevens / CC BY 2.0

1. Buy some seed potatoes, from a seed supplier. Grocery store potatoes are treated to have a better shelf life, and that treatment tends to limit their productivity in the ground.

2. Buy a bag of soil. Pour 2/3 into your extra container to be used for “hilling up” the plants as they grow. Roll down the bag so the soil line is near the top.

3. Cut the seed potatoes into pieces with a few eyes on each and let them dry out for a day or so before planting them right in the bag.

4. Puncture the bag lightly towards the bottom to allow for drainage.

5. Place bag in an area that gets only mild morning sun and water gently–it’s best to keep the soil lightly damp. Don’t soak the plant and then let it dry out.

6. As the plants grow, unroll the bag and add soil back from your extra container. One you see flowers, you know you’ve got baby potatoes in the dirt!

7. After the vines wither and turn black, leave the bag alone for another week before cutting the bag open to enjoy your harvest!

For a more detailed tutorial and some great pro tips, check out the article on Food52!