I've never done this before...
I started chitting with a view to planting out half way through march in those sack, but i met someone the other day who consistantly fails in her attempts to do so and so now i'm worried.
does anyone with prior experience have any tips, failiure and success stories etc
Hi Caroline, I grew potatoes in sacks and in the ground last year. (Dobies recommended 3 chitted spuds in each sack.) Both methods were successful but the joy of the sacks was that the kids could just plunge their hands in to find the spuds which caused great excitement. For some professional advice, have a look at John Harrison's website, he has excellent practical articles on growing spuds, including when to plant for earlies, second earlies or maincrop.
I chitted the potatoes in egg boxes, removed the lower 'eyes' and planted in about a foot of soil. When you have about 4 inches of leaves above the soil, cover them with earth. This encourages more potatoes to form. Do this again when the leaves appear above the soil a second time. You'll now have about 20 - 24" of soil in your potato bag. Keep the plant watered in dry weather and after it's flowered and the leaves (haulm) have started to die back, start enjoying your home-grown spuds (or dig up earlier for 'new' potatoes.)
By the way, we left our chitters far too long in the greenhouse through lack of time but we planted them and they still came up trumps for us. We planted out throughout May so this year I hope to be planting out by mid-April.
Good luck with it -let us know how you get on!
See my latest post in the main arena
Try mixing 16oz of Vitax Q4 and 12 oz of Calcified Sea Weed (or sea weed meal) per 3 gallon typical builders bucket of compost
Most of my growing (this is my first attempt) will be done in containers or the like. I have on order my grow bags and tubers for the potatoes so I'm hoping that these will be one of my major successes....fingers crossed.
For me it's the option thats best
If you grow in a grow bag, try to keep the bag to 2 or 3 tubers
Leave the potato to chit, then remove all the eye leaving just 2-3 eyes spaced apart
A potato will grow a certain weight, more eyes means same total weight but smaller spuds, less eyes means same amount of weight, bigger spuds
Good tip Darren, I didn't know that before. Thanks!
On new potatoes, leave them all on, if you want nice small juicy ones
Big thing to remember about container growing is the need to water, As the foliage gets up and covers the container little of no rain will penetrate and there is not a reserve in the container so they dry out very quickly. Plants therefore take more watering in containers than the would in a normal plot.
Yes I plan to get the children on watering duty with me as to me it's important that they understand what's required.
I do have one beginners question...what soil/compost is best used in the bags for potatoes?
I use peat with fert and calcified seaweed very similar to what Darrren mixes up. (16oz of Vitax Q4 and 12 oz of Calcified Sea Weed (or sea weed meal) per 3 gallon typical builders bucket of peat) Although I know a number of people who use general purpose compost instead of peat.
Hope this of some help.