Which potato grow bag is best?
Whether you’re a first-time grower or a longtime horticulturist, a satisfying and easy crop to grow is potatoes. A recent trend is to grow potatoes in potato grow bags. These allow you more flexibility with your harvesting and the ability to physically move your crops when the frost comes.
Of the many potato grow bags out there, one of the best is the Vivosun 30-Gallon Grow Bags. The BPA-free, nonwoven fabric provides a great amount of drainage and aeration, leading to stronger roots and a bigger crop.
What to know before you buy a potato grow bag
Potato grow bags are fairly straightforward. They are a malleable bag — usually fabric — in which you can plant your potato plants. Because the bag is flexible, it allows for a more natural root system. Instead of having to spiral around the bottom of a pot, they can continue to grow out and unbound.
The healthier, stronger root system will lead to more tubers and a more fruitful potato harvest. When they’re ready, you can easily harvest them out of your grow bag, especially if you get one with a harvesting window.
Using your potato grow bag is as simple as potting the potato plant in a traditional pot. Start by adding a couple of inches of soil or compost to the bottom of the bag. Place your seed potatoes in the soil and fill the bag with enough to barely cover the tops of the seed potatoes. For easier handling, you can roll the top of the bag down to just above the top of the soil.
Keep your soil and seed potatoes evenly moist. As they start to sprout, continue to add soil or compost to cover the sprouted potato greens. As you add soil, unroll the bag. Eventually, the soil will reach the top of the bag.
At that point, let your potato plant flower and die back. After that, you can harvest your tubers. If you have a bag with a harvest window, simply open the harvest window and pull out the potatoes you want. If your bag doesn’t have a harvest window, dump it out and start digging.
As you consider which potato grow bag you want to plant your crop in, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Potato grow bags come in a range of sizes, typically by gallon. While a 5-gallon potato grow bag may look small and easy to move around when it’s empty, once you fill it with 5 gallons of soil and potatoes, it will be much heavier. Consider how much you can lift and move before committing to a bag that’s too big.
Different potato grow bags are made of different materials. While the general structure of a potato grow bag is almost universal, the difference in the material will determine where you should place your grow bag. If you have a grow bag that’s rated to last for several years and is highly durable, feel free to leave your crop outside. If it’s a fabric that is less durable, plan on keeping your potato crop indoors away from the elements.
Although a grow bag can seriously improve the root system of your potato plants and lead to an enviable harvest, planting your potato plants in grow bags is signing yourself up for some extra maintenance. For example, you’ll have to water your crop more often than you would otherwise because of the improved drainage and airflow.
Another maintenance task is repotting your plants. Because the bags aren’t as durable as a ceramic or stone pot, you will likely have to repot your plants more often than you’re used to. If you want less maintenance, reconsider a grow bag. If you’re OK committing a little more time to your plants, a grow bag is the way to go.
What to look for in a quality potato grow bag
One of the best parts of gardening in grow bags is the portability. You can move them inside at the first sign of frost or run them outside to get a drink of fresh rainwater. Something that makes all that moving easier is a set of handles. Look for a grow bag that has handles if you don’t want to break something trying to move your potatoes.
Arguably one of the most highly prized features in a potato grow bag is the harvest window. This allows you to harvest only the potatoes you want as needed without dumping out the entire bag. You can also check up on the root system easily using the harvest window.
Most of the best fabric grow bags are made with nonwoven fabric. This creates far better drainage and ventilation. Because the roots are more free in a grow bag, they benefit from the improved drainage and ventilation, leading to stronger, healthier growth which in turn leads to a larger harvest.
If you get a bag made of plastic-based fabric, be sure it’s BPA free. If it isn’t, you run the risk of your bag leaching chemicals into your potato crop. The packaging should have a clear label identifying the bags as BPA free.
Your potato grow bag will get heavy once you add the soil and potatoes. If your bag is heavier than it needs to be, you’re just adding to the amount of weight you have to move around. The best grow bags are lightweight yet durable and strong. Always check the weight of the bag before you buy it.
How much you can expect to spend on potato grow bag
You can find a pack of grow bags for $10-$40. Where it lands in that range depends on the number of bags in the back and the quality of the bags. On average, a potato grow bag costs about $4 each.
Potato grow bag FAQ
How often can you harvest potatoes from a potato grow bag?
A. You can harvest your potatoes as soon as the tubers are mature, which happens after the potato plant has flowered and died back. Once that happens, you can dump out the bag and dig for your potatoes. If you use a grow bag with a harvest window, you can harvest potatoes as needed, possibly even year-round if you keep them indoors.
What’s the benefit of potato grow bags?
A. The biggest benefit is to the root system of the potato plant, thanks to the improved drainage and airflow around them. In general, the root system has more of a chance to grow naturally, leading to an overall healthier plant and a better crop of potatoes. Plus, when the time comes to harvest your crop, it’s incredibly easy with a grow bag. You simply dump it out or use the harvest window.
Are there any drawbacks to using potato grow bags?
A. Depending on how much work you want to put into your plants, a grow bag may not be for you. They do require you to water your plants more because of the increase in drainage and airflow. They’re also not as durable as traditional pots, so the cost of replacing them can add up. Plus, with all the soil and potatoes in them, the bags get incredibly heavy and may be more difficult to move than you initially thought.
What are the best potato grow bags to buy?
Top potato grow bag
What you need to know: These grow bags come in a variety of sizes and they’re the perfect first step into growing in a potato grow bag.
What you’ll love: Made with nonwoven, BPA-free fabric, these are simple, solid grow bags that work. They’re also reusable so you can continue your gardening after the first crop and the handles make them easy to move.
What you should consider: The handles have some negative reviews regarding their strength.
Top potato grow bag for the money
What you need to know: If you want to grow a crop of potatoes but you’re short on space, these are the grow bags for you.
What you’ll love: These grow bags have the ultracoveted feature: the harvest window. The fabric is also designed to protect your plants against the elements so feel free to leave the crop outside.
What you should consider: Some users report that the handles aren’t very durable.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: These grow bags are made of premium fabric and with the large harvest window, you can harvest your potatoes easier than ever.
What you’ll love: Made of heavy-duty felt, these grow bags aren’t just functional — they look great, too. The harvest window rolls up from the bottom and it’s larger than most harvest windows, so you’ll have no trouble keeping an eye on your roots and your harvest.
What you should consider: Some people complain that they stain after you water your plants.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Kasey Van Dyke writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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