Winter is a great time to start as the constant damp cooler days seems to work it's magic on the potato crop yield. Certified Potatoes are now available in most good hardware stores, major stores and nurseries during late Autumn to Winter.
My harvests, however, have often been a little lack luster. And so my experiment began - using three different ways to grow potatoes and different levels of fertiliser.
I struggled with the potting mix bag experiment right to the end to try to increase their yield. When I finally opened the bags I was delighted to discover a mass of potatoes for harvesting. I was quite amazed to find that the bags did BETTER than those sown directly into the garden bed. Maybe it was the soil mix I used.
So this year I begin a new crop using a new product on the market, potato planter bags from Jute Shop. Available at Bunnings Warehouse stores for $9.95 each.
|Jute Shop potato planter bags|
|Shorter Jute Shop planter bag|
Mounding The Soil
One of the things that I was very lazy about during the experiment was the amount of extra soil that needed to be added throughout the growing season. Heaping soil around the base of the plants was more important that I had first thought. And not just a little but a jolly good load of it!
Potatoes are very similar to sour sob weeds. Their bulbs grow near the surface of the soil. They need to stay covered to prevent them from becoming green and poisonous.
The great thing about these Jute Shop bags is their height. I have rolled each bag down to ensure that the potatoes will receive enough sunlight. As the grow and I add more soil, I can then roll the sides of the bags up. Add more soil when the plants grow to about 200mm in height.
|Step 1: Fold down sides of bag|
|STEP 2: Add soil mixed with cow peat and plant potatoes|
|STEP 3: Cover with extra soil and water|
Remember that Potatoes need a liquid fertiliser every few weeks to get those beauties to a good size.
Are you planting potatoes this year? I'd love to hear from you.