Instructables
Picture of Potato Bags From Recycled Plastics
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The fad racing across The UK is a polyethelyne fiber bag for growing flowers, potatoes, and herbs.   As with the Yankee intuition and insane curiosity I manifest at times.   Instead of paying $12.99 and trying to figure out shipping charges an electric zap hits me.  The same recycled plastic fiber is used in green shopping bags.  Having a few laying around the house, I got  to work…  Some dirt, moss, seed potatoes and the bags clocking in about a whole dollar per planted bag.  I suddenly saw green in blue.   Walmart bags at 50 cents each, add Mel’s mix, and seed potatoes at $2 for 6, frugallity hit reality.    I could actually do this. 
 
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Step 1: Assemble the Materials

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The Mix

1/4 vermiculite

1/4 peat moss

1/4 compost (from as many sources as possible)

1 / 4 Fertilizer and potting soil mix

 Bags recyclable shopping bags .50 cents

Seed Potatoes

Water to moisten mix

Step 2: Prepare the Bags

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Pack 2 inches of mix into rolled bag and moisten with water.

Step 3: Add Potatoes

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Add Seed potatoes and cover with 2-3 inches of mix, moisten with water.
Potatoes well covered can handle a light freeze.  in Zone 3a-4b start them April 1st.  Harvest in Late September or early October 

Step 4: Grow Spuds

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As the plant grows unroll bag and add more mix.  Water occasionally do not let dry out.  Keep in full sun.  Harvest 4 weeks after flowers die or at the the first frost.  To Harvest roll bag on the side and pour out.  This is my entry for the Gardening Contest.
canz2 years ago
years ago, I grew the nicest potatoes in mostly untreated sawdust.

I just had a layer of dirt about 2 inches deep which I placed the potato on, and covered with about 3 inches of sawdust, adding about 3 inches of sawdust as the potato leaves poked thru.

Not only did I get a massive crop, but also, digging them was easy, and potatoes came out almost clean enough to cook.
Thanks for sharing. How successful was your harvest? What have you learned from your experience?
suburbhomestead (author)  1-2BGardening3 years ago
20 lbs and not a lot of work, remember to keep andind soil and unrolling as they grow.
paise4 years ago
I have a problem seeing the pictures because of vision issues thanks to a retinal eye disease, optic nerve birth defect, & added problems that complicated & increased my loss of vision thanks to lupus (SLE) and Sjogren's. I'm not completely sure what you mean when you say Walmart "Green" bags... You say they are cloth. Well, a good friend of mine sends me these cotton bags made from recycled materials from the chain store Wings. I've had some I got myself when she & I took our youngest children (she has 2 boys: 1 almost grown, the other in elementary school; I have 2 girls: 1 in college close to graduation and the other heading into her last year of middle school this fall) to Wilmington, NC back in the summer of 2007. It was a working vacation for me in addition to a quest to find an old building I ran across as a teenager that was in Wilmington and I used the building structure design I recalled from my childhood as the design for a nightclub in a novel I published in the early 2000s. (approx 2004. I wanted to show her the building. We found it, btw... I was also able to write the freelance travel article I'd been working on about Wilmington, NC too. I had enough notes taped on a recorder & descriptions she gave me due to my dimming vision that disappears completely at times... We stopped in a few Wing stores while in Wilmington, NC, Atlantic Beach, Topsail Island, and Wrightsville Beach - all in NC but close enough to get back to our hotel in Wilmington at the end of the day for a week. Would the Wings store bags work just as well? Here is the link to the Wings Store. They offer the bags for free when you buy something. I use them at the grocery store to keep from getting plastic, at least until they wear out & the straps wear down and break or the bottoms split over time: http://www.wingsbeachwear.com/ ? I'm thinking these may be the same type of bag though I'm not sure if they show a picture on the Wings site of the bags they use but it should give you an idea if I'm close to what you use.
suburbhomestead (author)  paise4 years ago
The recycled bags should last a season or two. I think the cotton will breath enough for you. I used walmart 50 cent blue bags. At my blog about suburban homesteading http://suburbhomestead.wordpress.com/ I talk further about non-conventional gardening. Wading pool gardens could help you too. I am a caretaker at home with two disabled adults, I work full time + to support us as a Certified Nursing Assistant. You have a great climate going for you. Thankyou.
What is the advantage of growing in a bag?
masterochicken:  While I've never tried bag-growing, I have grown tomato plants in planter pots on the deck we used to have b4 we had to tear it down b/c the morons who built it onto the house before we bought it didn't put flashing between the deck and the house, which caused water damage on the siding, which we had to repair once the deck was torn off. DH replaced the deck w/brick steps & 2 side rails as we had plans to build a pottery studio on that side of the house b4 he got sick. (he had 2 heart attacks, a stroke, & req. a quad bypass to save his life. Now he can't work & I can't find any organizations to help get my little pottery studio so I can continue to teach my daughter to throw pottery as well as the students at our nearby elementary school. My maternal great-grandfather's family got their last name of Potter b/c they were pottery makers & Native American Indians. When they incl NAI in the census records, they had to have a last name so that's how they got their name. I don't want to lose this part of my heritage)..  But I digress. It seems to me that the bag growing is much like my planter pot growing. It's for those who like me can't till a garden or work the yard due to health problems yet still wants to grow veggies at home. I grew organic tomatoes in my planter pots b4 losing the deck.
you could grow them on a balcony if you don't have a garden.  Or plonk them somewhere nearby if you've run out of space in the vege-garden. I love it!
suburbhomestead (author)  masterochicken4 years ago
Ease in harvest and for people who need to grow food without tearing up the yard.  Renters .....
beccreative4 years ago
This is a great idea! I was looking at another post to sew your own potato bags, but this is even better. Plus the colors will look great in the garden.

And, a neighbor asked us to haul away some old leaves that were already bagged for a couple of years. Instant compost. I am so psyched to have my potato growing problem solved so cheaply and easily!! Wahoo!

Okay, that was overdoing it; the little things make me happy!
I have a problem seeing the pictures because of vision issues thanks to a retinal eye disease, optic nerve birth defect, & added problems that complicated & increased my loss of vision thanks to lupus (SLE) and Sjogren's. I'm not completely sure what you mean when you say Walmart "Green" bags... You say they are cloth. Well, a good friend of mine sends me these cotton bags made from recycled materials from the chain store Wings. I've had some I got myself when she & I took our youngest children (she has 2 boys: 1 almost grown, the other in elementary school; I have 2 girls: 1 in college close to graduation and the other heading into her last year of middle school this fall) to Wilmington, NC back in the summer of 2007. It was a working vacation for me in addition to a quest to find an old building I ran across as a teenager that was in Wilmington and I used the building structure design I recalled from my childhood as the design for a nightclub in a novel I published in the early 2000s. (approx 2004. I wanted to show her the building. We found it, btw... I was also able to write the freelance travel article I'd been working on about Wilmington, NC too. I had enough notes taped on a recorder & descriptions she gave me due to my dimming vision that disappears completely at times... We stopped in a few Wing stores while in Wilmington, NC, Atlantic Beach, Topsail Island, and Wrightsville Beach - all in NC but close enough to get back to our hotel in Wilmington at the end of the day for a week. Would the Wings store bags work just as well? Here is the link to the Wings Store. They offer the bags for free when you buy something. I use them at the grocery store to keep from getting plastic, at least until they wear out & the straps wear down and break or the bottoms split over time: http://www.wingsbeachwear.com/ ? I'm thinking these may be the same type of bag though I'm not sure if they show a picture on the Wings site of the bags they use but it should give you an idea if I'm close to what you use.
AzureEyes4 years ago
i reused big dog food bags, potting/topsoil bags, trash bags, and i just poke holes in the bottom...they have turned out great and saving these big bags from landfill. but your idea is good too. did you poke holes at the bottom?
suburbhomestead (author)  AzureEyes4 years ago
The fabric drains water really well no need to I have 8 going. http://suburbhomestead.wordpress.com/
Sequimania4 years ago
If you live in an area where feed is sold in woven plastic bags the empty bags make great growing containers.

The advantage to growing plants in bags, containers, buckets, etc., is that if you don't have good soil - or any soil at all - you can control the nutrients, moisture level and weeds very easily.  The containers are portable so if you find your plants need more or less sun you can move things around as needed.

Check out the Instructables on vertical gardening, bucket gardening, and (soda) bottle gardening.
I think you could only potentially use 1 bag for starting 1 potato since potatoes need a fair amount of space to sprawl, but it's a nice catch!  If you want 3 potato plants, you only need 3 bags which is potentially all anyone would want to grow during a season so there's room for more veg and fruit.
suburbhomestead (author)  AngryRedhead4 years ago
I have planted six so far.
suburbhomestead (author) 4 years ago
These bags are post consumer, and can be used again.
Easier harvest I believe.