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Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Are Potato Grow Bags Better Than A Compost Bag For Growing Potatoes?

I've been growing potatoes in specially purchased 'Potato Grow Bags' for many years.  The crops aren't particularly large but they are delicious and its very easy and rewarding to do and something that the kids could do with a little help and supervision.

Growing Potatoes is simple, they are:

Easy to plant
Easy to maintain
Easy to harvest
Taste Great

The costs are pretty negligible:

Potato Grow Bags
Fresh Compost (from a garden centre)
Rotted horse manure (often free at a local stable)
Potato Tubers (potatoes)

The main cost items are the Potato Grow Bags and the bags of compost.

This year I started the chitting and planting process with 4 new Potato Grow Bags and put three chitting potato tubers in each bag.  After planting the tubers in the bags, I realised I had a number of spares left over and rather than throw them away, I thought it would be interesting to grow the remainder in the empty plastic bags the new compost came in.  These bags tend to be very thick painted on the outside by most importantly Black and None See Through on the inside.  I planted them all at the same time, using the same feed and water regime and harvested them when the plants had died back leaving thick white stems sticking out of the bags, within a few days of each other.

Although not a scientific experiment, in this way I could see whether the planting bag made any difference to the crop yield, i.e.  if you got more potatoes for the extra cost of the 'Potato Grow Bag' versus the black painted compost bag.

The first bag I harvested was the Potato Grow Bag

and below is the link to the video:

Harvesting Home Grown Potatoes From My Potato Grow Bag

After brushing the loose earth of the potatoes I weighed them, the black plastic compost bag delivered a crop of:

1406 grams of fresh potatoes (just over 3 lb)

Sao what about the potatoes in the compost bag?

below is the video:

Harvesting My Potatoes From A Compost Black Bag

After brushing the loose earth of the potatoes I weighed them, the black plastic compost bag delivered a crop of:

1245 grams of fresh potatoes (just over 2 lb 7 oz)

1406 - 1245 = 161grams (just over .35 lb)

There the using the potato grow bag increased the yield by just over 11%.

Therefore, from this casual experiment I concluded that the potato grow bags are better than black plastic bags for growing potatoes, but given the sized of the crop, and the additional expenses of the bags, it is more cost effective to grow the potatoes using the Compost Bag than it is to invest in specialised Potato Grow Bags.


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