Potatoes in a Bag

Phaedra Geiermann

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I saw one video about a similar topic, but I guess, eventually, the roots went to the soil where they were sitting. I also did a very small experiment with three sprouted onions. I let them sit on the lawn and used a thick layer of grass clipping to hold them in place somehow.


The roots should go downward and find nutrients; meanwhile, the sprouted parts also start Photosynthesis.
 

Dahlia

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i can't imagine just plain straw having enough nutrients of itself so there must be some kind of other compost or garden dirt being available to those potato plant roots. i do know it is possible to do this but i've not done it myself.

@AMKuska do you think they got too hot or too dried out? i think with further south growing you'd have to be careful to have enough thermal mass or perhaps shade on the bag somehow for it to be stable enough or to prevent cooking the plants.
Flowerbug, I was shocked too and surprised nothing else was needed. I watched her video and at the end she showed all of the potatoes she grew. She said her only complaint was that she should have planted more rows! I bet this method works best in cooler planting zones. She was in Canada. I think it would work in the PMW also, but I haven't tried it yet.
 

AMKuska

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i can't imagine just plain straw having enough nutrients of itself so there must be some kind of other compost or garden dirt being available to those potato plant roots. i do know it is possible to do this but i've not done it myself.

@AMKuska do you think they got too hot or too dried out? i think with further south growing you'd have to be careful to have enough thermal mass or perhaps shade on the bag somehow for it to be stable enough or to prevent cooking the plants.
I'm not sure. I'll dissect a bag when I have more free time and check. I'm actually wondering if a squirrel may have looted the bags of their potatoes and replanted some elsewhere. There are a bunch of very closely planted potatoes growing vigorously in my brand new garden bed. >_> It's supposed to be my tomato bed, and I definitely didn't plant any there.
 

Dahlia

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Once we planted multiple seeds of so many different veggie plants in an area where potatoes had been grown before. The potato plants ended up taking over the entire garden. There were so many! I figured it was survival of the fittest that year!
 

heirloomgal

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Flowerbug, I was shocked too and surprised nothing else was needed. I watched her video and at the end she showed all of the potatoes she grew. She said her only complaint was that she should have planted more rows! I bet this method works best in cooler planting zones. She was in Canada. I think it would work in the PMW also, but I haven't tried it yet.
I've tried this method some time ago @Dahlia and it definitely seems to work, though it still amazes me that the potatoes have that much energy. The problem with the hay method is little mice and critters that love to nibble away at the wee little potatoes as they sprout from the main spud. Gauging need for water is tricky too. I have pictures of the plants sprouting through the golden hay, but that was back when I used a old fashioned digital camera not a tablet! 🤣

It does explain how I can get a good crop of potatoes with no fertiliser or nutrition of any kind added.
 

Phaedra Geiermann

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i see that the potatoes are grown in contact with the soil so that is the nutrient supply aside from whatever is being put in via the mulch being used.
agree+1, I also thought about this yesterday - Whatever in between might not be that important, as long as the roots go into the soil, and the leaves have sufficient sunlight. In my opinion, the mulch layer might have two functions: holding the seed potatoes in place and keeping the moisture.

Last year, I harvested several mini onions. They are so tiny that I have even no interest to bring them inside. I just put them right on the surface of one raised bed, no mulch, basically naked. However, their bottoms were on the soil, they grew into nice and robust plants this spring. I believe, the mentioned method for potatoes is similar.
 

flowerbug

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agree+1, I also thought about this yesterday - Whatever in between might not be that important, as long as the roots go into the soil, and the leaves have sufficient sunlight. In my opinion, the mulch layer might have two functions: holding the seed potatoes in place and keeping the moisture.

Last year, I harvested several mini onions. They are so tiny that I have even no interest to bring them inside. I just put them right on the surface of one raised bed, no mulch, basically naked. However, their bottoms were on the soil, they grew into nice and robust plants this spring. I believe, the mentioned method for potatoes is similar.

the walking onions and hardneck garlic with the bulbules up top will grow like this, they don't even need mulch. just scatter them where you want them to grow, the roots will get established and the next bulb it forms will be in the ground a bit. as time goes on the roots and bulbs will go deeper. i scattered many thousands of bulbules for the hardneck garlic i normally grow in a patch thinking it would be great to have all that garlic to harvest. a few years later i realized my mistake because the bulbs of garlic were intertwined with the roots of the alfalfa and birdsfoot trefoil i had planted in there. it all grew well but it was very hard to harvest. :) one year i was trying to remove all the garlic, one bulb at a time, from that patch and i had most of it gone from 2/3rds of the area and then we started to regularly mow it. now whatever garlic remains is very tiny threads, but if we ever stop mowing it would recover and resize back up to larger bulbs again.
 

heirloomgal

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i see that the potatoes are grown in contact with the soil so that is the nutrient supply aside from whatever is being put in via the mulch being used.
I didn't plant my straw potatoes on the ground. I did it in a few 'Oscar the Grouch' type metal cans with fully intact bottoms (minus a few drainage holes). I think the reason it worked was that the hay may not have been real fresh (can't remember), and so it became a bit like a straw bale garden in there. You can grow any veggies in straw really with that method; potatoes are especially well suited because they don't need the bale to break down as fast as some other crops do. Some of the 'straw bale gardening for small spaces' gardeners recommend putting the bales of hay right on your patio stones or a paved driveway, no soil required.
 

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