We have just harvested our potatoes from the planter bags we started in April. We left harvesting for a month once they were ready and decided to move them out when there was a risk of frost.
We had a reasonable crop – we love to eat our own grown veg and Desiree potatoes are popular with the family.
We did nothing other than use fresh compost from B&Q and kept them from drying out, so regular checking and watering was a must.
Our bags were 14 litre and gave us a lot of potatoes but nothing like the T&M crop – 80 tubers in one 8 litre bag!
Details of how it was achieved
The method, hit upon during technical trials at the Thompson & Morgan seed and plant specialist’s Ipswich HQ, opens up potato growing to everyone – even those without a garden. The small but durable bags will sit happily by the front door or on a deep window ledge.
More than 80 tubers were harvested from just one of these bags, nearly treble the number harvested from each tuber in the larger sacks. The results came from Thompson & Morgan’s new Potato Jazzy – an exclusive new generation first early bred for maximum yield and flavour, but the impressive results don’t stop there.
Amateur growers tested the method this summer, too, when T&M horticultural director, Paul Hansord, challenged his local gardening club to a grow-off: three tubers of Maris Peer and three 8 litre bags – biggest harvest wins. “As with our technical trials, the club results were hard to believe. If I hadn’t cut the top growth from the winning entry and emptied out the crop myself, I wouldn’t have believed it. It was like the tubers were trying to burst out of the bags.” said Paul.
Gwynneth Hogger took the winner’s cup for producing an astounding 17.5lb of quality potatoes – a trophy well deserved!
Getting the most from the 8 litre potato growing bags is easy:
• Mix Chempak® Potato fertiliser with your compost before planting
• Set one tuber per bag and do not compact the compost
• Fill the bag with compost in one go – no need to top up
• Water evenly and do not allow to dry out
• Try auto irrigation to prevent over or under watering
Beat your neighbours to the first potatoes of the season – Harvest 12wks after planting!
Try the 8 litre potato growing bags, beat Gwynneth’s 17.5lb harvest across three bags, and win £100 of T&M vouchers. Send a photo of you and your 2015 harvest to: firstname.lastname@example.org – winners will be notified in July next year. Good luck!
For the widest selection of tuber varieties and the 8 litre bags (20 for £9.99) visit www.thompson-morgan.com or call 0844 573 1818 for your free copy of the 2015 Kitchen Gardener’s Catalogue.
You can imagine at In Balance we are planning on doing the same and have put in our order right away for bags and Jazzy the potato variety and of course make sure we get the bag of the Chempak® potato fertiliser!
Val Reynolds, Editor
What a waste it felt to put the plastic bags used for the potting compost we had bought
in the dustbin, correction – plastic recycling bin. This year we are growing potatoes re-using those plastic compost bags – an idea we picked up from one of Monty Don’s Gardener’s World videos on the BBC website.
We have been keeping the bags back as they are heavy duty plastic – each bag only needs three potatoes to grow a crop – and the results are so delicious and so economical. We turn the bags inside out so they are less obtrusive and they are behind an open fence as they are not the most beautiful sight to behold.
Here’s the latest bag we have used that contained peat-free compost. We have added some polystyrene pieces that seem to give plants added vigour. Not sure why, but it is true.
Another suggestion is to use several rubbish or gardening sacks one inside the other, more than one to get extra strength, a bit like carrying wine bottles using more than one plastic carry bags.
We’ll be experimenting with hessian sacks to see what we can grow – we got this idea from the charity Send A Cow who promote bag gardens – see the video.
Do you have an economical tip to pass on?
Val Reynolds Brown, editor
By the way www.ourfrontgarden.com is the website we write about the ongoing renovation and care of a front garden in a garden city