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How to grow potatoes in a bag

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There's a certain satisfaction to growing your own vegetables and serving them for dinner. The taste is invariably supreme to anything you can buy in a supermarket and, what's more, YOU did that.
What you'll need: 
Potatoes (one for each plant you want to grow).
An old compost bag (for each plant)
Compost or good quality soil
Potatoes will start to grow all by themselves. Just leave one or two aside for a while and they will start sprouting. When you have sprouts of about an inch (25mm) they're ready to go 'in the ground'. You can stand them in water to encourage roots to sprout too if you wish.
Turn your old compost bag inside out so the black is on the outside, and roll the sides down about half way. The black on the outside will help generate warmth within the soil and promote growth. Make a few holes in the bottom of the bag and a little way up the sides to allow drainage. It's now ready for its work.
Spread the bottom of the bag out into as wide a base as possible, and put in an inch or two (25-50mm) of compost or soil. Put one of your sprouting spuds on top, in the middle.
Cover the potato with more compost or soil; about an inch or two above the sprouts. Now roll the sides of the bag down until they're just above the soil level, and water well.
When the sprouts appear through the soil, leave them to grow about five or six inches (150mm) and then top up the soil until about half of the plant is visible. Repeat and continue this process as the plant grows, unrolling the sides of the bag to increase its height as you go.
After a few top-ups (known as 'earthing up') the total soil level will be at about twelve to eighteen inches (300-450mm). Really you can 'grow the bag' until you feel it might not be stable enough to go any higher, but eighteen inches is probably about the limit. Leave the plant to grow taller.
When flowers are appearing on the plant, it's about time to harvest your potatoes. You can either use the 'lucky dip' method and go in with your hands for a forage, or tip the bag out (or cut it open). Your crop will be in there somewhere with any luck!
Pull your new spuds from their anchors, give them a bit of a rinse and go cook 'em!
NOTE: Your first planting should be done in early spring; you will then get used to how long your variety of potato takes to grow and can adjust future planting times according to when you want to harvest.
By experimentation with different varieties of potato, plant feeds and garden positions, your crops may differ from numerous small potatoes to a few large ones, or a combination! This guide is really just a starter for your vegetable growing career; don't be too disappointed in your first crop if the yield is low. Carry on and learn as you grow. Above all, enjoy!
Keep the bag well watered. Not being in the ground, and with only the plastic around the root ball, your plant will dry out quite quickly.
There are potato growing bags available at most gardening outlets. These are a good purchase if you have your plants 'on display' and would rather not have your barbecue guests whispering about all your 'rubbish bags'. They do cost a lot more though...
Rainwater is always better than tap water for plants.
If potatoes growing near the surface of the soil are exposed to light for long, they will begin to turn dark and green. These potatoes should be discarded as they may become poisonous.
To prevent the above, straight away cover any potatoes that appear near the surface with more soil.


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