I reckon I must have some Inca blood in my family. Or maybe I just love spuds a lot, and so here I am again, growing spuds at home, this time in a proper 'tatey bag' from Diggers Seeds.
I ordered mine a while ago, and in mild old inner-western Sydney, where there's never any danger of frosts damaging the baby plants, I figured this warm patch of early-spring weather we're enjoying now is a good time to get my seed potatoes planted in their bag.
First of all, we need some motivation, so here's some of the last crop of King Edward potatoes we grew here at Jamie and Pam's Garden Amateur-land.
|Blushed pink, King Edward potatoes are fine all-rounder|
spuds, great for chips, roasting or baking in their jackets, and
their fluffy texture produces a truly wonderful mash.
|Some kind of straw is very handy, especially to form the|
base on which your seed potatoes will sit inside the bag.
This is ordinary sugar cane mulch, which worked fine last
time, and which is plentiful and cheap here.
|Use home-made compost by all means, but I am giving my|
other Tatey bag and half my seed potatoes to a friend, Jolanda,
and so she is going to use this compost to grow her spuds.
|Yes, you can use ordinary potting mix, too. But we didn't.|
|This is the 'Tatey bag' Diggers provides. It measures|
(roughly) 40cm tall, wide and high, and the handles are handy.
OK, so they're your ingredients to form the bottom layer of the pot: straw, compost and chicken poo, plus a bag with lots of holes in the bottom.
|For the bottom layers, I mix together several big handfuls|
of straw with the same quantity of compost.
|Here they are in their paper bag. They've already sprouted.|
This is a good thing, not a bad thing. They'll grow quickly
now they are nestled into the rich planting soil.
|Place the seed potatoes with the sprouts facing upwards.|
I've put four seed potatoes into the bag, and that's about the
maximum to plant in this kind of space.
The best place to put your potato bag is a sunny spot, and that means one which gets at least six hours a day of sunshine, or the closest you can get to six hours.
As for when the first green shoots appear, it could take a couple of weeks or more. Just keep an eye on what happens.
I'm going to update my "spuds in a bag" blog when there is news to report, and I expect about a month from now there'll be a bit more work to do to keep things rolling along.
If you decide to have a go yourself, you can buy everything you need from Diggers Seeds (diggers.com.au) but your local garden centre or major hardware chain garden centre (eg, Bunnings, Mitre 10 etc) also stock "seed potatoes", so you could buy a pack of them and try your hand at potato growing in a large pot, or of course in the ground itself.
Whatever you decide, good luck.