Sunday, 26 August 2012

Growing Potatoes in Sacks

It's potato time! Although I've never grown potatoes before, I been reading quite a bit about them and have decided that this year I'm going to give them a go. There seem to be a number of methods out there, but I've decided to grow them in hessian (burlap) sacks. The soil in my garden bed is poor and too hard and full of clay to allow the potatoes to grow. Even if they did I'd never be able to find them. Some people suggest stacks of tires, but I worry about the toxic chemical leaching into the soil. I've also read that the lip of the tires fill with water and don't allow good draining. Then there were pots, or containers, but it seemed too hard to get the soil high enough. So - the sack it is.

A few weeks ago I picked up 10 large hessian sacks. These were originally used to hold coffee beans and have come fron both Brazil and PNG. They are quite large (about 1m wide when flat) and will hold a lot of soil. I rolled down the top and layered the bottom with a few sheets of newspaper to keep too much of the soil escaping out the bottom while still allowing drainage. Then filled the sack up with a good quality potting mix.

I've got two varieties to try. A 'Pink Fir' which I got from Diggers a couple of weeks ago and which is a little like a Kipfler. The other variety was called a 'Sapphire' and is a bit larger and a beautiful blue in the centre.

I've planted two seed potatoes in each sack, hoping they aren't too crowded. Now I just have to wait for the shoots to pop up. The beauty of the sack method, is as the shoots grow you just need to add more soil and slowly roll up the sides of the sack. Hopefully by the end of the year I'll have a nice big crop ready to eat!


  1. I've not grown potatoes yet but I have a hankering to do so! The pink firs are supposed to be lovely... you'll be digging for treasure in no time at all!
    I love your hessian sacks and lovely black soil - it makes me want to plant things!!

    1. I had never heard of the pink fir before. I don't think the sell them as eating potatoes here in Australia so I can't wait to see how they turn out. I'm not sure I'll have the patience to wait til the end of the year... I'm already wanting to dig down and find out what they are doing under all that soil and it's only been two days!