Growing Potatoes Method One- Growing in a gunnysack

When we planted our potatoes this Spring we wanted to try a few different methods in order to best determine our preferred growing method. We planted 3 burlap gunny sacks, direct in the dirt, and a large trash can. Three different methods with 3 different results.

 I want to dedicate a post to each of these methods so that I can talk in depth about each one and what we liked or disliked about each.

  Burlap Gunnysack Method-

 This was the first method we went with. I was able to purchase used gunny sacks at one of the local feed stores for a reasonable cost. The bags were 50 lb bags so we surmised that we could get quite a few potatoes out of the deal.

 We filled the bottom with some straw and dirt and put about 4-5 starts in each bag. We used a potato variety mix which included red, yellow, and purple. We covered the starts with just enough dirt to get them going.

 As the plants started to grow we would fill the bag with more dirt to cover the plant. Here's where we started to get frustrated with this method. The bags refused to be straight. They tended to slump to the side no matter how much you prodded and readjusted the bag. Once the bag got more than halfway filled it was no longer possible to even readjust or move the bag.

 At this point we gave up trying to fill each bag up to the brim. Too much dirt was falling out of the bags.


 We harvested all 3 bags today and squeaked out a whopping 24 potatoes. Most were so tiny that I almost missed them. They were literally smaller than bite size.

Can you see all the little potatoes? So tiny.

Pros and Cons-

 Really I'm not sure that I can come up with anything positive to say about this method. Here are all the things that we had issues with.
  1. As I mentioned before the bags themselves were hard to manage.
  2. As I went through the bags I realized that there was a lot of dirt that wasn't getting water when we watered. I'm thinking this had to do with how the bags were sitting.
  3. The bags completely rotted out. As I was dumping the bags they ripped and left burlap in the dirt. I'll have to sift the dirt before I can reuse it.
  4. They never sat up straight. We may have been able to increase the amount of potatoes if we had been able to sit them up straight and add dirt more evenly.
  5. This was more our fault than the method, but we think we had the bags spaced too close together. The middle bag produced a whopping 3 potatoes.
Here is where you can see that the gunnysack ripped.

The dirt on the left is really dry and the dirt on the right is moist.


 We definitely won't be utilizing this method in the future. It was more hassle than it was worth and the amount of potatoes we ended up getting was disappointing. Very disappointing. We are grateful for the learning experience though that we got out of it. We believe that it's important to try new things. The only way to figure things out is to not be afraid to try new things.

  Have you ever grown your own potatoes? Leave me a comment below telling what method you used.

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