Potato/Potahto: Growing Potatoes in the Backyard

You like potato and I like potahto,

You like tomato and I like tomahto,

Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto!

Lets call the whole thing off!

(Lyrics by George/Ira Gershwin)

This was the first year I grew potatoes. I was a little apprehensive about doing so, because I was concerned about verticillium wilt and blight, which would wreck my soil for future planting of other crops. I’m glad I didn’t let my concerns stop me and call the whole thing off.

I decided to go ahead and plant potatoes, but instead of growing them in the ground, to allay my fears, I opted to grow my potatoes in a grow bag.  The bags can be found in brick and mortar nurseries, but I ordered mine online from Gardener’s Supply.  By doing so, I was able to choose  from five colors and two sizes.

The advantages of using a grow bag are:

  • The bag provided me with the ability to move my crop around my garden;
  • It allowed for good drainage while also preventing the roots from becoming root bound;
  • It’s easier to harvest the potatoes;
  • I can control where the potatoes grow; and
  • Growing in a bag prevented verticillium wilt from possibly contaminating into my soil.

The leaves recently turned yellow and died back, which is the indicator to start checking for potatoes. Here is the first picking:

potato box

There are still smaller potatoes growing on the plants, which I will let continue to grow, and check on in a while. I am excited with my small success, and plan on adding another grow bag for my next planting.

Next up, the when, where and the how. . .